Frank Warren wants Tony Bellew v Enzo Maccarinelli world title fight

By Michael PearlmanBBC Wales Sport
Jones and Maccarinelli
Enzo Maccarinelli beat five-weight world champion Roy Jones in his last fight

Frank Warren will look to match Enzo Maccarinelli with WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew if he wins his the European title fight on Friday.

Maccarinelli has not held a world title since being beaten by David Haye in 2008 and meets Dmytro Kucher at York Hall for the vacant title.

"All he wants is another shot at the world title, then he can retire," Warren said.

Bellew, 33, stopped Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park to become world champion.

The 35-year-old Welshman last fought in December when he stopped Roy Jones Jnr in four rounds.

Maccarinelli, a former member of Newbridge's famed 'Team Calzaghe' stable, has subsequently rebuilt his career under trainer Gary Lockett.

He earned a fight with WBA light-heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in 2014, but was unfortunate when swelling around his eye ended his night.

A potential fight could prove problematic given the divide between Warren and Bellew's promoters Matchroom, but Warren says he would be happy for his fighter to appear on a Matchroom bill if it meant him getting that chance.

Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew is friends with Enzo Maccarinelli, but promoter Frank Warren still wants to see the pair fight and would be willing for it to happen on a Matchroom Promotion show

"Enzo's got a good boxing brain, good jab, and can punch, and if he catches Tony Bellew on the chin he won't get up," Warren said.

"If he wins he's European champion. Normally the European champion goes straight into the top five [in the rankings].

"It's two bangers, they both punch, it'd be a great fight while it lasted because I don't see it going the distance."

Warren says Lockett has given Maccarinelli's career a renaissance despite asking him to leave the world of boxing.

"I've asked him to retire on numerous occasions, but since he's been with Gary [Lockett], he seems to have had a lease of life, and more importantly sorted his defence out."

There have been suggestions that Maccarinelli would be reluctant to fight Bellew because he considers the WBC champion a friend, especially as both boxers have had high profile spats with another south Wales former world champion, Nathan Cleverly.

The likelier fight for Bellew presently appears against Haye, but Warren is confident that if the offer was there Maccarinelli would take it and believes Bellew is incapable of defeating the heavyweight, regardless of any agreements regarding weight.

Maccarinelli bad eye v Braehmer
Enzo Maccarinelli's swelling around his eye saw his last world title opportunity end in defeat against German Juergen Braehmer

"All he [Maccarinelli] keeps on at me is he wants a world title fight, he says 'I want one more go at it and then I'm out of the game'," he said.

"Friends fight, don't they? We've seen that happen time and time again. Richie Woodhall and Joe Calzaghe were friends; when that bell went, Woodhall fought like never before.

"There's no way Tony Bellew's going to be beating David Haye any day of the week. Is he going to give all that weight away? I doubt it. Can David Haye get down? I don't know.

"If it did, it'd be huge, but I don't see what Tony Bellew has got to beat David Haye. I don't think there's any cruiserweights who'd be able to give that weight away [to Haye]."