Matthew Macklin is ready for the biggest fight of his career as he continues his preparations for his bout with Ronald 'Winky' Wright in Las Vegas on April 9.
The fight will be the first of a lucrative promotional deal that Macklin has inked with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and will take place at the MGM Grand.
'This is exactly the kind of fight I've been looking for and I believe it will bring out the absolute best in me,' said middleweight Macklin.
'I have the utmost respect for Winky, he is a legend of the sport and his achievements speak for themselves.
'He's someone I've looked up to throughout my career but this is my time to make a big impact in the US and this is the perfect fight to do that in. I know that it will be a huge challenge but that's what appeals to me about this fight and I'm very confident about the outcome.'
The fight was originally mooted for last summer but it failed to materialise and instead Macklin regained his European title before making a successful title defence in December.
Macklin's manager, Brian Peters believes that a win over Wright will lead to a World title fight. 'This is one of the most lucrative deals for an Irish boxer in the last 25 years,' he insisted.
'Matthew has always been hugely ambitious and this deal with Golden Boy gives him the platform to go on and realise those ambitions.
'Matthew won't be phased by fighting in Vegas though. He's already boxed in the States on a number of occasions and was around Ricky Hatton for the build up to a lot of his big fights in the US so he will know what to expect.'