WBO World Cruiserweight Champion Johnny Nelson (44-12-2) will finally face the mandatory contender for his title, Italy's Vincenzo Cantatore, in the challengers home country on Sat 26th November 2005. Many of Boxingtalk's British readers know this fight has been on and off for the best part of 2005. What the fans really want to see, however, is Nelson putting his title on the line against "Big Hitting" Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli. Fans in the UK are curious to find out who would prevail - the wise old fox Nelson or the big hitting but somewhat raw talent of Maccarinelli. Boxingtalk.com recently caught up with Nelson's trainers, Team Ingle (Brendan Ingle and his sons Dominic and John), to get their take on a possible fight with Maccarinelli.
Team Ingle is famous for training Naseem Hamed, Herol Graham, European Light Welterweight Champion Junior Witter, former European Super Bantamweight Champion Esham Pickering and many others. When asked whether or not Johnny Nelson was pricing himself out of a fight with Enzo Maccarinelli, the reply was an an emphatic "no!" Team Ingle state "It is a fight everyone is interested in seeing. It is the sort of big fight which ITV and Frank Warren needs. Johnny has stated his terms. It's not the sort of fight that Johnny Nelson is willing to take for peanuts. If Johnny receives an offer of £150,000, then the fight with Enzo Maccarinelli will take place. It is as simple as that!!!"
Nelson's last fight was a defence of his WBO World Cruiserweight Title against Rudiger May in Germany in September 2004. I asked if Team Ingle was concerned with Johnny's inactivity or if they felt he was too old to fight at the World Championship level. "Not at all. Johnny is rarely out of the gym. He always keeps himself supremely fit. I don't think he has had more than a few days away from the gym. The longest period out was when Johnny took his kids on holiday".
Team Ingle continued, "Johnny, as always, is looking fantastic in the gym. We fully expect him to go to Italy and knock out Cantatore. It is after that fight we will see if Enzo Maccarinelli is for real or not. But I will stress it's £150,000 or Johnny will not fight. The other situation, of course, is the fight could go to purse bid. Maybe other promoters or TV channels will be interested ... if that situation arose, the sky's the limit".
Boxingtalk.com, as always, will keep readers informed of any developements.