by James Slater – It has been confirmed that former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli of Wales will face 24-year-old Krisztian Jaksi of Hungary this coming Saturday night on the under card of Amir Khan Vs. Dmitriy Salita in Newcastle. Returning to the ring after his 3rd-round stoppage loss to Denis Lebedev in July of this year, the 29-year-old who admitted he thought seriously about quitting the sport will be looking to get his first win in 2009. It’s no secret how the big puncher has had a dreadful year so far, losing inside the distance to Ola Afolabi (TKO by 9) and then to Lebedev. And despite calls from some quarters for his retirement, Maccarinelli is giving it one more go. Against his younger opponent from Hungary, Enzo should be able to get himself a win – unless he’s really regressed since his last two defeats..
Jaksi, 6-12-4, has no KO’s on his record, and judging solely by that, he is a “safe” opponent for Maccarinelli. But one thing the Hungarian has proven to be in the past is durable. Stopped just once in his 12 defeats – back in June of 2004, inside a round by Stas Kashtanov of Ukraine – Jaksi has fought in the U.K before. Losing on points to Terry Dunstan and David Dolan (the Dolan fight being his most recent, taking place just this past November 6th), Jaksi has a proven chin.
The journeyman has no notable wins on his record, but he is young, he has been active and if Maccarinelli is as shot as some people feel he is, Jaksi could possibly score the upset. Scheduled only for six rounds, Saturday’s fight might well go the distance. And, yes, being the “home town” fighter as he is, if it’s in any way close Enzo will likely get the verdict, but Jaksi might just fight more aggressively than usual and make the favourite look bad.
A loss for Enzo would be absolutely catastrophic, and a stoppage loss to the non-puncher would be even worse – if that’s possible. Amazingly having had ten fights this year already, Jaksi is sure to be sharp and in good shape.
It’s tough not to root for the likeable former WBO 200-pound ruler, but it’s equally hard to see him achieving his goal of not only regaining his old belt, but of winning the other titles at cruiserweight also.
A KO win over Jaksi would go some way towards restoring some of Maccarinelli’s lost confidence, but I feel he will have to settle for a wide points win instead.