Matthew Macklin returned to winning ways and gave himself renewed hope of a fourth world title shot after a points victory over Lamar Russ in their middleweight encounter last night. 

The Birmingham-born Irishman recorded a unanimous points victory over the American in Atlantic City with the three judges scoring the fight 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93 in Macklin's favour. 

Mackin had lost three of his last four fights including world title challenges to Alex Sturm and the hard-hitting Gennady Golovkin as well as the premier middleweight Sergio Martinez.

His sole victory in the last three years was a one-round blowout of Joachim Alcine last September.

But despite not being at his best, he was always in control against Russ who was a late replacement for the injured Willie Nelson.