Former WBO cruiserweight title holder Enzo Maccarinelli is ready to complete a remarkable turnaround in the spring as the Welsman bids to add the WBA light-heavyweight championship to his impressive career haul.
The 33 year-old tackles dangerous champion Juergen Braehmer at the Stadthalle in Rostock, Germany on April 5 on the back of a run of five knockouts from six victories since dropping from the 200lb limit to 175 in 2012.
Despite being stopped six times in his career, Maccarinelli has not let calls for his retirement deter him from his ultimate goal of winning a second world belt and now stands just one fight away from proving his point to those disbelievers.
“I think this fight has come at the perfect time for me,” Maccarinelli told World Boxing News.
“I am happy with my camp and my coach Gary Lockett has been great for me. I am mentally and physically in the best place I can be.
“I’m so hungry for this fight. And reading the support I’ve had online has only enhanced this. When we first saw the tweet that Braehmer was defending his title April 5, with an opponent to be decided, we knew instantly this was almost a stroke of fate!
Reacting to that tweet from Brahmer’s promoter’s Sauerland earlier this year stating that he would be ready to oppose the German was ultimately the catalyst for the fight, although Maccarinelli feels his chance is still well deserved.
“I’d like to think I got the fight on merit, but I think the tweet kind of helped the matter and now here we are with a world title shot.
“Stylistically, Braehmer probably suits me less than some of the other champions as he is an awkward southpaw, but it’s an opportunity too good to miss.”
The experienced Braehmer, 35, was pencilled in to face Maccarinelli’s rival Nathan Cleverly on two occasions previously, and has been criticised in the past for pulling out of title defences.
“I’m not really worried or thinking about that,” said Maccarinelli. “I am just concentrating on my own preparation and making sure I’m in the best shape I can be April 5.
“If I can pull this off, I think it will go down as one of the greatest comebacks of all time, but those around me will probably not be as surprised or shocked by it as some of the people who wrote me off.
“The people close to me know what boxing and winning means to me and they also know, as the song goes; ‘You can stand me up to the gates of hell, but I won’t back down!”
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