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2008: High Tide For British Boxing – Maccarinelli vs. Haye

Part One of a multi-part series

By all accounts, 2007 was a pretty good year for British boxing but it all fell apart at the end when Ricky Hatton was KO'd by Floyd Mayweather and a ring post in early December.

Amazingly enough, the first half of 2008 is shaping up to be an even bigger year and in this review we take a look at world title bouts involving British fighters during that time period.

We kick things off with a big, hammer-fisted bang as two of the world's top pound for pound punchers tangle on March 8 at the 02 Arena in London; David Haye vs. Enzo Maccarinelli for the WBA, WBC and WBO Cruiserweight titles.

Will this fight go the distance? How can it? The Hayemaker and Big Mac have been taking shots at each other through the press for what seems like years now and with three world title on the line, the stakes couldn't be higher.

But the real motivator here is bragging rights to the title of Best Cruiserweight in Britain as Haye and Maccarinelli are the last men standing in what used to be a five man race for that mythical belt before Johnny Nelson and Carl Thompson retired and Mark Hobson was belted out by Maccarinelli.

Once the bell rings on March 8, Haye will likely dictate the pace behind his cannon-like jab but things probably won't come to a boil until the WBA/WBC Champ begins to tire after four or five frames and is forced to stand and trade with the Welsh WBO Champ.

At that point anything could happen but rest assured that each punch thrown will have knockout capability and it's only a matter of time before one of these guys gets done.

Haye is likely the quicker of hand and reflex of the two but Maccarinelli has the better traditional defense and the better stamina. Beyond that it's impossible to draw any kind of conclusions as to the outcome.

Both of these world champions have put their stamp of authority over world class opponents; Maccarinelli handled a very tough Wayne Braithwaite over twelve rounds and Haye stopped the top man in the division, Jean Marc Mormeck, in seven.

They've both been stopped once but the title "chinny banger" really doesn't apply to either as they've each since taken loads of flush shots from opponents who can definitely hit and they've each walked through the punishment.

The deciding factor could ultimately be weight. This will likely be the last time that Haye can make 200 lb as he long ago grew into the heavyweight division while Enzo is a natural cruiserweight.

The greatest thing about boxing is that you never quite know what will happen once the bell rings and that should strongly come into play in this fight.

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