By Matt Winsper



Last time out in March at the same MEN Arena, Manchester, Huddersfield, England's Mark Hobson had given Welsh star Enzo Maccarinelli a torrid twelve rounds, dropping a close decision and hurting him several times.
This time, a single right hand from world-ranked cruiserweight Maccarinelli was all it took to curtail the challenge from his rival. The punch, which seemed to graze the back of the head (replays afterwards showed it thudding behind the ear on the way), dropped Hobson, now 26-5-1 (14), to all fours, and after several fumbled attempts to stand up, referee Terry O'Connor waved the count off at 9 to give Maccarinelli one of his easiest victories.
Just 71 seconds had elapsed.
It marked yet more improvement for the 26 year old talented puncher, who in his last fight destroyed former world champion Marcelo Dominguez with a mighty uppercut. The Argentinian had never been stopped previously.
The fight was billed as a World Title match, with two minor baubles on the line, but in reality it was just a good twelve rounder between two guys hoping to break onto the world stage. O'Neil Bell holds the belts that count, but with this performance Maccarinelli certainly bumps himself up the queue of guys who want to take on the Atlantean champion.
"I've been working on the right hand with Enzo [Calzaghe, trainer], and as soon as it landed, I knew it was a good punch," Maccarinelli stated immediately after the fight. "I want O'Neil Bell, who holds the WBC and WBA belts, and Virgil Hill, too. I just want any of them, my promoter Frank Warren will tell you that."
Before the world title challenges come to fruition, though, British fans will want to see Maccarinelli, now 25-1-0 (19) deal with European champ David Haye first. The Bermondsey knock-out artist is Maccarinelli's equal when it comes to power, and a match between the two would be a thrilling 'who pulls the trigger first' affair.
Whether it can happen or not is down to boxing politics, but after this performance from Maccarinelli, the two showed why Britain could well hold all the aces when it comes to the next big cruiserweight thing.


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