It’s a desperate state of affairs when once great fighters fail to acknowledge that time has caught up with them – it’s a good deal more distressing when that dissipation is so glaringly obvious to all and sundry but is ignored by the fighter. Enzo Maccarinelli, the former WBO World Cruiserweight Champion, took to the ring Friday in a largely meaningless encounter to persuade himself that he’s still a force after going 4-4 in his last 8, with each of those losses featuring Enzo flat on his back.
What’s remarkable about Maccarinelli’s comeback is that at the age of 32 he’s made use of a 14 month layoff to boil his body down to Light-Heavyweight, presumably to make capital use of his much-vaunted and undoubted power against lighter foes, but also to give his horribly fragile chin a little respite from big punching cruisers.
In the event Maccarinelli’s “battle” with unbeaten (11-0) Gyorgi Marosi was anything but. Marosi, a Hungarian, gave away 6 inches in height to the towering 6 feet 4 inch Welshman, and the moment Enzo’s stiff jab thundered into Marosi’s noggin in the opening seconds of the fight, it was clear that a non-contest was on the cards. It was all over a minute and a half later, when a Maccarinelli left hook exploded on Marosi’s jaw, sent him staggering into the ropes, and a following left and right brought the referee in between the two of them to call it off.
Enzo’s pugilistic existence has largely been played out in the shadow of gym-mate Joe Calzaghe (Calzaghe’s father remains in his corner), and he started to unravel back in 2008 when he unwisely exposed his chin to the powerful punches of David Haye, and then it all spiralled out of control when Ola Afolabi and Dennis Lebedev (yes, the same guy who is forging a name for himself beating up on the aged and infirm) knocked him out badly in successive fights in 2009.
After Friday night’s skirmish Maccarinelli moves to 33-5 with 26 KO’s, and it will remain intriguing to see if he can make any kind of dent at 175 pounds. In reality, however, Enzo’s a shot fighter with a prodigious punch and china chin who will always put bums on seats, but it’s as inevitable as nightfall that at some point soon someone will again put his lights out. There are those of us wish he’d acknowledge the inevitable, and get out before he’s shipped too much more unnecessary punishment.
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