16 March 2012 Last updated at 18:46 GMT
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Matthew Macklin is confident his tortuous route to the top will be rewarded with victory over middleweight king Sergio Martinez on Saturday.
Anglo-Irish fighter Macklin, 29, faces the Argentine on St Patrick's Day at New York's Madison Square Garden.
While Martinez does not hold one of the four major belts, he is considered to be the de facto champion at 160lb.
"It's been a long, hard road at times for me, but it will all be worth it when I beat Martinez," said Macklin.
Macklin (28-3, 19KOs) may be a heavy underdog - as long as 15-2 with some bookmakers - but he can expect plenty of support from the local Irish community.
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“It's a great, great honour to fight at Madison Square Garden and a lifetime dream. It makes me quite emotional”Sergio Martinez
Last summer he lost a disputed split decision against WBA champion Felix Sturm in Germany , but the Birmingham native believes things have worked out for the best.
"I was very disappointed not to get the decision against Sturm but this is a silver lining," said Macklin, a former British and European champion.
"Everyone in America saw that and they were way more outraged than we were in England or Ireland.
"It was good to get rewarded with this fight because being at Madison Square Garden, on St Patrick's Day, against Martinez, on [American pay-per-view channel] HBO, it ticks all the boxes. It's like a fairytale."
The former ABA champion has had to tread a complicated path to the top, with multiple trainers, regular management changes and three professional defeats on his CV.
But New York promoter Lou DiBella secured Macklin the chance to become the recognised world middleweight champion.
To do so he must beat the man many believe is the third best fighter in the world, behind pound-for-pound kings Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Martinez (48-2-2, 27KOs) is the WBC's obscure "diamond" champion but holds the Ring middleweight belt and is regarded as the top man in the division.
He had a tricky night against Macklin's fellow Briton Darren Barker last year before stopping him in the 11th and he will hope Macklin's more aggressive style will play into his hands.
"It's a great, great honour to fight at Madison Square Garden and a lifetime dream," he said. "It makes me quite emotional."
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Source: BBC News
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