On 12 May 2000,
Maccarinelli suffered his first defeat, in only his third fight
as a professional at the hands of southpaw Lee Swaby. Swaby,
from Lincoln sent Maccarinelli down with a crushing right hand,
knocking Maccarinelli down in the third round. Maccarinelli
never took the rematch against Swaby.
On 28 June 2003,
Maccarinelli, known as "the Big Mac" won the vacant WBU
cruiserweight title when he defeated Bruce Scott by fourth-round
TKO. He made seven successful defences of his WBU title before
On 8 July 2006,
Maccarinelli fought against former World Boxing Council (WBC)
cruiserweight champion Marcelo Fabian Domínguez for the WBO
interim cruiserweight title. Maccarinelli won the title with a
ninth-round TKO. The natural progression was a title fight
against the then WBO title holder, Johnny Nelson. Due to several
injuries to Nelson this matchup never transpired, and on 22
September 2006 he announced his retirement, automatically
relinquishing the belt and allowing Maccarinelli to be promoted
to full champion status.
On 14 October 2006
Maccarinelli made his first defence of the WBO title, stopping
former opponent Mark Hobson in the first round in a fight that
was widely expected to last the distance. This was followed by
another first round win over Bobby Gunn on 7 April 2007 at the
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The Gunn fight was stopped with
just :25 seconds remaining in the first round by referee Mark
Nelson, even though Gunn was not down and only had a small cut.
It was widely and erroneously reported that Maccarinelli had
broken Bobby Gunn's nose, but it was a small cut to the bridge
of the nose that caused the bleeding. Gunn's nose was not broken
and most observers at ringside thought the fight was stopped
On 21 July 2007
Maccarinelli defended his WBO cruiserweight championship against
former WBC champ Wayne Braithwaite and won by unanimous
decision, after dominating the match. On 3 November 2007
Maccarinelli successfully defended his WBO cruiserweight title
against Mohamed Azzaoui winning by TKO in the 4th Round.
'Bombs Away' and loss
fight was an all-British unification fight against the WBA/WBC
champion David Haye. The fight took place on 8 March 2008 at the
O2 Arena, London and was much hyped in the weeks running up to
the event, being given the tagline "bombs away" (referring to
the high KO percentages and punching power both men boasted).
Maccarinelli lost the fight and his WBO belt when he was knocked
out in the 2nd round. A right hand by Haye knocked Maccarinelli
down towards the end of the round and although he was able to
get back up it was on unsteady legs and the referee stepped in
to stop the fight.
After the fight Haye
announced that he would be moving up to the heavyweight division
with immediate effect and would therefore be vacating his newly
won belts. Because of this Maccarinelli received an immediate
opportunity to reclaim his WBO belt in a matchup against
undefeated American Jonathon Banks for the now vacant
championship, but due to injury Banks was forced to pull out.
After several replacements were unable to fight, Maccarinelli
instead stepped up to heavyweight to face Matthew Ellis.
Maccarinelli won after a 2nd-round KO in what was his debut at
the higher weight. After the fight Frank Warren announced that
Maccarinelli would face Banks in a re-scheduled bout for the WBO
belt during February 2009.
Once again the Banks
fight proved to be a non-starter (Banks opted to make an
ultimately unsuccessful attempt to win the IBF cruiserweight
title against Tomasz Adamek) and instead Maccarinelli's next
fight was against the American-based Londoner Ola Afolabi for
the "interim" WBO title. The fight took place on 14 March at the
M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, on the undercard of the Amir Khan vs
Marco Antonio Barrera bout. Maccarinelli was favoured by most
observers to win, however things did not go as expected as
Maccarinelli struggled in the early rounds and was staggered in
the 3rd round by a short chopping right hand from the slick
Afolabi. Despite managing to recover and win the majority of the
next few rounds he was knocked out by Afolabi in round 9 when a
huge overhand right put him on the canvas and forced the referee
to call off the fight.
Lebedev fight, retirement, and return
fight was against the unbeaten Russian Denis Lebedev on 18 July
2009. As with the Afolabi contest the fight took place at the
M.E.N. Arena on the undercard of an Amir Khan fight, this time
Khan's WBA light-welterweight title challenge against Andreas
Kotelnik. From the very beginning of the fight Maccarinelli
struggled with the power of his opponent and by the end of the
second round his right eye had swollen completely shut from the
punches landed by Lebedev. In the third round Lebedev rocked
Maccarinelli with an uppercut which landed cleanly through his
guard and after a further barrage of unanswered punches the
referee stepped in and called a stop to the fight.
Before the fight
Maccarinelli had admitted that the contest represented "the last
chance saloon" in terms of getting his career back on track,
following 2 KO losses in his last 3 fights, and talking
immediately after the defeat he hinted that this latest setback
could signal the end of his boxing career. In an interview with
his local paper a few days later Maccarinelli apparently
confirmed his intention to retire from the sport, although he
retracted this in a later interview with the same source.
Maccarinelli began his
latest comeback attempt on another Amir Khan undercard, this
time Khan's WBA Light-Welterweight title defence against on 5
December at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. His opponent was
the relatively unknown Hungarian journeyman Krisztian Jaksi who
provided little resistance and was knocked out in the 1st round.
Maccarinelli managed a second consecutive 1st-round KO victory
against Hungarian opposition when he defeated Zoltan Czekus at
the Echo Arena Liverpool on 13 March 2010.
European cruiserweight title shot
Following his two
quick comeback wins Maccarinelli's next fight took place on 27
April 2010 when he fought Russian prospect Alexander Kotlobay in
St Petersburg for the vacant European cruiserweight title.
Despite now being the fighter that had to travel and fight on
someone else's patch, Maccarinelli scored his third consecutive
quick victory when he knocked Kotlobay down with an overhand
right before the referee stepped in to end the fight at 2:15 of
the first round.
His first defence of
his newly won title came as part of Frank Warren's "Magnificent
Seven" fight card, which took place on 18 September 2010 at the
LG Arena in Birmingham. His opponent for this defence was the
undefeated Ukrainian prospect Alexander Frenkel. Despite a
tentative opening round Maccarinelli improved and managed to
rock his opponent in the fourth round with a right hand. A clash
of heads in the sixth led to a cut developing over his right
eye, however the fight still appeared to be going Maccarinelli's
way until he was knocked down heavily towards the end of round
seven by a left hook from Frenkel. Despite managing to rise by
the count of nine he was extremely unsteady and appeared to be
in no position to defend himself. However the referee allowed
the bout to continue, only for it to be stopped a few seconds
later when a three punch combination from Frenkel led to a
second knockdown. The final blows were struck with such ferocity
that Maccarinelli was knocked unconscious and required oxygen
and medical attention before being able to leave the ring. At
the time of the fight there was heavy criticism from both
journalists and fellow boxers at the decision by the referee to
allow the fight to continue after the first knockdown, when it
was clear that Maccarinelli was in no position to defend
himself. As with the aftermath of the Afolabi and Lebedev
defeats there were also been calls for Maccarinelli to retire
from the ring, something which the boxer himself admitted to the
press was a distinct possibility following his fourth KO loss in
After a period of
inactivity following the Frenkel defeat, in February 2011
Maccarinelli announced that rather than retiring he would
instead be dropping down in weight to compete in the 175 lb
light-heavyweight division, with a view to having his first
fight at the weight limit later on in the year.
Several months later
he made the further announcement that he would once again be
working with former coach Enzo Calzaghe, who was part of
Maccarinelli's team during his successful run at cruiserweight.
At the same time he also expressed a desire to fight for a world
title at the new weight limit in the future, and in particular
put forward the idea of an all Welsh title fight between himself
and current WBO belt holder Nathan Cleverly.
Exactly 14 months
after his last in-ring appearance Maccarinelli's first fight at
the new weight limit took place at the York Hall in Bethnal
Green on 18 November 2011. As with 2 of his previous 4 fights at
cruiserweight the opponent was a Hungarian fighter, this time
the undefeated (and relatively unknown) Gyorgy Marosi.
Maccarinelli emerged victorious, scoring a 1st-round TKO victory
after just 99 seconds against an overmatched Marosi.
successful debut at 175 lbs Maccarinelli reiterated his desire
to fight for a world title at 175 lbs and again made reference
to an all Welsh bout with Cleverly, although ruled out the
prospect of such a matchup occurring straight away.
In March 2012,
Maccarinelli took the British Cruiserweight Title with a points
win over Shane McPhilbin, followed by an unsuccessful tilt at
taking the Commonwealth light-heavyweight title as he suffered a
devastating 2 round loss to the champion, Ovil McKenzie. A 6
round stoppage win followed five months later before 'Big Mac'
avenged his loss to McKenzie as he took the Commonwealth
light-heavy crown by 11th round TKO.