Rejuvenated Enzo Maccarinelli focused and ready for Braehmer

By Brian Harty

Boxing at Liverpool Echo Arena

Enzo Maccarinelli (L) vs. Courtney Fry on Dec. 7, 2013. Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images.

One would struggle to find someone more pleasant than former WBO cruiserweight titleholder Enzo Maccarinelli. The 6 feet 4 inch boxer-puncher from Wales is one of the most well-liked men in British boxing and, if the last few years are anything to go by, he is as determined as any fighter in the world.

Now campaigning at light heavyweight, the Welshman meets “regular” WBA titleholder Juergen Braehmer in Germany this Saturday (Note: THE RING recognizes Beibut Shumenov as the WBA champion at 175 pounds) but Maccarinelli’s road to securing this particular contest has been beyond arduous.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion,” said the 33-year-old. “After I lost to David Haye [in 2008] there was a period of time where I was trying to find myself and I developed a different style in the ring. I was listening to other people and forgot about what made me successful.

“I moved down to 175 pounds, because I’ve always been a small cruiserweight, and just when things were starting to go my way I lost my Dad, who I was very close to, and my son was diagnosed with autism. Being honest, for the best part of two years, my head was up my ass.”

Following the second-round defeat to Haye, the Welshman was stopped three more times – by Ola Afolabli, Denis Lebedev and Alexander Frenkel. The opponents were far from pushovers but Maccarinelli was being badly hurt, and the British boxing fraternity called unanimously for his retirement.

Determined to leave the sport on his terms, “Macca” embarked on an unlikely comeback and succeeded in silencing scores of critics. Remarkably, given the circumstances, he has annexed British and Commonwealth crowns at cruiserweight and light heavyweight, respectively, and now claims to be ready for Braehmer, who is 42-2 (31 knockouts).

Juergen Braehmer Press ConferenceMaccarinelli said, “Training for this fight has been great, and although there have been some niggles here and there, that’s just boxing. Could camp have been better? Yes. Could it have been worse? It could have been a lot worse – I’m fit, strong and ready to go.

“We did a circuit on the heavy bag today and I averaged between 120 and 150 power punches per round for 15 rounds. My fitness levels are beyond reproach, it’s just that I didn’t manage to get in all the sparring I would have liked.”

Braehmer, rated No. 5 at light heavyweight by THE RING, is the first southpaw that Maccarinelli will have faced for 5 years, but the Welshman dismissed the lefty labyrinth and refuses to be intimidated by the task which lies ahead.

“Braehmer is very loose and he’s a good boxer,” said Maccarinelli. “He’s got a kind of amateur style and if you look at his early pro fights you’ll see that he hasn’t really changed over the years. He’s up on his toes, bouncing, and he likes to dictate everything behind that long right jab.

“I’ve learned during my career that if I overanalyze a fight then things go wrong. I’ve watched opponents on DVD for hours, studied their style, only to have them do something completely different on fight night. I’m not worried about what Braehmer has planned. I’m focused on what I need to do.”

Both men can crack, but Braehmer has never been stopped in a 15-year professional career and Maccarinelli, as the visiting fighter, will be hoping to end that streak with the speed of an executioner’s guillotine.

“We’ll see what happens but I’m capable of ending a fight at any time,” said Maccarinelli (38-6, 30 KOs). “People are saying that Braehmer has never been stopped but if you look at his record there’s nobody on it who can do what I can do.

“There’s no pressure on me fighting over there and when the bell rings, Braehmer’s fans, friends, family and compatriots can’t fight for him. As I said, I lost my Dad a couple of years ago and I’ve got a funny feeling that he’ll be watching me on fight night.

“I’m going to win, whether it’s on points or by knockout – I will win. I’ll show Braehmer things that he’s never seen before.”

British fight fans can see Braehmer vs. Maccarinelli LIVE on Saturday 5th April on BoxNation via Sky Channel 437 or Virgin Channel 546. The channel is also available in HD (Sky only) on Channel 490. Coverage begins at 7.00pm. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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Source: The Ring

    

BWAA to honor Floyd Mayweather Jr. two days before Marcos Maidana fight

By Lem Satterfield

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Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be honored as the recipient of the “Sugar Ray Robinson Award” for the “2013 Fighter of the Year” from the Boxing Writers Association of America on May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, site of Mayweather’s RING, WBC and WBA 147-pound championship defense against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana two days later.

The 89th-annual BWAA banquet will also honor the WBO welterweight bout between Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov as “Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year” and Freddie Roach as the winner of the “Eddie Futch Award for Trainer of the Year.”

In addition, the BWAA has named Al Haymon, advisor to Mayweather and many other world-class boxers, as the winner of the “Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year Award.”

Last September, Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) dethroned Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by majority decision for the RING and WBC 154-pound championships in a bout that became the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with nearly $150 million in revenue reported.

Mayweather-Alvarez eclipsed the $136 million earned by Mayweather’s 2007 victory over Oscar De la Hoya, the last time Mayweather was named the BWAA’s “Fighter of the Year.”

Last May, Mayweather, who turned 37 last month, unanimously decisioned Robert Guerrero in defense of the WBC 147-pound title he had earned by dethroning Victor Ortiz via fourth-round stoppage in September of 2011, also cementing his status as RING welterweight champion.

Mayweather’s promotional company has several fighters, one of whom, Ishe Smith, briefly held the IBF’s junior middleweight belt.

Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in March in defense of the belt he won by split decision over Manny Pacquiao in June. Bradley followed that up with a split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in October.

Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) rebounded with October’s 10th-round stoppage win that dethroned Mike Alvarado as WBO 140-pound beltholder.

Already a five-time winner of the “Trainer of the Year Award,” Roach guided Pacquiao to a comeback, unanimous decision victory over Brandon Rios in November, this, after having been a major influence in Provodnikov’s victory over Alvarado.

Roach referred Provodnikov to assistant Marvin Somodio against Alvarado as he traveled to General Santos City, Philippines, to train Pacquiao for Rios.

Roach also helped revive the career of three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto and will be in his corner when he challenges RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez on June 7 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Haymon’s stable includes Mayweather, Maidana, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Adonis Stevenson, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Lucas Matthysse, Chad Dawson, Robert Guerrero, Luis Collazo, Lamont Peterson, Leo Santa Cruz, Deontay Wilder, Gary Russell Jr., Peter Quillin, Sakio Bika, Anthony Dirrell, Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Chris Arreola, Edwin Rodriguez, Austin Trout and Anthony Peterson.

Two of Haymon’s major signings in 2014 were Maidana, in advance of his unanimous decision that dethroned Broner as WBA 147-pound beltholder on December 14, and Malignaggi in the wake of his unanimous decision over Zab Judah on December 7.

Malignaggi, also a Showtime ringside boxing analyst, has been named the winner of the BWAA’s “Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.”

Former welterweight titleholder Paul Williams will be the recipient of the BWAA’s recipient of the “Bill Crawford Award for Courage in Overcoming Adversity.”

Williams has remained active and maintained his zest for life despite having suffered a career-ending motorcycle accident at the age of 30 in May of 2012 that rendered him paralyzed from the waist down.

Williams, now 32, retired with a record of 41-2 (including 27 knockouts) following a unanimous decision over Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida in February of 2012. The fighters once known as “The Punisher” still goes hunting, fishing and boating.

Tied for honors as the recepients of the “Barney Nagler Long and Meritorious Service Award” were Lee Samuels, a 32-year publicist for Top Rank Promotions, and respected broadcaster Colonel Bob Sheridan.

Other honorees were Showtime’s boxing announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. for the “Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award,” ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael for the “Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism” and Sandy Grady as the “A.J. Liebling Award” recepient for “Outstanding Boxing Writing.”

For more information, go to the BWAA’s website by clicking here.

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Source: The Ring

    

Broner, Molina, Love, Periban Quick Quotes

By Togorashi Former Three-Division World Champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner, junior welterweight contender Carlos Molina, undefeated super middleweight contender J’Leon Love and NABF Super Middleweight Champion Marco Antonio Periban hosted an international media conference call to discuss their recently announced pay-per-view undercard …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Sturm vs Soliman rematch set for May 31 in Germany

By Scott Christ

Felix Sturm will put his IBF middleweight title on the line against Sam Soliman in a rematch of their 2013 bout.

Felix Sturm will defend the IBF middleweight title on May 31 against Sam Soliman in a rematch of their February 2013 fight, which Soliman won in Germany, before the fight was changed to a no-contest after Soliman failed a post-fight drug test.

Sturm (39-3-2, 18 KO) rebounded with early stoppage wins over Predrag Radosevic, which was predictable, and then Darren Barker, which was not. Sturm toppled Barker in two rounds on December 7 to win the IBF belt, physically dominating him before Barker’s corner stopped the bout due to a re-injured hip, which retired the British fighter from the sport.

Soliman (43-11, 18 KO) is 0-2 in prior world title fights, both losses at 168 pounds to fellow Australian Anthony Mundine. After a nine month suspension for the failed drug test, Soliman returned in December to stop Les Sherrington in nine rounds.

The May 31 bout will be held at König Palast in Krefeld, Germany.

Source: Bad Left Hook

    

Lem’s latest: Orlando Cruz, Felix Verdejo return on April 19

By Lem Satterfield

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Puerto Rican fighters Orlando Cruz and Felix Verdejo will return to action in separate bouts on April 19 at the Bahia Shriners Event Center in Orlando, Fla., on UniMas’ Solo Boxeo Tecate, Top Rank Promotions and All Star Boxing have announced.

Cruz (20-3-1, 10 knockout) has a featherweight bout against countryman Gamalier Rodriguez (23-2-3, 16 KOs), a 27-year-old winner of 15 consecutive fights, 12 by knockout.

A 20-year-old former Olympian, Verdejo (11-0, 8 KOs) will pursue his third straight stoppage win against an opponent to be determined in a lightweight bout.

Cruz was last in the ring in October when he was knocked out in the seventh round by former two-time titleholder Orlando Salido in a failed attempt to win the WBO’s vacant featherweight belt.

Cruz was attempting to become the first openly gay boxer to win a major belt but instead witnessed the end to his four-fight winning streak, which included three knockouts.

“I want to thank Top Rank and All Star Boxing for this opportunity to redeem myself by getting me this [regional] title fight with Rodriguez,” said Cruz. “By winning this fight, I will be right back on the verge of another world title opportunity and conquer my dream of being a world champion.”

FRANK GALARZA FIGHTS FRANKLIN GONZALEZ ON SATURDAY

Brooklyn junior middleweight Frank Galarza (12-0-2, 8 KOs) will be after his fourth straight stoppage win, this time against Franklin Gonzalez (16-12, 10 KOs) on Saturday’s International Fight Night show from the Resorts World Casino New York City in Jamaica, Queens, according to a release.

Galarza is 4-0-1 with four knockouts in his last five bouts, and is coming off January’s second-round stoppage of previously unbeaten John Thompson.

NEVADA BOXING HALL OF FAME’S “PARTY WITH BOXING’S LEGENDS” ON APRIL 11

The Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame will hold its “Party with Boxing Legends” event on April 11 in the Havana Room of the New Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Held the night before the rematch between WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the event has confirmed the attendance of former champions Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Mike McCallum, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Ishe Smith, Kevin Kelley and Clarence “Bones” Adams.

“We are excited to kick off our 2014 events and especially thrilled to be hosting this event at the all-new Tropicana resort in Las Vegas. Fans will absolutely be blown away by the Havana Room. Not only is it one of the most elegant and unique Las Vegas event venues but it’s the perfect backdrop for this night of fun and fundraising,” said Rich Marotta, Founder and President of the NVBHOF.

“The event will be a combination meet-and-greet, autograph and photo session with music mixed in and a great raffle for boxing memorabilia. With the Pacquiao-Bradley fight the next night, and the ESPN Friday show earlier that night, we are hoping boxing fans in Vegas take advantage of this unique opportunity to engage boxing legends up close.”

Others expected on hand are referees Kenny Bayless and Richard Steele, broadcasters Al Bernstein of Showtime, Harold Lederman of HBO and internationally known Colonel Bob Sheridan and trainer Miguel Diaz.

The event begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are going for $35 in advance and $45 at the door.

NAIM NELSON FACES JEROME RODRIGUEZ IN A CLASH OF UNBEATENS

Philiadelphia’s Naim Nelson (11-0, 1 KO) will battle southpaw Jerome Rodriguez (6-0-3, 2 KOs) of Trenton, N.J., on May 16 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, promoter J. Russell Peltz announced on Tuesday.

The post Lem’s latest: Orlando Cruz, Felix Verdejo return on April 19 appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring

    

Marquez-Alvarado Ticket Alert

By Togorashi Boxing is back at the Forum (3900 West Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, Calif. 90305) and the historic inaugural brawl will feature four-division world champion and Méxican icon JUAN MANUEL “Dinamita” MÁRQUEZ battling former junior welterweight world champion and the pride of …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Gary Lockett: Enzo Maccarinelli has power advantage against Juergen Braehmer

By Scott Christ

Enzo Maccarinelli may be getting his last world title shot, but trainer Gary Lockett believes he has the thunder to make it count.

Enzo Maccarinelli’s power could be the difference when he faces WBA “regular” light heavyweight titlist Juergen Braehmer this Saturday in Germany, according to trainer and former middleweight title challenger Gary Lockett, who says that Maccarinelli just needs to be patient:

“Enzo has to trust in his jab, trust in his defence and his technique and, if he does that, he’s almost certainly going to land clean once in the fight. And, given how hard Enzo hits, once might be enough. He certainly hits harder than Braehmer does.

“Enzo has been knocking people out since he was 13. When you have that knowledge and confidence inside of you, there’s a temptation to rush, force the knockout rather than just allow it to happen naturally.

“I constantly drum into him the need to be patient. He’s such a naturally heavy handed puncher. I still don’t think he really realises.”

Maccarinelli (38-6, 30 KO) is without question a powerful puncher, and that has been the source of most of his success in the game. A former world cruiserweight titleholder and the current Commonwealth champion at 175, Enzo’s main issues have been stamina, which has led to a shoddy defense at times, and that has exposed a bad chin.

But is Lockett right that Maccarinelli has the power to pull the upset on Saturday? Absolutely. He’s got the kind of fight-changing power that really could turn any bout on a dime and end things in a flash. Braehmer is a good fighter and a solid technician, but Lockett isn’t just blowing smoke here. The power of Maccarinelli is real, and could spell upset.

Source: Bad Left Hook