By Phil D. Jay
New British cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli admitted he lost focus tonight as he took away Shane McPhilbin’s 200lb Lonsdale belt and offered to step up and give the Bulwell boxer a return in the future.
The 31 year-old, who was down twice early on and was saved by an early bell in the first round, when the timekeeper ended the first stanza 47-seconds early, rallied in the latter part of the fight to win his first British title - which he then dedicated to his late father Mario, who passed away in January.
“Nothing against Shane but it must have been the worst I have ever boxed,” Maccarinelli told BoxNation.
“But in fairness it could have been that Shane’s tactics were spot on. He caught me cold the first couple of rounds and it’s lucky I have learned how to take a knee.
“I just thought about my dad for the whole fight to be totally honest.
“I thought I was just going to come in and blow him away but his tactics were spot on.
“He gave me the honour of giving me a fight and of course I will do the same. No problem at all."
McPhilbin, 26, who had fought only 10 times professionally beforehand, cited the Welshman as a hero of his before they fought and was just grateful for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the former WBO champion.
“When he went down the first time it was a massive shock and a big buzz,” explained McPhilbin.
“I though right, I am going to get him. Then when he went down the second time I thought; Yes, I have definitely won.
“He came back but the knockdown (in the ninth) wasn’t a knockdown. You watch it back and you’ll see.
“That’s the way boxing goes. It was an honour just to step in the ring with him and to put him down twice with proper knockdowns, I just hope I can get the rematch.”
On the controversial 47 second-short first round, McPhilbin added: “I didn’t realize the first round was short. It was just a massive buzz and I was trying to get stuck in there. But it has been a dream come true and I just thought I could have got it.”
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net
Tags: Enzo Maccarinelli , Shane McPhilbin , Maccarinelli-McPhilbin , Maccarinelli vs McPhilbin