UK Boxing: Maccarinelli Ready For Banks; James DeGale; Rendall Munroe

Enzo Maccarinelli has promised an explosive display on December 6 against Johnathon Banks - and says he'll then go on to clean up the cruiserweight division in 2009. The Welsh wizard challenges for his previously held WBO World title against highly-touted American Banks at the ExCeL London. It's his first fight back since losing to David Haye in March, and Maccarinelli is vowing to get back to winning ways in a fortnight's time..

"I watch the Haye fight at least twice a week, and ever since I lost I've been wanting to get back into the ring to prove that I just made a couple of silly mistakes," said Maccarinelli.

"I've been down to box a few times and I've had a few training camps, so I'm in great shape. I just want to get in there and take all my frustration out on Banks and knock him out.

"People might be thinking that I'm going to be cautious after what happened against Haye, but I'm going to get into the middle of that ring and start throwing bombs as soon as the bell goes.

"It's going to be explosive stuff, and once I've taken care of Banks then I'm going after (IBF champion) Steve Cunningham, (WBC champion) Giacobbe Fragomeni and (WBA champion) Guillermo Jones.

"There may be four belts but there should only be one champion, and I badly want to unify the division to make up for what happened against Haye."

Banks, WBO number one, comes to the ring with a reputation as being one of the best prospects in the States, and is part of Manny Steward's Detroit stable.

"I saw his last fight and to be honest he didn't impress me much," said Maccarinelli of Banks' IBO title win against Vincenzo Rossitto in Germany.

"But then he's probably saying the same thing about me. If you saw my last fight you would think I was crap as well.

"I've got plenty of respect for him, but I'm not sure he's got the same for me because he's already talking up a proposed fight with Cunningham. That's a massive mistake to make, and if he has underestimated me then he's in for a big surprise, because I'm fighting fire with fire at the ExCeL.

"And he may have one of the best trainers in the world in Manny Steward, but once he is in the ring Manny can't help."

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DeGale set to decide future in 10 days

Olympic gold medallist James DeGale admits deciding whether or not to turn professional is ‘driving me mad’. The middleweight boxer expects to make an announcement regarding his future very soon.

DeGale told Setanta Sports News he was ‘nearly there’.

“I’m still making this decision. I’m not going to confirm it yet. It’s just a case of signing things. It’s the biggest decision I’ll ever have to make.

“I’m not saying ‘I’m going to go pro’ but I’ll tell you the truth, 80% of me says ‘go professional’.

“In the next week or 10 days it should be announced what I’m doing.”

DeGale added that the success of his fellow British boxers spurred him on.

“I see Calzaghe and Hatton and David Haye win world titles and think ‘that’s me all over’ – the big stadiums, the crowds, the lights.

“My first aim was to become an Olympian and the second aim is to become a professional world champion.

“I’ve achieved the first half of that, so what is there for me to do now?”

Deafening silence from Rendall "No Show" Munroe

Rendall “No Show” Munroe was mysteriously absent from a press conference in Dublin on Monday which confirmed that he will be defending his European Super Bantamweight title in the city next month. Munroe’s no show came after a weekend in which promoter Brian Peters upped his offer for the European Champion to defend his title in Dublin (against a real challenger – Bernard Dunne) to £60,000.

However instead of fighting Dunne in Dublin for real money Munroe and his promoter Frank “Del Boy” Maloney have elected to defend in Dublin against obscure Italian, Fabrizio Trotter for what is likely to be chump change for the champion. Conveniently Munroe wasn’t in Dublin to discuss the offer but Maloney was only too happy to sidestep the issue on his behalf.

“Frank made his usual excuses about needing to see the offer in writing,” said Peters. “That’s the whole reason why I went public on this, my last offer of £40,000 was ignored by Frank other than to mumble some excuse about not wanting to fight in Dublin.

“Obviously with Rendall fighting in Dublin next month that no longer seems to be an issue so I’ve now increased the offer to £60,000 and we’re still getting excuses. I’m amazed to be frank as I was told by a few people that Rendall would jump at the chance to make some real money. He’s obviously either being held back or just doesn’t want to risk his title against Bernard.

“Anyway just to make them put up or shut up I’ve put the offer in writing to him and I’ve also made that written offer public for everyone to see. Frank is still saying that Bernard is “running scared” of Munroe so just to address that I’ve added a £40,000 side bet to the offer between myself and Frank over the outcome of the bout. When I win I'll be more than happy to donate that £40,000 to charity.

“If there are still more excuses after this then I think the public will be able to make up their own minds about just who’s ducking who. After all if it’s the easy fight they think it is then surely £60,000 for Munroe and £40,000 for Frank would be easy money for them particularly given that Munroe is currently earning a only a fraction of that per fight.”

Peters though isn’t hopeful of a positive response. “I’m sure we’ll get more excuses and it’s disappointing as a fight with Bernard would be a great occasion for Irish fight fans although I can’t see too many of them getting excited about Munroe defending his title against Trotter.”

Article posted on 20.11.2008

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