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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 16:18 GMT
Haye-Macca 'biggest for 15 years'
By Ben Dirs

Enzo Maccarinelli (left) and David Haye
Maccarinelli (left) and Haye have both been beaten once
Frank Warren believes David Haye v Enzo Maccarinelli on 8 March will be the biggest all-British clash since Nigel Benn fought Chris Eubank in 1993.

Haye, the WBC and WBA cruiserweight champion, and Maccarinelli, the WBO title-holder, will put their belts on the line at the O2 Arena in London.

"This is the biggest since Benn-Eubank, without a doubt," said promoter Warren.

"We've got the two biggest punchers in world boxing facing each other - we're going to see something very special."

Londoner Haye, 27, peeled himself off the canvas to sensationally stop France's Jean-Marc Mormeck in Paris in November and claim the WBC and WBA straps.

Swansea's Maccarinelli, also 27, retained his WBO title last month, beating Mohamed Azzaoui in the fourth round at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

We've got two boys who pretty much fight the same way - we like to rip the other guy's head off

Enzo Maccarinelli

And both agreed with Warren that the fight would compare with the Benn-Eubank rematch, which took place in front of 42,000 at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Haye, who has won 20 of his 21 professional fights, 19 inside the distance, said: "We've both got knockout power in either hand, we've shown we've got great big hearts and we've both shown vulnerability in the past and come back to turn the tables.

"People have been constantly saying to me, 'when are you going to fight Maccarinelli?', and now the fight's on I'm happy, and most importantly the fans are happy.

"This is the fight the fans want to see, and if you've never been to a boxing event, this is the one to go to, no doubt about it.

"It's not about money, I want the undisputed title. I was looking at heavyweight and had a fight with [former world champion] Hasim Rahman lined up.

"But I said to [manager and trainer] Adam Booth over Christmas, 'do what you can to make the Enzo fight'.

"After the Mormeck fight I went straight back into training to make sure my weight didn't get too high and stayed healthy and I don't think my weight will be a factor, it's all under control."

606: DEBATE
HH

Maccarinelli, who has 28 wins from 29 fights, with 21 knockouts, added: "This is the fight I've wanted and if it hadn't have happened, the British public would have missed out.

"We've got two boys who pretty much fight the same way - we like to take the other person out, rip the other guy's head off.

"And that's what we're going to try and do on the night. We're both going to train as hard as we've ever trained before and we're going to clash in the centre of that ring.

"Many people expect this to be an early fight, and maybe it will be. But on the other hand, you could maybe witness 12 of the most brutal rounds in British boxing history."

Haye and Maccarinelli have known each other since their amateur days, but both dismissed the idea that their friendship would make the fight a hard sell.

"We don't have to prove ourselves outside the ring, we're two of the most aggressive fighters out there," said Haye.

"Look at our knockout percentages, they're ridiculous, we don't have to scream and shout and turn tables over, it's going to be a war."

And Maccarinelli said: "This is sport and come fight night I'm going to be giving it everything I've got and he'll be doing the same."

Warren added that he expected the 20,000 venue in Greenwich to be full on the night and that the fight would begin at approximately 0130 GMT for the benefit of an American audience.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that WBA light-welterweight champion Gavin Rees will not defend his belt on the undercard against Andreas Kotelnik.

Instead, the bout will take place in Cardiff, with a date and venue yet to be decided.

Warren has also revealed that Cwmbran-based middleweight Gary Lockett and Newbridge light-middleweight Bradley Pryce could get world title shots "within the next six months".

As a mandatory challenger Lockett could face WBO and WBC champion Kelly Pavlik, although that is dependent on the American's defence against Jermain Taylor on 16 February.



SEE ALSO
Macca welcomes Haye's challenge
17 Dec 07 |  Boxing
The Enzo Maccarinelli record
30 May 03 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
05 Nov 07 |  Wales


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