Nathan Cleverly: "Enzo Maccarinelli Can't Just Call Me Out and Expect a World Title Shot" (Video)

As more or less expected yesterday at York Hall, Enzo Maccarinelli thrashed easy patsy opponent Gyorgy Marosi in 91 seconds in his first fight moving down from cruiserweight. Though Maccarinelli is a former major titleholder at cruiser and wants a title shot at fellow Welshman Nathan Cleverly, who holds the WBO belt, Cleverly says that Maccarinelli will have to earn it first:


"(His performance was) expected, really. I thought Enzo would get him out of there in the early rounds, as expected. I think the opponent was there for him to do that tonight. It was a chance for him to break up a few cobwebs, build him a bit of confidence ... If he comes through a few challenges, if he beats someone like (Ovill) McKenzie or Tony Bellew, then why not? I'd be more than happy to take the fight and do the business. But he's got to fight some meaningful fights first. He can't just call me out and expect a world title shot. It doesn't work like that. You've got to earn your shot."

Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO) says he's hoping to unify with WBA titlist Beibut Shumenov (12-1, 8 KO), and isn't ruling out a rematch with Tony Bellew, either, though he also doesn't sound enthused by that idea. Bellew gave Cleverly a bit more than most expected on October 15 in Liverpool.

As for Maccarinelli (33-5, 26 KO), I really think this is a guy that everyone likes. I know I personally enjoy his style, his guts, and his personality. But the fact of the matter is, Enzo has a chin that can get cracked in a hurry. He's been stopped in all five of his losses, and the last in 2010 against Alexander Frenkel was a scary knockout. Moving down in weight is probably not going to be the cure-all for that, and he proved nothing by smoking Marosi on Friday. I hope he beats the odds and becomes a contender at 175, because he's fun to watch. But I suspect that when he gets back in with someone who can fight and take a shot, he's going to hit that wall again. It's spark-or-be-sparked.

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