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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 16:19 UK

Tough comeback for Maccarinelli

Enzo Maccarinelli
Maccarinelli is desperate to become the first Welshman to regain a world title

Ex-world cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli will face Denis Lebedev at the O2 Arena on 27 June, his first bout since leaving trainer Enzo Calzaghe.

Moscow southpaw Lebedev, 29, has won all 17 of his fights, and the victor may be in line for a world title shot.

Swansea's Maccarinelli, now trained by Karl Ince, knows this could be his last shot at glory at 28-years-old and with two defeats in his last three fights.

"I've been a world champion before and I want to be one again," he said.

"This is a great chance for me to prove myself against an undefeated fighter, and I can't wait for 27 June.

606: DEBATE

"Working with [Preston's] Karl Ince has been fantastic and I've got my hunger back.

"I'm going to knock out Lebedev and then I'm going after [Ola] Afolabi for a rematch."

The bout, for the vacant WBO intercontinental cruiserweight title, will be on the undercard of Amir Khan's WBA light-welterweight title challenge against Andreas Kotelnik.

Maccarinelli's last appearance at the O2 Arena was in March 2008 when he suffered a second-round knock-out in a cruiserweight unification clash with David Haye.

I'm confident that whoever wins will find themselves fighting for a world title before too long

Promoter Frank Warren

He stopped heavyweight Matthew Ellis in two rounds at London's ExCeL Arena last December, before the shock ninth-round knock-out to Afolabi in March, his third defeat in 32 fights.

Now Lebedev - who, like his opponent, is promoted by Frank Warren - is out to shatter Maccarinelli's dream of becoming the first Welshman to regain a world title.

"I've seen Maccarinelli's fights and he is a good boxer," said the Russian, who is untested at the highest level.

"I know that he wasn't himself against Afolabi, and I have to prepare for a world-class opponent.

"But I am so confident of winning this fight. Last time out I boxed a very dangerous puncher in Eliseo Castillo and I stopped him in five rounds, and I believe that I will do the same against Maccarinelli.

"Ever since I was a little boy I have wanted to be a world champion, and I am just a couple of fights away from fulfilling my dream."

Warren added: "This is a real crossroads fight for both men, and I know they are going to come out and give it their all because there is so much on the line.

"I'm confident that whoever wins will find themselves fighting for a world title before too long."



see also
Maccarinelli leaves Calzaghe camp
08 May 09 |  Boxing
Maccarinelli wants Afolabi again
19 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Warren's warning to Maccarinelli
15 Mar 09 |  Boxing
BBC pound-for-pound world rankings
31 Aug 10 |  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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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Telegraph Enzo Maccarinelli faces make or break fight against Russian Denis Lebedev - 2 hrs ago
East Side Boxing UK Boxing: Maccarinelli vs Lebedev; Paul Edwards Added To Stoke Show - 7 hrs ago
Sky Sports Big Macc set for comeback - 27 hrs ago
Setanta Sports Maccarinelli set for June return - 44 hrs ago
Sporting Life BIG MACC SET FOR RETURN - 45 hrs ago


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