Maccarinelli stuns McKenzie to claim Commonwealth crown
ENZO Maccarinelli’s revenge mission against Ovill McKenzie ended in triumph last night with the popular puncher winning the Commonwealth title.
The 32-year old Boynmaen puncher, trained by Cwmbran’s Gary Lockett and formerly the WBO cruiserweight champion of the world, shocked huge favourite Ovill McKenzie, stopping him in the 11th round of a hugely entertaining contest.
The pair had faced off last November only to be prematurely stopped in the eyes of everyone except the referee, McKenzie winning that one in the second session.
A repeat didn’t look on the cards, especially in the second round where Maccarinelli dominated, landing some clubbing blows and boxing sensibly off his jab as Lockett’s game plan was executed.
The ‘Upsetter’ McKenzie was able to absorb the blows, but still knew he was in for a tough time, having won his previous three contests and looking to move on to bigger and better things post-Maccarinelli.
When the first fight back in November was waved off it was with Maccarinelli pinned to the ropes taking shot after shot, but it was the Derby-trained Jamaican unable to find his footing in the middle of the ring as Maccarinelli won the third session as well.
It’s the Swansea fighters’ chin which takes the most scrutiny these days, especially as his last five defeats have all come by way of stoppage, but he took a punch delivered after the bell by McKenzie at the death of round four well and appeared to be growing in confidence.
An even fifth session followed with the pace slowing a little, a reluctance from Maccarinelli to throw his right hand restricting his ability to catch the eye of the ringside judges.
It was harder and harder to score with Maccarinelli, a fighter with nowhere to go in the event of a defeat, certainly giving as good as he got.
However, he swallowed a booming right hand from McKenzie in the seventh and went jelly-legged, holding and delaying enough to earn a reprieve, McKenzie unable to capitalise on the momentum.
Trainer Lockett was screaming at his man to use his right hand more and to increase the intensity on the inside, Maccarinelli responding with some combinations in the eighth that brought the partisan crowd back to life.
It was an increasingly difficult fight to score or predict but Maccarinelli’s corner were happy with what they were seeing, though trainer Lockett was like a cat on a hot tin roof, constantly urging his man to throw more shots and to act as the aggressor.
Despite some markings around his eyes and a hint of blood Maccarinelli found a second wind around the ninth and tenth sessions, landing crucial left hands that the corner hoped were catching the judges’ attention.
However, in the 11th round Maccarinelli sheer willpower finally told, another booming left hand hurting McKenzie who simply stopped, the referee forced to step in with McKenzie clearly in no condition to continue, this fight, unlike the last one, definitely not stopped too soon.
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