Enzo Maccarinelli – There’s never been much interest in the cruiserweight division, a weight class that wasn’t invented until 1979. Michael Spinks thought so little of cruiserweight hardware that he leapfrogged right over the division, advancing from light heavyweight to heavyweight in one fell swoop.
There have been a few fleeting moments, however, when the cruiserweight division sparkled with good talent. History may prove otherwise, but this appears to be one of those moments.
The new kids on the block – Murat Gassiev, Andrew Tabiti, and Michael Hunter Jr. — appear to have big upsides. Perhaps we haven’t seen the best of undefeated Krzysztof Glowacki, the 29-year-old Pole. Denis Lebedev is getting long in the tooth, but he’s one tough cookie. And then there’s Enzo Maccarinelli, the 35-year-old Welshman who has seemingly never been in a boring fight. The next chapter of Maccarinelli’s rollercoaster career goes Friday when he opposes Dmytro Kucher at London’s long-lived temple of fistiana York Hall. At stake is the European cruiserweight title.
Maccarinelli (41-7, 33 KOs) is a cat with nine lives, or at least eight. The former WBO World cruiserweight champion went through a bad patch in 2008/09 when he was stopped by David Haye, Ola Afolabi, and Denis Lebedev, but he rejuvenated his career by dropping down in weight.
As a light heavyweight, Maccarinelli advanced to a WBA World title match with Juergen Braehmer. That turned out badly, whereupon Enzo went back to the cruiserweight division where he has won three straight, most recently a smashing 4th round knockout of Roy Jones Jr. in Moscow. Jones in his prime would have tied the Welshman in knots, but his reflexes are shot and that proved calamitous against a big puncher like Maccarinelli who has scored 11 of his knockouts in the opening round.
Dmytro Kucher (23-1-1, 17 KOs) is a 31-year-old Ukrainian. In his lone defeat, he lost a narrow decision to Ilunga Makubu in Monaco. This is his second stab at the European cruiserweight title. In October of last year, he was held to a draw by Belgium’s Bila Laggoune in Belgium. One of the judges gave him 10 of the 12 rounds (118-110), but the other tallies were 115-113 for the local fighter and 114-114.
In the 10-round co-main, super featherweight Mitchell Smith (13-1, 7 KOs) hopes to rebound from the first setback of his career against an opponent that hadn’t yet been named as of Tuesday evening. Both bouts will air on promoter Frank Warren’s BoxNation subscription channel.