Matthew Macklin
Matthew Macklin celebrates after stopping Joachim Alcine in the first round. [Reuters]

Matthew Macklin has never backed down from a fight but he may well be in for the toughest night of his career after it emerged that he was close to sealing a fight with dangerous middleweight Gennady Golovkin.

The 30-year-old is regarded as one of the most avoided fighters in boxing after compiling an impressive record that boasts 23 stoppage wins from his 26 professional fights.

Still without a single loss on his record, Golovkin has stopped his last 13 opponents and last Saturday further enhanced his reputation with a brutal one punch knockout of the Nobuhiro Ishida, who had previously never been stopped.

Golovkin has found it difficult to gain a shot at one of the major middleweight titles but has picked up the IBO belt and is the current WBA regular champion, with Australia's Daniel Geale the super-champion at 160lbs.

Reports suggest that Golovkin will face Macklin on June 29 in New York, subject to contracts being signed by both fighters.

Macklin has twice fought for a world title and was unfortunate not to win WBA belt when he lost a split decision to Felix Sturm in Germany.

With it being notoriously difficult to earn a decision in Germany, especially against a home fighter, Macklin earned plenty of praise for his performance and secured a shot at current middleweight king Sergio Martinez.

The Argentinean eventually stopped Macklin in the 11th round but his reputation was once again enhanced after impressing in the early stages of the contest.

The 'Irish Brummie' will hope to inflict a first loss on Golovkin and would be confident of having plenty of support in America, having based himself in States for the last few years.

Macklin has not been in the ring since September last year, but it was a supreme display as he managed to gain a first round knockout over the dangerous Joachim Alcine.