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Enzo Maccarinelli Targets Bernard Hopkins Showdown - Boxing News
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 Last update:  12/7/2013       Read more by Random Hits         
   
Enzo Maccarinelli Targets Bernard Hopkins Showdown
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Though he entered his 15th year as a paid prizefighter in October, many might be surprised to discover that Commonwealth light-heavyweight boss Enzo Maccarinelli is still only 33 years old.

And the hugely popular banger from Bonymaen still clings to the belief that the rep he earned as a thrilling WBO World Cruiserweight champion back in 2006-8 might yet earn him one final fling at world honours, provided he can keep winning.

After capturing his current belt with a fabulous eleventh round stoppage of Jamaicas Ovill McKenzie at Cardiffs Motorpoint Arena in August, the 6ft 4in pride of Swansea consolidates with an intriguing first defence against 2000 GB Olympic rep Courtney Fry, at the Liverpool Echo Arena tomorrow night (Saturday 7th December). He knows there can be no margin for error.

Remaining tickets are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or online at www.echoarena.com

Boxing writer Glynn Evans found Big Macc relaxed and focussed when he caught up with him on the eve of the weigh-in.

Last time out, you delivered your best effort for some years to stop Commonwealth champion Ovill McKenzie. How did you assess your effort?

I was pretty pleased. Everyone thought that I was finished and didnt have that level of performance left in me. They thought that the only way Id be able to compete with Ovill was to back off and stay out of range of his power but I beat him at his own game.

We knew Ovill was a come forward fighter but I felt so strong through training that Gary (Lockett, his coach) and I decided our best chance would be to meet him in the centre of the ring.

It was nice to clear up the uncertainty of our first fight which was no fault of Ovills. (In November 2012, Macc appeared to have been rescued prematurely in round two). Mistakes happen and, at the time I was devastated. (Referee) Ian John-Lewis made a call and Im sure once he watched the tape again afterwards, hed have thought differently. But it was pointless crying about it.

People speak about how punishing the second McKenzie fight was but, after a couple of days of eating utter rubbish, I was back in the gym the Tuesday after, with the old sweat suit on to flush it out!

What message do you hope your performance sent out to the boxing community?

That Im a real force to be reckoned with again at 12st 7(lbs).

I know more than anyone that Ive suffered some real bad knockouts in the past but the reality is, I wasnt boxing at my natural weight. Today, Im pretty much the same weight inside the ring as I was when I was knocking out all those world class cruiserweights six or seven years ago. The only difference is that I hit the scales about a stone lighter.

As a cruiserweight champion, Id weigh in and fight at about 13.6, 13.7, whereas my opponents were cutting weight to weigh-in at 14.4, then entering the ring even heavier than that. Often, Id be conceding almost two stones, against world class opposition.

What have you been up to since the second McKenzie?

Ive mostly just been spending time messing with my five kids. Also, since my dad passed away, Ive taken over his amateur gym (Bonymaen ABC).

Id been sort of helping out when dad was alive but Id just mess around for an hour then duck away. Now I have the responsibility of opening and locking up, taking the boys to shows and stuff. Weve some talented boys. Its something I enjoy but its pretty time consuming.

You seem to be really clicking with trainer Gary Lockett, your old stable mate at the Calzaghe gym. What are his qualities as a coach?

After a bit of a fall out with Enzo Calzaghe, I was looking for a new trainer. Gary was the first one I tried and I immediately knew I should have hooked with him earlier. He smiles a lot more these days as a trainer than he ever did as a fighter!

Above all, Im a huge boxing fan and, at the Calzaghe Gym, there was no one to really talk to about boxing and the big fights that were happening until Gary started training there. He was also a real student of the game so we bonded quite quickly.

Garys been there at world level himself and everything he does is in the best interests of his boys rather than for personal or financial gain. Hes got Gavin Rees and myself there two former world champions - but treats us no differently to the youngsters who also train there. Gary takes no messing and likes things done right. If we take a day off from training, we need a sick note from our mams!

For a while, Id fallen out of love with the sport. Im a Catholic but, for a few years, I sort of lost the faith after my dad died and I discovered that my son has autism. But hes making marvellous progress with his speech and can play on his iPad. Its fantastic.

Garys rekindled my interest and the old confidence is returning.

What do you know of Courtney Fry, the former Olympian who challenges you on Saturday? Why did you choose to defend against him?

I got a phone call from Franks office about three weeks ago inquiring how fit I was and whether Id be prepared to fight? Im always ticking over so said: Of course. I didnt ask who the opponent was, I never do.

Courtney kindly helped me out with a few rounds of sparring before my second fight with Ovill. Rather than go to war with him, I took advantage of the fact that hes such a good stand up stylist and tried to compete jabs with him. Hes a nice guy but, come Saturday, well be trying to take each others head off!

How do you expect the fight to pan out?

I dont know. Ive not had too much time to analyse Courtneys style but Gary has prepared me for every eventuality. I can box when I need to but I think Im at my best when Im coming forward.

Why do you retain?

I win cos Im on a quest. I feel my best, mentally and physically, that Ive felt for a long, long time. I still believe I can have a future at world level. People can laugh all they like but Ive still got the power to compete with anyone. The bad times came when I fought outside my weight limit.

So how do you rate the current crop of world champions at 175lbs? Given the choice, which one would suit you best?

Presently, we have a very good crop of champions.

If Im truthful, Ive not seen a great amount of (WBA champ Beibut) Shumenov. (WBO king Sergey) Kovalev seems a pure banger - very, very dangerous - but Ive not really been able to assess his boxing ability. Adonis Stevenson (the WBC boss) seems a good boxer and an awkward southpaw as well as a big hitter.

But if they pitched me with Kovalev or Stevenson thered be no point me standing off them. Id have to try to show them I can punch, as well. Ive always been game. Id just go for it.

Id accept any opening that I was given but, if I could choose one to challenge, Id actually opt for (IBF titlist) Bernard Hopkins. You can never write him off, even at 48, but itd be a real privilege to share the ring with an absolute legend.

Tags: Enzo Maccarinelli


 

 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by Sparked_26, on 12-07-2013
Maybe Macca could be the one to test the Kovalev chin debate. In all likelihood that fight could end in about 30 brutal seconds but if Enzo went left hook happy I bet he would land something very solid.

comment by Ray Stokes, on 12-07-2013
[QUOTE=daggum]honestly enzo is pretty good. remember he used to fight huge cruiserweights. now he's fighting lil men. hopkins is a lil man and enzo would dominate him. kovalev-enzo is 50-50. maybe kovalev would catch enzo but with his new elite level neck(tm amir khan) i think he wins a decision....

comment by Sugar Adam Ali, on 12-07-2013
[QUOTE=techliam]Well at least Enzo won't be getting knocked out in this matchup :D[/QUOTE] lol,, I had the exact opposite reaction " at least hopkins will be able to get a ko" Honestly, i have no problems with this fight,, isnt enzo the euro champ at 175,, if hopkins cant land a froch, chav...

comment by daggum, on 12-07-2013
honestly enzo is pretty good. remember he used to fight huge cruiserweights. now he's fighting lil men. hopkins is a lil man and enzo would dominate him. kovalev-enzo is 50-50. maybe kovalev would catch enzo but with his new elite level neck(tm amir khan) i think he wins a decision.

comment by Alec900, on 12-07-2013
http://i614.photobucket.com/albums/tt224/supnick/original%20content/giggle.gif

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