Enzo Maccarinelli will now challenge Dmytro Kucher for the Vacant EBU European Cruiserweight title at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on June 10th. Maccarinelli, a former holder of the European crown, replaces the Derby-based Jamaican Ovill McKenzie who withdraws through injury.
Dynamite-fisted Maccarinelli, from Swansea, Wales, is coming off the back of a brutal knockout win over boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. at the VTB Arena in Moscow last December. The former WBO World Cruiserweight Champion is delighted to be challenging Kucher for the European Crown.
“I had a phone call from BoxNation asking if I’d cover the fight as a pundit. An hour later I had a phone call from my trainer Gary Lockett asking if I fancied stepping in to fight Kucher; it was a bit mad! Obviously I’m always in the gym so I jumped at the chance,” said Maccarinelli.
He added: “I’ve won it before so it’ll be nice to become a two-time European Champion. More importantly it gets me one step closer to another world title which is my ultimate goal. I’m taking things one fight at a time and hopefully I’ll get another shot at the biggest prize. First of all I need to take out Kucker on June 10 and I intend on doing it in style.”
Kucher, from Kiev, Ukraine, comes in with a top record of 17 knockouts from 23 wins and has only tasted defeat once, on points, in a professional career spanning seven years. The big-hitting 31 year-old has previously held the WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title and will be challenging for the EBU European title for a second time after he drew against Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune for the vacant title last October.
An action-packed show sees red-hot Mitchell Smith make his eagerly anticipated return to an action in an eight rounder, English Light-Heavyweight Champion Tom Baker fights over ten rounds and Light-Heavyweight monster Anthony Yarde goes in search of another KO. Top prospects Lyon Woodstock, D.P Carr, Billy Long, Jez Smith, Lucien Reid, Charlie Duffield, Nathaniel Wilson and pro-debutant Ryan Garner all feature.
Stephen Smith: I want another World title shot in 2016
Stephen Smith says he wants to land a second World title shot in 2016 – and will show he’s ready to rule the world when he takes on Daniel Brizuela for the vacant WBC Silver Super-Featherweight crown at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Sunday May 29.
Smith is straight back into action after challenging Jose Pedraza for the IBF strap in Connecticut in April, with his brave challenge against the classy Puerto Rican ending in a points loss.
‘Swifty’ believes he’s a better fighter for the experience of his first World title shot, and the 30 year old wants to jump straight back in and believes a good win over the Argentine will underlined his credentials at the top level.
“I want to get another World title fight as soon as possible,” said Smith. “I am not getting any younger and I have shown I belong at that level so I want to stay at that level and be put straight back in at that level. If somebody offered me a World title fight next fight I would take it.
“My confidence hasn’t dropped and I didn’t take any negatives from the Pedraza fight other than the results. I learnt a lot from it and will become a better fighter from it. It will only stand me in good stead for the future so the sooner I can get another shot at a World title the better.”
“A lot of people see it as tough for me to get motivated having been up for a World title fight but for me, fighting on this massive bill, is going to be huge for me and I want to perform and look good in front of my fans.
“It wasn’t the result I aimed for and believed I would get in America but I have to give credit to Pedraza because I performed well and did a lot of things which made me think he is a good fighter. I learnt a lot from sharing the ring for 12 good rounds with him.
“I thought it was a very even fight after eight rounds and then there was a knockdown I kicked myself over. It was one of those where it wasn’t really a big shot, it was more down to my feet placement than anything else.
“I was a little bit off balance and the shot caused me to touch down. It was a big swing giving him a two-point round with only three rounds to go and I knew I had an uphill task from there. When the final bell went I thought he had won.
“On the night I don’t think I could have given much more, when I watch it back there are things you look at which you think could have gone a bit different but on the night I did everything I could and did my best and the better man won on the night. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe I belong at that level and don’t believe I couldn’t beat him on another night, it just wasn’t my night.”
Smith’s clash with Brizuela is part of a huge night of action in Liverpool as Tony Bellew looks to land the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight title against KO king Ilunga Makabu.