By Wayne Bartlett: In boxing, your reputation can go before you, for better or for worse.
Unfortunately for Enzo Maccarinelli in his challenge for Ovill McKenzie’s Commonwealth light heavyweight title at Liverpool’s Olympia tonight, it was for the worse.
Maccarinelli, 32, has been on the wrong end of some brutal and sudden stoppages to the likes of Ola Afolabi and Alexander Frenkel in recent years, with many imploring the Welshman to call it a day.
Seeing Maccarinelli under fire on the ropes in round two, despite his hands high and rolling with the punches coming his way, referee Ian John-Lewis appeared to be one of those many worried for him, causing him to inexplicably intervene.
With the former WBO cruiserweight champion looking back at him in disbelief, John-Lewis simply didn’t know what to do once he’d broke the fighters up.
It was as though time had stopped for the referee, and an age before he waved the fight off after creating a situation he was unable to reverse.
“We knew what we were going to do,” said a shocked Maccarinelli in the post interview.
“He caught me with a good shot by all means but my hands were up. I’m absolutely devastated.”
McKenzie, also subdued despite retaining his Commonwealth title, said: “For me, I’m happy with my win. There’s nothing I can do.”
Indeed there is nothing McKenzie could do but the British Boxing Board of Control can and surely will in some way, shape or form.
Despite the referee’s job rightly being that of protecting a fighter, on this occasion John-Lewis appeared to rule a stoppage based on Maccarinelli’s reputation rather than the situation.
In the main event of the night Paul Butler needed just one round and a thumping body shot to wipe out the challenge of John Donnelly and capture the vacant British super flyweight title in just his ninth fight.
The bout, and Donnelly, never had a chance to get going.
With his hands high to block a sweeping right, Donnelly’s midriff was open to a crunching hook to the body that completely sapped the life out of him.
Taking a step back before collapsing the canvas, the Liverpudlian never looked like reaching his feet as the referee duly reached the count of ten.
“As soon as I threw it and I see it sink in I thought he’d do well to get up off that,” said the new and undefeated British champion.
“When I see him go on his back I thought no chance.”