Nelson And Maccainelli Face Off

20.12.05 - Johnny Nelson and Enzo Maccarinelli, Britain's top two cruiserweights, will finally get it on to find out who is the best in the division. Sheffield's long-time ruler Nelson will put his WBO crown on the line against Maccarinelli's WBU belt on Saturday 4 March at the M.E.N Arena as chief support to the sensational WBO/IBF World Super-Middleweight unification clash between Joe Calzaghe and Jeff Lacy live on ITV..

The pair both fought last month in Italy with Nelson making a successful 14th defence of his title against Vincenzo Cantatore and Maccarinelli sparking out Marco Heinichen inside a round.

Nelson, who has held the title for nearly six years, said, "Enzo's one of the most exciting prospects in the division but I'm afraid it will end in tears for him on the night,"

"He must realise that in my time I have mixed and dealt with a better, harder and more experienced class of opponent than he has ever faced,"

"I turned professional in 1986 and was fighting for a living whilst Enzo was still a snotty nosed 6-year-old playing in the garden with his Action Man!"

He added, "On the night of our fight it will two weeks shy of my 20th anniversary of fighting professional and in that time I have had 59 fights, won 45, boxed all over the globe in my opponents back yards, held the British, European and World titles and mixed it with the heavyweights, how can Enzo's resume compare to that?"

"What I will say though is that it will be an explosive fight between us, he's a hungry young kid who fancies his chances and is desperate to win the title but his eagerness will be his downfall,"

"It will be man versus boy, master versus student, Mr Miyagi versus the Karate Kid, Obi-Wan Kenobi versus Luke Skywalker, I am the only one who can beat me, no one else and certainly not by Enzo."

Maccarinelli, the dynamite-punching 25-year-old from Swansea, has racked up a devastating14 knockouts inside three rounds from 22 wins and clearly has no respect for his elders.

"I've been ready to fight Nelson for the last two years and I know that I can knock him clean out," stormed Big Mac.

"He has always backed off from fighting me and has come up with excuses that I'm not experienced enough and that he would knock me out but we will find out on the night,"

"Johnny's been a good champion for the last six years and he's a nice fella but this is business and I'm going to knock him into retirement - permanently,"

He continued, "He's an old man who wants to hold on to his past glory and his time is up now. It's a shame that he's got to go into retirement this way though, at his age he should be relaxing in his rocking chair with his slippers and dressing gown on and sucking on his Wurthers!"

"This is a young mans sport and he is standing in the way of my dreams and ambitions,"

"He's only fought three times in the last three years and in his last fight against Cantatore, although he won it, he looked the most vulnerable he has ever looked and if Cantatore, who's not know as puncher, dropped him and hurt him, what would a heavy-hitter like me do to him?"

"Well, we will find out on the night which one of us can back up our boast and I know that my fists will back up what I say."

Promoter Frank Warren said, "This is yet another big-fight that the media and public have been asking for and I am delighted to add it to an already super-show on March 4 headlined by a potentially explosive showdown between Joe Calzaghe and Jeff Lacy,"

"Enzo is the bright young star in the cruiserweight division with a massive punch who feels he is ready to challenge Johnny for his crown whilst Johnny has a wealth of experience and skill culminated in nearly 20 years in the sport,"

"It's a very interesting fight with lots of questions to be answered from both boxers."

Tickets priced at 50, 75, 100, 150 & 200 are available from Ticketmaster on 0870 190 8000 Ticketmaster Sports Network on 0870 602 1122 or online at or

Article posted on 20.12.2005

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