Champion Haye 'upset' by Enzo Maccarinelli's latest ring setback

David Haye WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye has commended former cruiserweight rival Enzo Maccarinelli for the heart shown during Saturday's (September 18) seventh round stoppage loss to German Alexander Frenkel, but admitted the manner of defeat “upset” him.

European cruiserweight champion Maccarinelli was ahead on the scorecards when entering the seventh round of his first title defence in Birmingham, but a vicious left-hook from Frenkel ended both the Swansea man's title reign and his dream of winning back his WBO world title.

Now competing as a heavyweight, Haye snatched Maccarinelli's WBO strap from him in March 2008 and, in the space of merely two-and-a-half years, has watched the fortunes of both men differ..

“I found it extremely upsetting and sobering to watch Enzo lose like that on Saturday,” admitted Haye, present at ringside in Birmingham. “Enzo is one of boxing's true gentlemen and he'd shown a tremendous amount of guts and heart to rebound from defeat and win the European belt. I was desperate for him to win back his old world title, but it just wasn't meant to be.

“I actually saw Enzo leave in the ambulance after the show on Saturday had ended, and it was quite an emotional sight. It was only two years ago that Enzo and I were squaring off in the biggest all-British unification match in years. We were both 27 at the time and we both had the world at our feet. I was the number one cruiserweight in the world, Enzo was number two, and we both had dreams of unifying the division.

“It just goes to show what a fickle and unfair sport this can be sometimes.”

Since losing in two rounds to Haye in 2008, Maccarinelli has lost a further three cruiserweight bouts, including Saturday's shocking setback against Frenkel. The proud Welshman was stopped in all three of those subsequent defeats, and former foe Haye has urged Maccarinelli to think wisely about his reasons for still being involved in the sport.

“It's not for me to say whether Enzo should retire or not, but he needs to be surrounded by the right kind of people and he needs to listen to the right kind of advice,” said Haye.

“I was disgusted with the way the referee and Enzo's own corner allowed him to continue to fight on following the first knockdown on Saturday. He was hit by a huge left-hook, went down as though he'd been knocked clean out, and then somehow bravely pulled himself to his feet.

“Anybody who knows boxing - and anybody who knows Enzo - would have been aware that the fight should have been stopped immediately. He was in a far worse state following that first knockdown on Saturday than he was when I stopped him.

“However, the referee and corner stupidly allowed him to continue and we all saw what happened next. What were these people expecting Enzo to do at that stage? He was never going to turn things around in the state he was in. Everybody at ringside was shouting for the fight to be stopped, as we all knew what was about to happen.

“His corner need to take a long, hard look at themselves and question why they let him continue trying to fight beyond that first knockdown. Boxers rely on their cornermen for protection and, unfortunately, Enzo's let him down badly on Saturday. I only hope the people around him have his best interests at heart and now guide him towards the correct decision going forward.”

*** David Haye defends his WBA world heavyweight title on Saturday, November 13 against British rival Audley Harrison at Manchester's M.E.N. Arena, live on Sky Box Office HD. For tickets, call 0844 847 8000 or visit ***

Article posted on 20.09.2010

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