BBC sport in Wales is reporting how former WBO cruiserweight champ Enzo Maccarinelli will face Dmytro Kucher in June, for the vacant European 200-pound title. Ovill McKenzie, a former two-time opponent of the Welshman, has been forced to withdraw from the Kucher fight due to illness. Maccarinelli, 41-7(33) and a former European champ at cruiser now gets a chance to become a two-time Euro ruler at York Hall in London on June 10th.
Last seen scoring a nasty and hard to watch KO over former great Roy Jones Junior in December, Maccarinelli showed, if nothing else, that he still carries venomous power. Kucher, 23-1-1(17) – the sole loss coming via close decision against Ilunga Makabu, who will face Tony Bellew for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title on May 29th – is a good fighter, and a dangerous one, and he might have too much for 35-year-old Maccarinelli. Kucher is tough and he is not likely to be fazed in what will be his UK pro debut.
Last seen being held to a draw by Bilal Laggoune in Belgium, Kucher had been fighting in the US prior to his first attempt at winning the European belt. There are some good names on Kucher’s record and he is experienced. Still, there isn’t much Maccarinelli hasn’t seen in his long career. A big star in the mid-2000s when he was defending his WBO belt, Maccarinelli fought plenty of big names. It was after his quick and devastating KO loss to David Haye in 2008 that things went wrong for Enzo, and subsequent KO losses to Ola Afolabi, Denis Lebedev and Alexander Frenkel (an especially brutal knockout loss) convinced many he was finished. Yet here Maccarinelli is, all these years later.
An unsuccessful drop down to light-heavyweight saw Enzo lose by stoppage to McKenzie (gaining revenge in the rematch) and, in a WBA title shot, Juergen Braemer. A move back up to 200-pounds has seen Enzo reel off three straight wins, including that win over Jones in Russia. How much Maccarinelli has left will be key in June, but as we know, Enzo will always have a puncher’s chance against any fighter.
Kucher looks the favourite here, but the fight could be an exciting one, perhaps one in which both men have to dig deep. Could this fight be Maccarinelli’s last hurrah?