Barker showed Martinez up - Macklin
Matthew Macklin believes he can conquer WBC Diamond middleweight champion Sergio Martinez after watching the Argentinean defeat Darren Barker by 11th-round knockout at the weekend.
Barker gave Martinez more of a scare than was expected, with the Brit bloodying his opponent's nose early in the bout and pressurising him regularly with a high guard.
Martinez's class began to tell in the later rounds, however, as Barker began to fade before being felled with a hook to the back of his head.
The fight had a similar pattern to Macklin's tilt for the WBA Super title against Felix Sturm in June: the challenger beginning strongly, only to lose a grip on proceedings as the final bell neared.
Nonetheless, Macklin is adamant that he can go one better against Martinez, the man widely regarded as the No. 1 middleweight in the world. "Darren showed Martinez's weaknesses," Macklin said to the Sun. "My work rate and variety will be too much for him."
Lou DiBella, Martinez's promoter, has talked about Macklin fighting his charge in New York on St Patrick's Day weekend next year.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Frankie Gavin will defend his WBO Intercontinental welterweight title against France's Frank Haroche Horta in Manchester on October 28.