Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin will make his Las Vegas debut against former world champion Joachim Alcine at the Thomas & Mack Center on 15 September.
Fighting on the undercard of the eagerly awaited world middleweight title clash between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Macklin will be hoping a victory will put him back in contention for another shot at the world title.
Macklin faces a stiff test in the shape of former WBA Light Middleweight champion Alcine with the Canadian based Haitian coming off an excellent win over the hard hitting David Lemieux and the former Irish, British and European Champion admits it will be a hard night’s work.
Macklin said: "Alcine is a proven fighter, he's a former world champion who has campaigned at the highest level and it's a massive opportunity for both of us to feature on a live HBO pay-per-view event.
“He's coming off a great win over Lemieux so I'm sure he will be coming into this with a lot of confidence so it's up to me to burst his bubble."
And Macklin is also excited about the prospect of taking his seat for the main event between Martinez and Chavez where the two best middleweights in the world, who were also the victors over Macklin and Andy Lee respectively, go toe to toe for one of the most coveted prizes in professional boxing.
Macklin added: "It's probably the most important middleweight fight since Bernard Hopkins fought Felix Trinidad back in 2001 so it's a fight I would definitely have been ringside for even if I wasn't fighting on the card.
“It's an intriguing fight, I'm leaning towards Sergio because he's an exceptional athlete but Chavez was very impressive last time out against Andy Lee.
“He's a huge middleweight, he's very strong, closes the distance well and varies his punches. However Sergio has quicker feet, he's very hard to pin down and his reflexes are excellent so I'd sightly favour him but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Chavez pulled it out.”
And Macklin believes that his bout with Alcine could put him in the reckoning for another world title fight, preferably against the winner of Martinez and Chavez.
"Regardless of how the fight goes I'd love a shot at the winner but obviously I'm going to have to take care of business against Alcine first and that's my only priority right now,” said Macklin.
“I think my last two fights have proven that I'm right up there at the top of one of the most exciting weight divisions in boxing right now. I have the utmost respect for Sergio, he won fair and square but there was nothing between us going into the eleventh round.
“I was ahead on one of the cards by three rounds and only a point down on the other two cards so it was very much all to play for. I still feel like I can improve an awful lot on that performance.
“I'd been out of the ring for nine months beforehand and had just started working with Buddy McGirt again as my trainer so I think with another camp with Buddy under my belt I will be able to show that I'm still an improving fighter."
Macklin's promoter Lou DiBella believes it's an opportunity for the 30-year-old to put himself back in the mix for another world title fight.
DiBella said: "Macklin put his name into the world boxing scene with great back-to-back performances against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez.
"While he came up a little short in those world title opportunities, he is hungrier than ever and looking to move himself back into the title picture. In his way stands Joachim Alcine, who is a former world champion and coming off the huge upset victory over David Lemieux. This is a do-or-die fight for both of these guys and they are going to leave it all on the line come fight night."