DANIEL Geale's hopes of reclaiming a world middleweight crown remain on hold after the Launceston boxer yesterday announced his second successive non-title fight.
Since losing his IBF world title to Englishman Darren Barker in the US last August, Geale's only fight has been a crushing defeat of compatriot Garth Wood in February.
And when attempts to take on hard-hitting WBA champion Gennady Golovkin repeatedly failed, Geale's management lined up another British opponent stateside.
Birmingham's Matthew Macklin has a 30-5 win-loss pro record, although three of those losses have come in his last five fights, to Geale's main middleweight adversaries Felix Sturm, of Germany, Argentinian southpaw Sergio Martinez and Kazakhstan's Golovkin, who destroyed him inside three rounds.
Geale, whose pro record is 30-2 with 16 KOs, tweeted yesterday that the fight should be on May 24 in the US, adding that he is ``keeping focused''.
Macklin, who won his last fight on points after a bruising 10 rounds against American Lamar Russ, is ranked as the number nine middleweight in the world by BoxRec, four behind Geale.
On his day Macklin can be a formidable opponent and knocked down the the No. 1-ranked Martinez last year before eventually being stopped in the 11th.
Both fighters have also taken on Sturm on his own turf in Germany, Geale winning a split points decision and Macklin losing one.
Macklin has long coveted a shot at Geale, last year tweeting: ``Let's get it on! Fight makes sense to everyone. The only reason it doesn't happen is if Geale doesn't fancy it.''