Enzo Maccarinelli has proved he is still a force to be reckoned with
Enzo Maccarinelli destroyed Russian hardman Alexander Kotlobay in the first round on Tuesday night to win the vacant European cruiserweight crown.
Kotlobay had lost just once in his 20 previous fights and started favourite in his home city of St Petersburg.
But former WBO champion Maccarinelli soon had Kotlobay in trouble, an overhand right dropping the Russian.
Kotlobay beat the count and tried to cover up, but Maccarinelli finished things with an uppercut and left hook.
The Russian was clearly in bad trouble and referee Erkki Meronen stepped between the two fighters to signal the end of the fight with a minute left of the first round.
A cagey first minute passed with both fighters sizing up their opponent, before Maccarinelli began to connect with a series of left hooks to the body.
Kotlobay tried to counter with the right but the Welshman slipped under the punches, although he was caught once as he backed away.
Switching to the jab, Maccarinelli kept his Russian opponent respectful with some powerful straight lefts before dropping Kotlobay with an arcing right to the temple.
The home town fighter beat the count but was clearly still groggy and Maccarinelli pounded him on the ropes.
A right uppercut-left hook combination quivered Kotlobay's legs once more and referee Meronen immediately stopped the fight with the Russian in no state to defend himself.
As well as claiming the EBU belt, Maccarinelli underlined he is clearly on the comeback trail as his impressive win followed back-to-back first round victories over Krisztian Jaksi and Zoltan Czekus.
The 29-year-old Welshman lost his WBO title to David Haye in September 2008, before the Englishman stepped up a division to claim the WBA heavyweight crown.
A win over journeyman Matthew Ellis was followed by two damaging losses for Maccarinelli to the little known Ola Afolabi and then Denis Lebedev.
But Swansea boxer Maccarinelli, whose record now improves to 32-4 with 25 KOs, is now firmly in the ascendant.