Former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli is the new Commonwealth light-heavyweight title holder after a bruising encounter with Derby’s Ovill McKenzie at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
The 32 year-old, who moved down to 175lbs from cruiserweight after a degree of success at the higher weight, provided the classier work throughout the gruelling contest and gradually wore down the hard-hitting McKenzie in the latter rounds.
Maccarinelli, who has suffered horrendous stoppage losses in the past, was rocked on a few occasions – but managed to weather the storm more than once to prevail as McKenzie tired in customary fashion.
Jamaican-born McKenzie, 33, had never previously won a fight that had gone past six rounds and began to tire badly from the eighth after noticeably rallying through the seventh, his best session of the contest.
The better work of the Swansea man ultimately told and after softening McKenzie up in the ninth and tenth, Maccarinelli was able to stop ‘The Upsetter’ on his feet to claim his first major title at light-heavyweight and avenge his two-round loss of 2012.
This latest win for Maccarinelli could possibly have moved him one step closer to a money-spinning all-Welsh world title clash with headliner Nathan Cleverly in 2014.
Also on the bill, Stephen ‘Swifty’ Smith became a two-weight British champion by knocking Gary Buckland unconscious with a superb uppercut in the fifth round to claim the belt at 130lbs.
The fight had been cagey in the opening four rounds with the better work coming from Smith on the back-foot, although not many super-featherweights would have gotten up from the shot that ended the fight.
Earlier in the night there were victories over eight rounds for Craig Evans, Lewis Rees and Liam Williams, whilst Aled Cook, Courtney Richards and Rhys Evans won four-rounders.