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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Maccarinelli fight changes again

Enzo Maccarinelli
Maccarinelli hopes to become the first Welshman to regain a world title

Enzo Maccarinelli will face Ola Afolabi for the interim WBO cruiserweight title at the MEN Arena on 14 March.

Afolabi, 28, has a record of 13 wins, one defeat and three draws, all of the London-born fighter's bouts having been in the US, where he is based.

Maccarinelli originally planned to meet Johnathon Banks for the WBO title, then hoped to face Victor Ramirez.

Argentine Ramirez, 24, beat Alexander Alexeev last month and it has been decided that he is not ready.

The Maccarinelli bout will be on the same card as Amir Khan's showdown with Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester.

Nicky Cook will also defend his WBO super-featherweight belt against undefeated mandatory challenger Roman Martinez from Puerto Rico.


Promoter Frank Warren had planned to match Swansea's Maccarinelli against Banks, but Banks will face IBF champion Tomasz Adamek later this month.

Maccarinelli, 28, held the WBO belt from 2006, but lost it when he was knocked out by David Haye in two rounds last March.

The Welshman was due to face Banks, 26, for the WBO belt in London in December, but the Detroit fighter had an ankle injury.

Maccarinelli destroyed last-minute stand-in Matthew Ellis at heavyweight in two rounds at London's ExCeL Arena.

It's been a frustrating few months but it will all be sorted out on 14 March

Enzo Maccarinelli

With Haye now campaigning at heavyweight, Maccarinelli - who has a record of 29 wins (22 knock-outs) and two defeats - is desperate to become the first Welshman to reclaim a world title.

"After the nightmare at Christmas I'm just looking forward to taking my anger out on someone and it will be Afolabi that will get the full brunt of it," said Maccarinelli.

"To be honest I'm not bothered who is put in front of me, I just want to fight, win and get my hands back on my old title again.

"It's been a frustrating few months but it will all be sorted out on 14 March.

"They are making a big thing of Afolabi because he beat Eric Fields. It was a good win but I am a much better fighter than Fields and can punch twice as hard."

Afolabi, who was raised in London but now lives in Los Angeles, is ranked at five by the WBO and 12 by the WBC, and holds the NABO title.

The best win in his career was a 10th-round stoppage of Eric Fields in April last year.

That fight - against an unbeaten US prospect - was taken at a month's notice and was his first bout in two years.

Afolabi has had one bout since, an eight-round points decision over DeLeon Tinsley last August.

see also
Barrera motivated for Khan fight
04 Feb 09 |  Boxing
Khan to face ring legend Barrera
16 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Maccarinelli stops Ellis in two
06 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Banks out of Maccarinelli clash
01 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Awesome Haye stops Maccarinelli
09 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Hide still targeting Maccarinelli
05 Dec 08 |  Boxing
BBC pound-for-pound world rankings
25 Jan 09 |  Boxing
The Enzo Maccarinelli record
30 May 03 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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