Maccarinelli halted by eye injury
A gruesome eye injury proved the undoing of Enzo Maccarinelli as he failed in his bid to wrest the WBA light-heavyweight title from German Juergen Braehmer on Saturday night.
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The challenger from Wales suffered a heavily swollen right eye in the first round of the contest in Rostock and gamely battled on until the end of the fifth when his trainer Gary Lockett retired his charge on his stool, telling the referee: "I can't let him go on, not with his face like that."
The 33-year-old Maccarinelli has suffered a series of heavy stoppage defeats since his high-profile world cruiserweight title showdown loss to David Haye six years ago and had been beset by growing calls to retire.
However, the Swansea veteran felt he had another shot at a world title in him and to an extent backed up that claim as he stood up well to Braehmer's attacks after picking up the ultimately-decisive eye injury midway through round one, which was only made worse when the German landed two more heavy hits before the bell.
Maccarinelli's swollen eye was causing him problems at the start of the second with his vision now impaired, and Braehmer sought to drive home his advantage with a series of swinging hooks on his blind side.
The challenger was almost retired on his stool at end of second round but he pressed on, surviving the third round and then starting the fourth on the front foot, landing a crisp left hook that briefly rocked his opponent.
But still the eye injury remained - the swelling now creeping down his cheek - and Lockett warned his fighter than he had one more round left before he had to throw in the towel.
That prompted Maccarinelli into one final push at the start of the fifth, but he failed to land a telling punch to end the contest and Lockett wisely called a halt before the start of the sixth round.
The defeat was Maccarinelli's seventh from a 45-fight career, while Braehmer improves his record to 43 win, also from 45 bouts.