Home Boxing News Looking Back at ‘Bombs Away’ – Haye-Maccarinelli

Looking Back at ‘Bombs Away’ – Haye-Maccarinelli

This weekend in 2008 was staged the eagerly awaited showdown between the world’s number one and two cruiserweights, David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli respectively, at the O2 Arena, London.

It was a huge unification dustup between two massive punchers of the sport; indeed both of their devastating power inspired the event’s ‘Bombs Away’ title and left little doubt in the minds of a majority of fight fans that the clash would be a short and sweet encounter.

The fight was broadcast across the UK via the now discontinued PPV-based channel Satanta and had been much hyped throughout the weeks leading up to it; at the time the clash was seen as the biggest since Eubank and Benn’s meeting and Boxing News had produced a pullout special for that week’s edition.

The fight could have very easily not happened as Haye was said to be struggling with making the cruiserweight limit; live from France after his victory over Jean-Marc Mormeck, Haye announced that fight was his last at cruiserweight and with immediate effect would be moving up to the heavyweight division. Maccarinelli, who watched the fight live in the Satanta studios in London, responded by quoting that he was ‘gutted’ that the likelihood of a unification fight between he and Haye would not materialise, but ultimately Frank Warren, Maccarinelli’s promoter, had made the fight too lucrative to be dismissed.

Haye brought to the table the WBC and WBA Super World cruiserweight titles that he had captured from Mormeck in November 2007, where he travelled to the defending champion’s native country. At that time Haye was 20-1-0, the only blemish coming by former WBO champion Carl Thompson, having being stopped with only seven seconds left of round five. After that defeat Haye come back to strike up a run of nine straight wins, six of which were finished within the first three rounds, where he captured and defended the EBU (European) cruiserweight title.

Haye defeated the French two-time cruiserweight world champion by a seventh round stoppage after having to rally back from being floored in the fourth; Mormeck was dropped by a heavy right and, although he stood in time of the count, he was clearly dazed and the referee called to a halt. The victory saw Haye emerge as a genuine elite fighter.

On the weekend before Haye’s clash against Mormeck, Maccarinelli made the fourth defence of his WBO cruiserweight title against undefeated Mohamed Azzaoui, winning via a fourth round TKO, on the undercard of Calzaghe-Kessler at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, in front of approximately 50,000 fans. ‘Big Mac’ had become WBO interim champion in July 2006 and was promoted to full champion status in the September when long-serving champion Johnny Nelson retired due to several haunting injuries.

Going into the fight against Haye, Maccarinelli was 28-1-0, the only loss coming by a third round knock out in his fourth pro fight. He put his WBO strap on the line for the fifth time so the fight was for the WBA Super World, WBC and WBO belts, and there was not much to split the two fighters. Both were renowned fearsome punchers; the athleticism in Haye was for some a favoured element, as was for others Maccarinelli’s more experience with almost three years longer as a professional.

The fight’s result had always been seen as determined by the fighter who first landed a big shot, and such predictions had turned out correct when Haye landed a right to drop Maccarinelli in round two. Although ‘Big Mac’ managed to rise in time, he was on unsteady legs and had left the referee with little choice but to stop it.

Although it had only lasted a little over five minutes, the fight was a British modern great due to the sheer fifty/fifty nature and that nobody knew what was going to happen, and these are the sort of fights that are now becoming regular on our television screens and will elevate the sport to another level.