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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 11:48 UK

Enzo Maccarinelli 'can regain WBO world title' - Bunce

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

New European cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli has been backed to become the first Welshman to reclaim a world belt.

"The fight to go for is German [WBO cruiserweight champion] Marco Huck," said BBC boxing expert Steve Bunce.

"He's as game as they come, but absolutely basic, made for Enzo. The big money fight is to go to Germany, knock him out and become champ again.

"If that happens... who says fairy tales don't exist?"

Swansea's Maccarinelli, 29, destroyed Russian Alexander Kotlobay in the first round in St Petersburg on Tuesday to win the vacant European crown.

That was easily the Welshman's most impressive performance since losing his WBO crown in a unification bout with current heavyweight king David Haye in March 2008.

Between that second-round defeat and the Kotlobay win, Maccarinelli suffered two devastating stoppage defeats against three victories over journeymen.

"I'm slowly creeping back to the top," Maccarinelli told BBC Sport Wales after crushing Kotlobay.

WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck
Marco Huck holds Maccarinelli's old WBO cruiserweight title

"The European belt ranks you straight in the top 10 of the WBC. I'll speak with my promoter Frank Warren and see where we go.

"I've always been the same, I'm happy to fight anyone on the planet.

"There are four world titles out there and it would be nice to have one of them."

Serbia-born Huck, 25, has won 28 of his 29 fights, 21 by knock-out, his solitary defeat a 12th-round stoppage by Steve Cunningham in a 2007 challenge for the IBF title.

Panama's Guillermo Jones is the WBA champion, while the IBF and WBC belts are vacant.

"Enzo can now walk into a proper world title fight and on his night he can beat anyone," Bunce told BBC Sport Wales. "His head is now in the right place.

"If he had lost in Russia he would have faced an extremely bleak future.

"It's one of the best wins overseas for a British fighter in the last three or four years."

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Maccarinelli turned down the chance of a lucrative appearance in Friday's Prizefighter series in order to go for the European title.

"I'm delighted, not many British fighters come to a place like Russia, but I had the opportunity and took it," said Maccarinelli.

"Kotlobay is a new up-and-coming star in Russia who is ranked very highly.

"The Russians bought into people saying that I was a shot fighter and my best days are behind me.

"I told everyone who would listen that this would be over early. I set my stall out and hit him with a cracking shot, he did well to get up but I just finished him off.

"It was a fight I had to win - every fight is like that for me now.

"I've made a lot of mistakes in the last couple of years - in my preparation, in trying to change things.

"Before I lost to Denis Lebedev I was already talking about retiring if I was defeated - a fighter shouldn't be like that, he needs to be 100% committed.

"Now I'm back to my old style and my old gym and I have a renewed hunger for the sport."



see also
Maccarinelli wins European title
27 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Enzo Maccarinelli in photos
27 Apr 10 |  Boxing
The Enzo Maccarinelli record
30 May 03 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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