Braehmer halts Maccarinelli to retain WBA title
WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (43-2, 32 KO’s) successfully defended his title on Saturday night in halting Enzo Maccarinelli (38-7, 30 KO’s) after the 5th round at the Stadthalle, Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.
The Welsh challenger suffered a heavily swollen right eye in the 1st round and although he fought bravely until the end of the 5th, 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 has suffered a series of stoppage defeats since his world cruiserweight title showdown loss to David Haye six years ago and the defeat is likely to see further calls for him to retire.
Maccarinelli started well, standing up to the German despite picking up the ultimately-decisive eye injury midway through round one.
Two more punishing blows from the champion made the problem worse before the bell.
Maccarinelli's swollen eye was causing him problems at the start of the 2nd with his vision now impaired, and Braehmer did his best to take advantage, launching some swinging hooks on his blind side.
The challenger was almost retired on his stool at end of the round but he battled gamely on, surviving the 3rd round and then starting the 4th 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 5th, but he failed to land a telling punch to end the contest and Lockett called a halt before the start of the 6th.
The German said: "When you see it like that, you want to hit it even more. That's boxing. I caught him well with my left. Then I wanted to be too spectacular. I wanted too much. It was good that it ended then."
Also on the card heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev (20-0, 11 KO’s) defeated journeyman Ivica Perkovic (20-24, 15 KO’s) by a 3rd round stoppage.
This was a stay busy outing for IBF mandatory challenger Pulev, who had a hard time finding an opponent to come in for this fight, as Pulev is unlikely to take any chances against a better level of fighter before Wladimir Klitschko, who meets Alex Leapai on April 26, will defend his IBF title against him.
Pulev backed Perkovic up against the ropes in each of the three rounds of the fight, and would spear him with jabs. Occasionally, Pulev would land right hands to the body and to the head, but for the most part he was just throwing jabs. Perkovic didn’t seem to be all that interested in throwing anything back until late in the 3rd round when Pulev hurt him with a right hand to his flabby midsection. But then he quit at the end of the round rather than come out for the 4th round.