“I think I’d be able to catch him,” Enzo Maccarinelli on WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu
Former WBO cruiserweight champ Enzo Maccarinelli says he needs to box his 50th and final fight “for my mental health.” Speaking with Sky Sports, the big-hitting Welshman who was also KO’d himself a number of times during his exciting, roller-coaster of a career, said he “fancies” a fight with reigning WBC champ Ilunga Makabu.
Makabu, no stranger to thrilling battles himself (see his wars with Dmitry Kudryashov and Thabiso Mchunu), won the WBC title back in January of this year by decisioning Michal Cieslak in Kinshasa and the 32 year old southpaw is 27-2(24) and awaiting his first title defence. But Maccarinelli, who is 39 years old and 41-8(33) feels he would be able to tag him with one of his big bombs.
“For my mental health, I need this 50th fight. I know I’ve got something left,” Enzo said. “I know I’m not going to put a run together. I’m too old for that, I’ve got too much going on. I’d love to finish on 50 pro fights. I did a bit of sparring last year. I won’t mention any names because I’m not like that. He’s highly touted and I hadn’t been in a ring for a year. Cut a long story short, first round I was awful, second round things started to come together and third round, I finished it.
“I had a car crash. Then I lost my [step] brother. Everything went to hell. I had a herniated disc. (Now) my running times are improving, my punch output. I’m looking just as fast as I ever have on the bag. I have, yes (been KO’d eight times). But I’ve never taken a sustained beating. One I do see is that [Ilunga] Makabu, the WBC champion. I would fancy that. I really think I could. He’s dangerous, but I think he’s open. I think I’d be able to catch him.”
But is it worth the risk? As unlikely as this fight seems (you never know of course, not in this sport), most fans will probably fear for Maccarinelli should it happen. If Makabu is “open” when he fights, what can be said of Maccarinelli? And no way will that chin have got any better over the course of the four years since Macarinelli was stopped in a round by Dmytro Kucher. Enzo insists he was not in any way focused for that fight, yet can he possibly improve now?
Add Maccarinelli’s name to the growing list of aging fighters who feel they are “just as fast,” and are looking good in the gym.