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 Last update:  4/1/2014       Read more by Random Hits            &
Gary Lockett Confident Maccarinelli Will Beat Braehmer
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With 30 wins by stoppage Ė including a litany of spectacular one shot count outs Ė on his 44 fight ring slate, perhaps the boxing family should be a bit less dismissive of Enzo Maccarinellís prospects ahead of his audacious world title challenge this weekend.

The Bonymaen bomber ventures behind the old Iron Curtain to face off against German bad boy Juergen Braehmer for the WBO light-heavyweight title in Rostock, east Germany on Saturday evening.

Watch the fight live and exclusive in the UK live from 7pm on Saturday evening by tuning into BoxNation, the Channel of Champions on Sky Ch.437 (HD490)/Virgin Ch.546.† Join at

The likeable Welsh-Italian, a former WBO and WBU World Champion at cruiserweight, has been redeeming himself at 175lbs. Discounting a premature stoppage loss to Ovill McKenzie, he has won six times since resuming his career in November 2011, with five victims capitulating inside distance.

Those stats, coupled with his standing as a thrill-delivering ex world champion, have seen him rewarded with an unlikely return to world level. But can it be a triumphant one?

Prior to departing for the Fatherland, trainer Gary Lockett - the stone faced, stone fisted ex WBU middleweight king whoís widely credited with pumping fresh oxygen into ĎBig Maccís career of late - spoke with boxing writer Glynn Evans about his manís prospects.

What has been the focus of Enzoís preparation?

Simply, finding a way to win the fight. The aim with Enzo is always to correct his technique. I want him to keep his hands high, work his beautiful jab more, move his top half and stay patient. The timeís when heís been kayoed previously have usually been when heís been in control of a fight but has then got reckless chasing a spectacular finish to please the crowd.

Enzo has to trust in his jab, trust in his defence and his technique and, if he does that, heís almost certainly going to land clean once in the fight. Given how hard Enzo hits, once might be enough. He certainly hits harder than Braehmer does.

Do you envisage Braehmerís southpaw stance inconveniencing Enzo?

No, not unduly. Enzo hasnít struggled in sparring with any of the southpaws heís faced for this. But you have to remember that he did hundreds of rounds in the gym with Joe Calzaghe and youíll not get better southpaw sparring that!

Travelling to Germany, youíll probably need to adopt a more adventurous game plan than if you were fighting in Wales. As Enzoís trainer, does it help that you had common attributes as fighters; one shot kayo power and a similar psyche with regard to chasing knockouts?

Thatís a main advantage. Enzo and I have both been knocking people out since we were 13 year old kids. During our careers, we could both just connect with arm punches and the fight would be over. When you have that knowledge and confidence inside of you, thereís a temptation to rush, force the knockout rather than just allow it to happen naturally.

I constantly drum into him the need to be patient. Sometimes on the pads, Enzo really loads up his jab, rams it in, exhales a loud noise as heís doing it. But I can prepare to take the impact. The shots which really shudder my shoulders are the ones when heís relaxed and popping them sharply. Heís such a naturally heavy handed puncher. I still donít think he really realises.

What do you know about the venue, the Stadthalle in Rostock, east Germany?

I have to hold my hands up and say I donít know a lot about it. Iím not big on statistics and Iíve not bothered to find out. Iíd only be guessing at what I expect the capacity to be but whatever it is, I donít expect it to have any impact, one way or the other, on Enzo or the outcome of the fight. I believe that between thirty and forty of Enzoís mates will be travelling over and thatíll be more than enough to drown out the Germans.

Enzo has won major titles overseas before, icing Alexander Kotlobay in a round to bag the European cruiserweight crown, in St Petersburg, Russia, four years ago. What is it about Enzoís character that makes him suited to such challenges?†

Outside the ring, Enzoís such a lovely guy but that shouldnít disguise the fact that heís one of the toughest fellas, mentally and physically, that you are ever going to meet. People donít realise that, for his last fight against Courtney Fry, he entered the ring with a broken nose plus significant ligament damage around his elbow. Throughout his career heís overcome all kinds of obstacles.

Boxing Monthly recently ran a spread: ĎThe Nine Lives of Enzo Maccarinelli.í Well, I think heís now on his last life. At the start of the camp, I explained to Enzo that things were likely to get harder not easier, but heís there now. Heís come through his preparation without any major injuries. All the hard work is done so now he just has to turn up on the night, put it on this guy, and reap the rewards.

Iíve been stressing to Enzo that this is an easier task than some of the stuff heís had to come through previously. Heís had some real bad luck in his personal life and family life over the past few years.

What is your assessment of Braehmer as a fighter? Which of his qualities must Enzo be particularly mindful of?

Braehmerís very talented; very clever out of the southpaw stance. His judgement of distance is exceptional. Heís almost got an amateur style in the manner in which he goes up on his toes and tosses out that range finding jab, before slamming in the back hand.

His defence seems tight and heís a big hitter himself, particularly with the left cross. Technically, I donít see that heís weak in any specific area. Braehmerís 35 so heís not getting any younger either. But because of his conservative style, heís not really been involved in many wars.† I donít think the age of either will influence the outcome.

Everything looks to be favouring the champion. What gives you cause for optimism that Enzo could spring an upset?

His attitude, his dedication, and his application in the gym, after all these years and so many damaging defeats. Heís still prepared to listen. Lately, his defence has improved and Iíve got him to think more.

I donít think that Juergen Braehmer likes to be backed up so we need to force him into a fight. Enzo has got a wonderful jab himself and must apply steady pressure, forcing Braehmer to do work when he doesnít want to.

Obviously, my view is biased but Enzo is a very, very talented fighter. Itís taken him time to settle with me - and heís not yet the finished article that I think he can become - but heís still, and always will be, a monstrous puncher.

Look, win or lose, heís already proven everyone wrong by navigating his way back to a world title challenge when everybody said he was completely washed up and needed to retire before he got seriously hurt.

But Iíd not be at all surprised if he pulls this off. Trawling through Braehmerís record, I canít see that heís faced anybody before that can punch anything like Enzo.

Finally, where would a Maccarinelli victory elevate him to, within Welsh boxing?

A two weight world champion, dropping in weight to achieve it, says it all. Heíd have to be considered one of our greatest ever.

Tags: Enzo Maccarinelli , Juergen Braehmer , Braehmer-Maccarinelli , Braehmer vs. Maccarinelli

 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by zapdos, on 04-01-2014

comment by zapdos, on 04-01-2014

comment by CTC JOHNNY, on 04-01-2014
Enzo is a bum!!!

comment by Fishkie, on 04-01-2014
Locket Is turning out to be a real good trainer. I honestly though Big Enz was shot a few years ago, now he's got a good chance of winning a WT! I hope he shocks a few germans and brings back the belt.

comment by takingaim, on 04-01-2014
He was confident he'd beat Pavlik.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (5) 

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