At 32, Enzo Maccarinelli was figured to be finished a while ago. But tonight in Cardiff against Ovill McKenzie, he had one of his best performances, stopping the defending Commonwealth light heavyweight champ in the 11th round to lift the title.
Maccarinelli (37-6, 29 KO) started well and looked to bank the early rounds, but the durable McKenzie (21-12, 10 KO) battled his way back into the fight in the middle rounds, sweeping the fifth through seventh on my card, and getting close at a 4-3 rounds deficit in my view. From there, though, Maccarinelli showed true grit and courage, absorbing some shots, fighting through some obvious exhaustion on tired legs, to keep coming at McKenzie.
In the 11th, having opened up a likely solid lead on the cards, Maccarinelli closed the door, thrilling the fans in Cardiff who had rooted hard for their countryman throughout the fight.
After the bout, Maccarinelli told BoxNation at ringside that he thought he'd broken his nose early in the fight, and that despite not sticking to the game plan and being a bit disappointed with his performance, he stuck through it and was able to grind out the victory. It was an extremely humble interview for a man who wasn't expected to get back to this level by too many folks, who didn't figure to have many wins like this left in his body. But he did it tonight, and he kicked off the meat of the BoxNation bill in fine fashion.