Boxing Expert & Pundit
Cheeseman vs Garcia: Matthew Macklin warns Ted Cheeseman not to over-look Sergio Garcia
Cheeseman to challenge Garcia for European super-welterweight title, 7.30pm, Saturday, Sky Sports Arena
Last Updated: 01/02/19 11:30am
Matthew Macklin hopes Ted Cheeseman will be the latest Brit to be crowned European champion, but sent out a Spanish warning...
The European title is a great one to win and Ted Cheeseman could do something special if he does on Saturday night.
Yes, there are multiple belts available these days and so many routes fighters can take, but the EBU is still the No 1 prize in Europe. It still goes with the British and Commonwealth, before moving on to the world.
It is a step-up in class and meaning, and that is what Cheeseman needs. We have seen him improve fight-by-fight in the last 12 months, so this is ideal.
I haven't seen much of the champion, Sergio Garcia, but one thing Cheeseman and his team can't do is under-estimate this guy, believe me.
Back in December 2010 - my last fight before Felix Sturm and then Sergio Martinez - I did just that, when I was facing a Spaniard for the European title.
I was defending it against Ruben Varon, in Liverpool, and while I was ill in the build-up, I definitely thought he would be easy.
I'd seen him get stopped with a body shot, so was certain I'd take him in out in four or five rounds, but because of a chest infection I'd had, I had no power and it turned in to a really, really gruelling fight. My right eye was practically closed, my left was cut and it was anything but easy.
Cheeseman can't do what I did. Spanish boxers have proved themselves in the last few years, with Kiko Martinez still going strong and Kerman Lejarraga stopped Frankie Gavin in four to become the European welterweight champion. Garcia has got Sergio Martinez behind him as well.
Cheeseman though, has really grown into be a professional, championship-distance fighter, though. He paces himself really well, doesn't load up on every shot - like I did against Varon - but picks them well.
I like the way he mixes it from pitter-patter then turns one over, or plants his feet and finishes the combinations off with hard, solid shots. He goes head-body and body-head well, too.
There is more to 'The Big Cheese' than a lot of people think.
Of course him and Anthony Fowler are firmly on each other's radar, but Cheeseman will stay focused on Garcia and the European title. He'll need to.
Watch Ted Cheeseman vs Sergio Garcia, with packed undercard, live from The O2, Saturday, Sky Sports Arena, from 7.30pm.