TRAINER Gary Lockett has backed Enzo Maccarinelli to shock German bad boy Juergen Braehmer and claim the WBA world light-heavyweight title in Rostock on Saturday night.
Cwmbran’s Lockett, himself a former WBU world middleweight champ, will be in the corner as Bonymaen bomber Maccarinelli attempts to upset the odds and become a two-weight world title holder.
Maccarinelli, now aged 33, is not expected to trouble Braehmer who won the vacant belt with a points victory over Marcus Oliveira in December and was previously the WBO champion.
The German, who refused to fight Cefn Fforest ace Nathan Cleverly back in 2010, is 8/1 on to beat Maccarinelli.
But Lockett has helped his former Team Calzaghe stablemate rebuild his career over recent years and, with 30 wins by stoppage in 44 fight, he believes the boxing world should be a bit less dismissive of Maccarinelli’s prospects this weekend.
“Enzo has to trust in his jab, trust in his defence and his technique and, if he does that, he’s almost certainly going to land clean once in the fight,” said Lockett. “And, given how hard Enzo hits, once might be enough. He certainly hits harder than Braehmer does.
“Enzo has been knocking people out since he was 13. When you have that knowledge and confidence inside of you, there’s a temptation to rush, force the knockout rather than just allow it to happen naturally.
“I constantly drum into him the need to be patient,” he added.
“He’s such a naturally heavy handed puncher. I still don’t think he really realises.”
And Lockett is certain that Maccarinelli will be ready for the mental challenge of fighting in the old East Germany.
“Outside the ring, Enzo’s such a lovely guy but that shouldn’t disguise the fact that he’s one of the toughest fellas, mentally and physically, that you are ever going to meet,” he said.
“People don’t realise that, for his last fight against Courtney Fry, he entered the ring with a broken nose plus significant ligament damage around his elbow. Throughout his career he’s overcome all kinds of obstacles.
Lockett added: “Boxing Monthly recently ran a spread: ‘The Nine Lives of Enzo Maccarinelli.’ Well, I think he’s now on his last life.
“At the start of the camp, I explained to Enzo that things were likely to get harder not easier, but he’s there now. He’s come through his preparation without any major injuries. All the hard work is done so now he just has to turn up on the night, put it on this guy, and reap the rewards.”