Boxing

Can Enzo Maccarinelli become a two-weight world champion?

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Maccarinelli aims to cause an upset in Germany  (©GettyImages)
Maccarinelli aims to cause an upset in Germany (©GettyImages).

Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli is feeling confident ahead of his WBA light-heavyweight title fight against Juergen Braehmer in Germany on Saturday.

The Welshman is aiming to complete one of boxing’s greatest ever comebacks as he attempts to become a two-weight world champion - just two years after he was being urged to retire.
Following heavy losses against big hitters such as David Haye and Dennis Lebedev between March 2009 and October 2010, Maccarinelli moved down in weight and has now won six of his last seven bouts, albeit against mediocre opponents.

The 33-year-old definitely has the odds stacked against him going to Rostock on Germany’s Baltic Coast to fight their local hero Braehmer, but he insists it is not something that bothers him.

He told BoxNation: "When I become world champion I like to think it would be a career turnaround where people say, 'wow', but it doesn't bother me.

"I have fought away in Russia before so going over to Germany holds no fears for me at all.
"Whether you love me, hate me, can't stand me, all the boxing fans know that when the bell rings I will give it everything I've got. I love this sport and do it for nothing other than that."

Maccarinelli has won 38 of his 44 contests in total, but with all six of his defeats being stoppages many began to question his future and if he could still take a punch. 

But, the Swansea man was not ready to give up on a sport he loves so dearly and following three impressive wins last year that put him back in contention for the world title, he now has his shot against Braehmer.

Maccarinelli suffered a dreadful time in 2012 when he lost his father and mentor Mario, saw his son diagnosed with autism and then tested positive for an illegal substance found in a legal supplement he purchased from a leading magazine.

He received a six-month ban for the mishap but has slowly rebuilt his career and the title fight on Saturday could be the last chance the Welshman gets to reach the dizzy heights of the sport once again.

It has been a long, hard journey for Maccarinelli but it could come to a thrilling end should he cause an upset in Germany.

It's a voluntary defence by Braehmer and although Maccarinelli will be picking up the short end of the purse he is just glad to be getting the chance.

His trainer, Gary Lockett, has played a big part in continuing the Welshman's career and is sure his man is capable of proving more people wrong come April 5.

He said: "Braehmer's a very good fighter and it's a difficult challenge for Enzo, but maybe he's getting him at the right time.

"He's older than Enzo and I think he's the weakest of the world champions. I think he's beatable and Enzo's just got to jump on him from the start, don't give him any room and force him to fight.

"Even becoming a Commonwealth champion and getting a world title shot is a story in itself given that everyone - including me at the time - called on him to retire.

"But he has proved us all wrong and if he wins this one they'll be making a film on his life story.
"If you'd said two years ago he would be fighting for a world title then I think people would have laughed in your face."

Braehmer, 35, won the vacant WBA crown in December easily outpointing native American Marcus Oliveira and he will be making his first defence on Saturday.

Maccarinelli’s ‘Rocky-like’ tale is truly inspiring and should the final chapter go accordingly, he will return from Germany as the WBA light-heavyweight champion.


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Topics:
Light heavyweight
Boxing
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