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Maccarinelli Talks Huck vs. Afolabi; Warren Show Changes

BoxNation’s Enzo Maccarinelli Assesses The Huck-Afolabi Fight

Having pushed Alex Povetkin to the wire in an audacious WBA World Heavyweight title challenge in February, Serbian icon Marco ‘Kapt’n’ Huck makes a swift return to battle this Saturday, intent on clearing up some unfinished mess at 200lbs.

At the Messehalle, Erfurt, Germany, the 27 year old Berlin based WBO cruiser king defends his belt for a ninth time with an overdue commitment against south London born Ola Afolabi. Huck nabbed a tight, many say debatable, 12 round decision over the now Las Vegas residing Nigerian in December 2009 and the re-sit between two explosive punchers promises to be spicy.

Reigning British cruiser champ and BoxNation commentator Enzo Maccarinelli, a former ninth round kayo victim of the challenger, provides an insightful preview of what promises to be a high grade and potentially combustible affair.

Huck v Afolabi is live and exclusive tomorrow night on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).  Join at www.boxnation.com

Big Macc says: “No excuses for when Afolabi beat me. Sparring extensively with both Klitschkos has clearly given him a lot of confidence and he’s a very tricky customer who uses the ropes very well, has this sort of ‘rope-a-dope’ thing going on. He’s a good counterpuncher and sort of prompts you into trying to counterpunch his counterpunches.

Obviously Ola can whack, as he showed against both me and Terry Dunstan, though I have to say that his knockout of me was as much due to my exhaustion as anything; exhaustion that he caused, to be fair. I trained very hard and, for that fight, I packed a lot of weight on. Ola made me miss a lot which fatigued me, and I shot my load after three rounds. He tired me out, made me overreach, then caught me flush with a massive shot – a peach of a right hand- over a lazy left that I threw.

I think the secret to beating Afolabi is to keep your work rate high and force him onto the back foot but, lately, he’s become far better at coming forward. He absolutely destroyed Valery Brudev with long shots last time out (rtd 5, March).

Marco’s greatest attribute is his aggression. He hits very hard and doesn’t care where he hits you. He’s big at the weight and naturally very strong as he showed against Povetkin. He did very well in that fight.

German fans are notoriously sedate because the majority of their fighters are sedate; nice, tight technicians. But Huck comes out exploding. The way to beat Huck is to be able to bang yourself, grab his attention. Otherwise, he’ll just walk through you. I always really fancied the fight when I was big myself. It certainly would’ve been exciting.

He’s good but far from unbeatable. I thought Afolabi beat him in their first fight and I also felt that Denis Lebedev beat him. I fancy Ola to dominate even more decisively this time. He’s a very smart fighter and I don’t think he’ll allow Huck to land his heavy punches. I pick Afolabi as a clear points winner and, in Germany, it’ll have to be very clear!”

SCHEDULE CHANGES TO FORTHCOMING FRANK WARREN AND QUEENSBERRY PROMOTIONS SHOWS

With the late cancellation of the BoxAcademy show at the Troxy that was due to take place tomorrow in London and injury problems on other shows, Frank Warren Promotions and Queensberry Promotions have made some changes to their forthcoming schedule of events.

The Frank Warren show at the Liverpool Olympia on Friday 11th May, headlined by Stephen Smith's WBO Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title defence against Francisco Urena, has been cancelled after Urena pulled out injured.

Liverpool stars Joe Selkirk, Rocky Fielding and Paul Butler, who were featuring on the undercard, will now go on the debut Queensberry Promotions BoxAcademy show which will take place on Friday 18th May at the Oldham Leisure Centre. 

Ronnie Heffron had to withdraw from his clash with Liam Smith on the Oldham card due to a hand injury, so unbeaten light-middleweight star Selkirk will now joint-headline alongside super-middleweight ace Rocky Fielding, in separate ten-round contests.

Unbeaten Liverpool light-middleweight talent Smith will go on the Newport Sports Centre card on Friday 25th May which is headlined by Lee Selby's Commonwealth Featherweight title defence against Patrick Okine.

In addition, Frank Warren has confirmed a show for Friday 1st June at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, headlined by new Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Stephen Smith will be on the undercard.

Saunders stopped Tony Hill inside an explosive 30 seconds at the Royal Albert Hall last Saturday night to win the title and will be making the first defence of the belt.

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