By Alexey Sukachev
Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, West Midlands - Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (35-5, 27KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over considerable underdog Shane McPhilbin (8-3, 5KOs) to capture the British cruiserweight title, and in doing so he fulfills the dream of his father. The scores were 115-111, 116-110, and 115-110 for Enzo - but the fight itself was extremely controversial as was the final outcome.
In the final minute of the first round, McPhilbin, who had already been hurt by Maccarinelli's power punches a moment earlier, landed a left hook to drop Enzo down hard, and the former champion looked very hurt. For some reason, the bell rang when Enzo made it up at the count of nine. The referee Ian John-Lewis, whose work was very much sub-par on this particular night, ordered both boxers to return to their corners but not before giving Enzo an additional five seconds to recover. There was 47 seconds left on the clock, when Enzo was saved by the timekeeper's screwjob.
In the second round, Enzo was hurt for a second time and made it to the bell by going into the survival mode. In the first minute of the third round, Enzo was knocked down with combination - except this time he didn't seem badly hurt. Enzo had a better offensive display in the final 30 seconds and dropped McPhilbin down twice; but both falls were not ruled as knockdowns.
Enzo started boxing better in the fourth and in the fifth, with the champion getting rapidly tired. The champion came back in the sixth, with Enzo bouncing back in the seventh. After a good eight round, Enzo scored a knockdown in the ninth after rocking McPhilbin with a hard shot on the button to bend him forward with both hands and knees touching the mat. After a replay was shown, it appeared that Enzo may have leaned a bit on the champion to force him down. The end of the fight was in Maccarinelli's favor, who had much more left in his tank. McPhilbin never stopped trying but his momentum had been completely lost in the first half of the fight.
Light welterweight domestic contender Martin Gethin moved forward to improve his record to 21-3-1, with 8 KOs, after a fourth-round stoppage of a Hungarian no-hoper Csaba Torma (6-7, 5 KOs). Torma has been steadily battered all the way through until Gethin stopped him at the ropes with another powerful combination.
Thomas Costello (10-0-1, 4 KOs) presented himself as a terrific body-puncher, when he first battered and then stopped hapless Slovakian Lubomir Weis (7-25-3) into the first round. A series of crushing left hooks got the job done for Costello.
Cruiserweight Chris Keane (5-0, 1 KO) looked fairly good, but clearly not impressed anyone with his safety-first defense-based win over tough-as-nails Lithuanian Remigijus Ziausys (21-48-3, 10 KOs). Ziausys was an aggressor throughout an entire fight but he was also eating more punishment than stylistically perfect Keane, whose hands were faster, and who circled over the Lithuanian all way out. The referee, who was also an only judge of the fight, scored it 60-54 - for Keane, while BoxingScene saw it a bit closer at 59-56. Ziausys, only 27, was stopped just once in his career by a feared power puncher Alexander Frenkel.
Super middleweight prospect Grant Cunningham (3-0, 1 KO) PTS 4 Ryan Clark (2-53-4). The sole score by the referee was 40-36. BoxingScene saw it 39-38 - also for Cunningham.