Boxer Sturm promises Macklin rematch

Berlin: Germany`s world middleweight champion Felix Sturm has already promised Ireland`s Matthew Macklin a rematch after defending his WBA title in controversial fashion with a split decision.

After a gruelling 12 rounds, the champion was left bleeding from his lip while Macklin had a cut eyelid, but Sturm was awarded the fight by the judges 113-115, 116-112 and 116-112 in front of a 18,500 strong crowd in Cologne.

"I should be champion," said Macklin after Saturday night`s fight.

"I believe I was the better fighter, but it is not Felix`s fault, he wasn`t a judge."

The judges were Levi Martinez from the USA, Jose Ignacio Martinez from Spain and Roberto Ramirez from Puerto Rico.

This was Sturm`s 10th title defence and Macklin was far from happy with the verdict having pushed the champion all the way, but the German has already said he will give the Birmingham-based Irishman a rematch.

"Germany is famous for many things, unfortunately also for bad decisions," Macklin`s manager Brian Peters said, after the decision.

Sturm, who himself lost his WBO title to Oscar de la Hoya in 2004 in Las Vegas after a controversial decision, saw no problem with the decision.

"It wasn`t a wrong decision, but it was close," said the 32-year-old German who was photographed with Germany footballer Lukas Podolski and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko after the bout.

"It was not my most outstanding performance, but okay I have had a few clear shots and Matt worked hard. In my view, the decision was absolutely correct.

"We will definitely have a second fight, we have already agreed it."

Bureau Report