UK Boxing: Maccarinelli vs Lebedev; Paul Edwards Added To Stoke Show

Enzo Maccarinelli and Denis Lebedev will clash in a mouth-watering crossroads fight for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight title on June 27 at the O2 Arena. Both boxers are hoping that victory will lead to a world title opportunity - while neither man wants to contemplate the consequences of defeat. The fight will be part of a huge undercard to Amir Khan's WBA World Light-Welterweight title challenge against Andreas Kotelnik..

Maccarinelli, who has split with former trainer Enzo Calzaghe and is now working with Karl Ince in the north west, is gunning to get his career back on track following a shock loss to Ola Afolabi in his last fight.

Macca was knocked out in the ninth round in an interim WBO title fight, but has vowed to come back stronger.

"I was gutted when I lost, but anyone who has followed my career knows that wasn't the real me in there," said the 28-year-old Welshman.

"I've been a world champion once before and I want to become a world champion again.

"This is a great chance for me to prove myself against an undefeated fighter, and I can't wait for June 27.

"Working with Karl Ince has been fantastic and I've got my hunger back. Things weren't going well in the gym before the Afolabi fight, but this time around there will be no mistakes.

"I'm going to knock out Lebedev and then I'm going after Afolabi for a rematch."

But Moscow-based Lebedev, who like Maccarinelli is promoted by Frank Warren, was equally as confident.

"I've seen Maccarinelli's fights and he is a good boxer," said the 29-year-old, who was won all 17 of his professional fights, 12 by stoppage.

"I know that he wasn't himself against Afolabi, and I have to prepare for a world class opponent.

"But I am so confident of winning this fight.

"Last time out I boxed a very dangerous puncher in Eliseo Castillo and I stopped him in five rounds, and I believe that I will do the same against Maccarinelli.

"Ever since I was a little boy I have wanted to be a world champion, and I am just a couple of fights away from fulfiling my dream."

Warren added: "This is a real crossroads fight for both men, and I know they are going to come out and give it there all because there is so much on the line.

"I'm confident that whoever wins will find themselves fighting for a world title before too long."

Edwards Added To Stoke Show

Red hot prospect Paul Edwards sees action for the third time this year as the flyweight will appear on Frank Maloney's fight card this Friday at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent.

The bill is action packed with scrappy British flyweight champion Chris Edwards defending his title against challenger Usman Ahmed in a rematch and the third professional contest of celebrated 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland.

Edwards, 4-0 (1), has garnered attention since turning pro last summer behind a series of impressive performances in which he didn't lose a round and in his most recent contest, showed improved power by gaining his first stoppage, knocking out Bulgaria's Itsko Veselinov last month at the Indoor Sports Centre in Leigh.

But the fast-handed Liverpool 22 year old will have to be packing bricks in his gloves if he is to KO his opponent on Friday, Francis Croes, in their scheduled six rounder.

Hard-nosed Middlesborough youngster Croes, 0-4 (0), has yet to win a contest since turning pro last October but the North East brawler has watched the shots of his rivals simply bounce off his steel chin and has promised to take away the confidence and unbeaten record of Edwards away at Fenton Manor Sports Complex.

Frank Maloney Presents the Flyweight Championship of Britain between reigning champion Chris Edwards and challenger Usman Ahmed with full undercard at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent, England on Friday, May 29, 2009

Tickets are on sale at 35 and 75 and available from and 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will broadcast live on SS1 starting at 10PM.

Article posted on 24.05.2009

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