Ola Afolabi Flattens Enzo Maccarinelli In 9th Round Upset!

Enzo Maccarinelliby James Slater - Tonight, in Manchester, Ola Afolabi, a fighter Dino Duva recently called "The best kept secret in boxing," had a night that will now make him no such thing, as he sensationally KO'd former WBO cruiserweight champ Enzo Maccarinelli at 1-minute and 50-seconds of the 9th round. Landing a stunning right hand to the head in the 9th, "Kryptonite" saw his man fall, not to get back up in any shape to fight on.

With the great win, the 28-year-old who was born in London but now lives in California set himself up for some big 200-pound paydays. Now 14-1-3(6), the Freddie Roach-trained Afolabi made good on his pre-fight boast of having a coming out party. Maccarinelli, also 28, fell to 29-3(22) and he will have a hard road back if he's to avoid becoming a yesterday's man.

Maccarinelii, looking in great shape, came out and had a good two opening rounds. Taking the fight to his LA-based foe, the Welshman did more work and put the rounds in the bank. However, there were already signs of the class Afolabi has. Looking for all the world like a peak James Toney, Ola, with his loose-limbed style, showed his eye-catching moves.

Then, in the 3rd, as he was on the ropes, Afolabi showed how dangerous he was. Landing a right hand to Enzo's temple, the Californian saw his opponent do a silly dance. Badly hurt and with his legs in a jellified state, Maccarinelli was in real trouble.

Frustratingly, Afolabi did not push his advantage - and in the next five rounds he was lazy and out-worked. Enzo did some good body work and was far more active, winning the next five sessions handily. Still, there were occasional flashes of danger from the visiting fighter, his right hand to the head clearly his most lethal weapon and Ola tried scoring with it on a number of occasions. For the time being, though, the betting favourite was in command.

Then, way behind on points as he was upon entering the 9th round, the slick Afolabi suddenly had a tiring Maccarinelli looking distressed and on the back foot. Seizing his opportunity, Ola uncorked a peach of a right hand and sent his man to the canvas. Totally gone yet showing gameness in trying to get back up, Enzo was a thoroughly beaten man.

Referee Terry O'Connor waved the action off, as he could see Maccarinelli was all gone. It was a big upset in the eyes of many - though those who knew how good Afolabi is saw no such thing!

Article posted on 15.03.2009

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