Enzo Maccarinelli is the new British cruiserweight champion following an amazing start to an all-round entertaining clash at Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.
Shane McPhilbin gave his all against a seasoned campaigner in Maccarinelli but just didn’t have enough in his locker.
The 26-year-old title-holder was fighting in only his 11th pro contest tonight. He rocked the former world champion in the first round more than once.
McPhilbin also had the Swansea man down after just over two minutes of the opener.
The controversy came as Maccarinelli rose to his feet with 2:08 on the clock. The bell keeper at ringside astonishingly signaled the end of the round after just a few more seconds. Maccarinelli apparently was out on his feet.
McPhilbin never seemed to make much fuss about the ending to the round. But it may have been a completely different story if the Nottinghamshire fighter was able to finish his good work and end the fight to retain his belt.
Maccarinelli, 31, was clearly unsteady for the next two rounds. He did well to use his experience to survive.
Another knockdown in the third round only seemed to confirm his weak ability to take a punch.
Upon a pre-fourth round telling off from cornerman Dean Powell, who was in charge as trainer Enzo Calzaghe was unable to take his place over licensing issues, Maccarinelli then came out with much more gusto in the fourth.
From then in it was much more straight-forward for the challenger, who took seven of the next eight rounds. This included a knockdown in the ninth that was scored when looking more like a lean-on.
It helped Enzo Maccarinelli to claim the British belt he promised his late father.
The judges’ cards read 115-110, 116-111, and 115-111 to go alongside my card of 114-111.
It handed Maccarinelli a hard-earned Lonsdale belt and some more pressing questions about where he takes his boxing career.
Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay