Macklin on the comeback trail Saturday

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

Former three-time middleweight title challenger Matthew Macklin (31-6, 20 KOs) returns on Saturday at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England, to face Ferenc Albert in an eight-round bout on the undercard of heavyweight Anthony Joshua's bout with Rafael Zumbano Love.

Macklin is looking to rebound from a harrowing 10th-round knockout loss to Jorge Sebastian Heiland in November and hoping a win can pave the way toward another title opportunity against either Ireland's Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) or New Yorker Daniel Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs).

"I'd love to fight Andy Lee or Danny Jacobs," said Macklin, whose title bout losses came by knockout to Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin and by controversial decision to Felix Sturm. "Jacobs defended his world title [on April 24] and he is a name I have been linked with before so we'd jump at that. Andy and I fighting for a world title in Dublin or Birmingham would be massive. Obviously, he's out injured at the moment so I need to get back in there and get winning to be in line for a huge fight with him.

"I probably have to travel to fight Jacobs, but if I can go and win it and become world champion then I am in the driving seat and can bring the fights to Birmingham or to Dublin but initially I would probably have to go to the States."

Macklin, 32, won't come close to those kind of fights without a win on Saturday against Albert (12-7, 7 KOs), 22, of Hungary, who is designed to be a soft touch for the comebacking Macklin.

"It is must-win on Saturday," Macklin said. "I cannot afford to lose at this stage of my career and coming off the last loss. It is an eight-rounder but it is potentially the fight before a big, big fight. There is a lot at stake."