Swansea dog of war Enzo Maccarinelli endeavours to reclaim the EBU cruiserweight belt against Ukraine hard case Dmytro Kucher at the York Hall on Friday. Glynn Evans highlights past nights when ‘Big Macc’ fried the opposition.
1) Bruce Scott, Cardiff, June 2003
The Swansea Jack was still only 22 and his 14 fight slate had already been stained with a stoppage defeat, when he was pitched against the teak tough Jamaican veteran for the WBU strap at the CIA.
Macc was further inconvenienced by being rushed into the battle zone before he’d had an opportunity to warm up properly and he found his ass on the carpet – courtesy of a clubbing left – inside the opening minute.
But capitalising on his physical advantages, the Welshman boxed his way back into contention with commendable maturity before announcing himself to the fraternity by flattening the ex British and Commonwealth king with a hellacious left hook in round four.
2) Marcelo Dominguez, Cardiff, July 2006
Known as ‘El Toro’, the squat 5ft 9in Argentine and South American heavyweight champ had never been knocked off his perch in a 48 fight career – that included spats with 7ft Russian giant Nikolai Valuev plus three other world champions – when he swaggered into the Millennium Stadium for this WBO ‘interim’ cruiser clash.
In his first start under Enzo Calzaghe, Macc, now 25, dispensed a brutal beating for eight rounds but failed to budge the smirking Argie .....until a single uppercut from his less favoured right hand, caused Senor Marcelo to topple like a tree in the opening minute of round nine.
The finish provided a double exclamation mark to sign off a quality all round performance which left promoter Frank Warren proclaiming Maccarinelli as ‘the world’s hardest puncher, pound for pound.’
3) Mark Hobson II, Manchester, October 2006
The Huddersfield bailiff had run mighty Macc mighty close in a 12 round Fight of the Year contender for the WBU crown at the same MEN venue just seven months earlier.
But with ring walks delayed until 11.30, the Welsh warlord was in no mood to detain punters from their pints any longer and duly bombed out ‘Hobbo’ with a single right hand behind the ear in just 71 seconds.
Of his 26 fights at this stage, Maccarinelli had curtailed exactly half inside two rounds and the drum was beating loudly for a shootout with rising European king David Haye.
4) Wayne Braithwaite, Cardiff, July 2007
A brief and combustible bang-up was predicted when the 26 year old – already a father of four- put his WBO belt up for tender for a third time against big-hitting ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite at a sparsely filled CIA.
But after damaging his right hand whilst warming up on the pads, Macc adjusted his attack and thought his way to victory behind his undervalued jab.
The Brooklyn-based man from Guyana, a former WBC champ, came to win but Maccarinelli dumped him with his signatory left hook in round five and passed examinations of stamina, durability and concentration en route to a landslide 12 round decision win.
5) Alex Kotlobay, St Petersburg, Russia, April 2010
Though only 29, the Welsh-Italian was dismissed as frayed goods after enduring emphatic exterminations in his previous three title spats.
His co-challenger for the vacant European belt at the Yubileiny Sports Palace was 30 year old home hero Kotlobay, a destroyer who’d heard the final bell in just one of his previous nine. The omens were ominous.
Few were surprised then, when the fight was history after just 135 seconds. But almost all were astonished that it was Maccarinelli who delivered the execution; an overhand right confirming that Macc still carried genuine take-out power, with any shot from either glove.
6) Ovill McKenzie, Cardiff, August 2013
Having dipped down to 175lbs after a fifth stoppage loss to the Ukraine’s Alex Frenkel, Maccarinelli was left to smoulder for nine months when referee Ian John-Lewis called a farcically premature end to his title debut at light-heavy against the Commonwealth king from Jamaica.
Thankfully, the veterans re-convened at the Motorpoint Arena and served up a high-grade, topsy-turvy grueller in which both tottered on the brink of defeat....and retirement!
Macc was never quite as explosive at 12st 7lbs but, buoyed by the home crowd, he paced his race better. By round 11, McKenzie was defenceless and shipping stick when rescued by the referee.
7) Roy Jones Jr, Moscow, December 2015
Future first ballot Hall of Famer Jones, now a Russian citizen, had won eight straight over the previous four years and was chasing a world cruiserweight crown that had previously bypassed him.
But Maccarinelli delivered further proof that the last attribute to desert an aging gladiator is his punch. Back up at cruiser – after a gallant but abortive WBA light-heavy challenge to Juergen Braehmer in Rostock – Enzo ruthlessly dropped the guillotine in round four.
A brutal right hand put Jones, 46, out to the world – and hopefully out to graze – and cemented Maccarinelli as a credible co-challenger to the WBC and WBO ranked Kucher at York Hall on Friday.