By James Slater – The British Boxing Board of Control has today ordered a return meeting between cruiserweights Enzo Maccarinelli and Shane McPhilbin. Anyone who saw the exciting, controversial March 23rd fight will know all about the “short round,” when the opening session was terminated a full 47-seconds too early due to a blunder on the part of the timekeeper, Martin Fallon – this just after defending British champ and heavy underdog McPhilbin had scored a hurtful knockdown over Maccarinelli..
The battle raged on, amazingly until the very last bell, yet the points win Welshman Maccarinelli picked up was immediately overshadowed by the 1st-round controversy. Today the Board released the following statement:
“Due to events surrounding the [Maccarinelli-McPhilbin] contest, the Board had decided to order an immediate rematch on short term purse offers to be opened on Wednesday, 11th April at the Board’s head office, the contest to take place by the end of September.
The official statement went on to say that timekeeper Fallon was found to be in breach of the Board’s regulations, and that his licence has been suspended until January 1st of next year. Fallon will also have to undergo further training.
The big question that arose last Friday night was, would McPhilbin have finished the badly dazed Maccarinelli off had the bell not sounded when it did? 47-seconds is a very long time for a hurt fighter to survive, especially one with as suspect a chin as Maccarinelli possesses. Due to inexperience and what McPhilbin says was a serious difficulty in breathing, the defending champion’s attack faded in the later rounds (after scoring a second knockdown in the 3rd) and Maccarinelli was able to regroup and win a wide decision.
McPhilbin, one of the game’s genuine characters (and a fighter many fans predicted would be blown away by Maccarinelli) now has a second chance to nail Enzo and keep him on the canvas. Or does he? Will Maccarinelli choose to give up the British cruiser belt and go after that big, talked-of all-Welsh clash with WBO light-heavyweight boss Nathan Cleverly?
Maccarinelli has made no secret over the fact that this fight is his main goal; maybe he will forfeit the British belt he currently holds to get it. But in light of how vulnerable he looked in the early going against relative novice McPhilbin (just 8-3(5) remember) , many fans will have a hard time believing Enzo is a credible challenger for the unbeaten Cleverly.