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Enzo Maccarinelli wants 50th pro fight, claims he could ‘catch’ Ilunga Makabu

Maccarinelli last fought in 2016 and has been stopped eight times.

Boxing at Liverpool Echo Arena Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Former cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli spoke to Sky Sports this past Friday in an interview that slipped under the radar, laying out his desire to return to action after four years away for a 50th pro fight.

“For my mental health, I need this 50th fight. I know I’ve got something left. I know I’m not going to put a run together. I’m too old for that, I’ve got too much going on.”

Maccarinelli (41-8, 33 KO), who turns 40 this upcoming August, has not competed since falling to Dmytro Kucher in a 2016 bid for the European cruiserweight title. He claims a series of personal misfortunes delayed his comeback ambitions until now.

“I had a car crash. Then I lost my [step] brother. Everything went to hell. I had a herniated disc, pressing on my right and left leg nerve [from the crash], so I pretty much couldn’t walk for a year.”

All eight of his losses came by stoppage, a fact he acknowledges but insists isn’t as worrying at it sounds. Unfortunately, his attempt to brush off the health concerns collapses rather dramatically once he reveals his ideal opponent.

“One I do see is that (Ilunga) Makabu, the WBC champion. I would fancy that. I really think I could. He’s dangerous, but I think he’s open. I think I’d be able to catch him.” ... “I wouldn’t want my 50th fight to be against a taxi driver or a road sweeper, I’d need someone to frighten me a little.”

Makabu (27-2, 24 KO) is, indeed, “open”; Tony Bellew famously put him down and nobody trades leather with Dmitry Kudryashov if there’s any other option. That said, pitting the most infamously fragile cruiserweight champion in modern history against a guy who went six years without ever seeing the judges strikes me as a smidge negligent.