By James Slater: The busts, unfortunately, just keep coming. As fans are well aware, it seems as though every week there is another big name fighter named and shamed as a drugs cheat – and, whether the fighter took illegal substances on purpose or “by accident” or “by mistake,” it as to be agreed that boxing is going through a very tough time right now.
The latest former champion to have his good name ruined for life is Enzo Maccarinelli, the big-hitting Welshman who once claimed a version of the world cruiserweight title. Currently banned for six months for taking MHA (an illegal fat burner), Maccarinelli has so angered his trainer Enzo Calzaghe, that the father of the great Joe Calzaghe has vowed to never forgive the fighter he “treated like another son..”
Speaking with U.K tabloid The Sun, the 63-year-old was in a foul mood indeed.
“I will never forgive him for what he has done,” Calzaghe said. “I’ll never train him again. He has made me look like a mug. This has slaughtered me. I’m totally anti-drugs and feel so let down.”
Despite Maccarinelli maintaining that he bought the substance “from a combat magazine which stated it was suitable for athletes,” Calzaghe does not appear likely to be swayed. Maccarinelli, who said he later found out that the product he bought “contained a banned substance,” may opt to fight on once his ban has been served, or he may not.
Even before this bombshell was dropped, fans were urging Maccarinelli to walk away for the good of his health. It was in his last fight, with the lesser known but tough as nails Shane McPhilbin that Maccarinelli was put down heavily in the 1st-round (a round that was controversially cut short by an error on the part of the timekeeper) and once again Enzo’s suspect chin raised eyebrows. There was supposed to be a rematch, but Maccarinelli vacated the British cruiserweight title he’d picked up with the 12-round points win.
Now, with his reputation in shreds and with the need of a new trainer if he does wish to carry on, things look bleaker than ever for the once popular slugger.
Does Maccarinelli, 35-5(27) deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt (after all, maybe the magazine he saw the illegal product advertised in should shoulder at least a portion of the blame for what’s happened); or not?
Clearly, something has to be done about boxing’s continued and escalating drugs problem.