Martinez and Macklin will be fan-friendly battle, says DiBella

"They will try and take each others' head off," promoter Lou DiBella promised at a presser at MSG on Wednesday, telling the assembled that the style matchup insures Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin will be a fan-friendly tussle at Madison Square Garden.

Martinez' adviser Sampson Lewkowicz took to the mike, and thanked HBO, Kery Davis and Ken Hershman. He called Sergio "the real middleweight champion of the world." He said that he calls the Irish the "European Mexicans," because they have such ample heart in the ring. That heart will be on display when Macklin, he said, fights his tail off on March 17.

The birthday boy said that Martinez is a champ "in and out of the ring," stating that the fighter goes to battered women's shelters, and sheds real tears when he hears the stories of battered women.

--Andy Lee, the Irish middleweight who will fight on the Martinez-Macklin card, thanked Manny Steward, his manager, promoter Lou DiBella, and HBO, who is using him for a third fight in 12 months, at the MSG presser on Wednesday.

Lee promised his foe, the always rough 'n ready TBA, a St. Paddy's Day beating on March 17 at the MSG Theatre. He said he'd be looking to get a title crack after he shows what he's got on March 17.

DiBella said that Lee lobbied him hard to fight Martinez, and is happy that he did so. Soon, DiBella, said, Lee would have his time in the sun.

--Macklin's promoter Brian Peters spoke. He said that tix are on sale for the March 17 card, and he thinks that the Theatre will sell out, so get 'em while they are available. He said that Macklin will pull off a mathematical impossibility, and will give "120 percent" come fight night.

--DiBella hopes to set a beer-sale record on March 17. "Leave your car keys at home," he quipped.