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There's no bad blood with the Calzaghes [...].

Byline: Phil Blanche

it was amicable, I'm still good friends with Joe and I occasionally speak to Enzo," he said.

"These things happen every now and again - it was just something I had to do for myself, freshen myself up and that's why I did it.

"Karl has not slowed down my pace and I've started throwing big shots again which I haven't done for a long time - the bombs.

"He's got me turning my knuckles over, hitting correctly, sparring and keeping me fresh.

s "I've had the odd day off, which I'm nsot used to, and whsen I come back I'm bouncing.

s "It's going to be great and I'll be back to my bsest sin Manchester."

Maccarinelli revealed he had been offered an easier fisght but was relishing the challenge of taking on Lebedev, who is yet to be defeated in 17 fights.

"The options I had was an undefeated Russian or an easy eight-rounder and I took the Russian," he said.

"That is my style, my way. I know he's a strong kid, he's going to come forward, he's a southpaw, but that's what I wanted.

"At this stage of my career, I didn't need an easy fight. I wanted someone who is going to give me a tough fight."

But the Swanseaborn former WBO world cruiserweight champion admits he is in the "last-chancsaloon" tonight.

"Lebedev is a very, very tough fight," he said.

"You can never say never in boxing, but I'm aware that I could be in the last-chance saloon going into this one.

"But I'm going to knock out Lebedev and then I'm going to get my old world title back."

Ince said he was confident his fighter could deal with Lebedev and start to work his way back to the top.

"We have a plan, a couple of things we're going to throw at him (Lebedev)," Ince said.

"I want Enzo to box clever, to show him what he can do. We know what he (Lebedev) has got - he's a very good offensive player so we've worked more defensively.

"If we can put it all together, it should be a good night.

"I think he (Maccarinelli) has got the ability to go back to the top. His head's right, he trains hard, he's a nice lad to work with, he listen and he learns.

"He's put himself under a bit of pressure, saying he wanted to take this fight straight away - I've only worked with him for 10 weeks.

"But we've gone back to his basics and I think that will be enough to win this fight."

Joining Maccarinelli on the undercard are the Olympians James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, who will all be looking for their third consecutive wins since signing pro forms with Frank Warren in December.

ENZO MACCARINELLI insists there is no bad blood between himself and the Calzaghes as he prepares for his comeback fight tonight under new trainer Karl Ince.

Maccarinelli takes on the Russian Denis Lebedev as part of the undercard for Amir Khan's clash with Andreas Kotelnik at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

And the Welsh cruiserweight, whose career has stalled since his high-profile defeat to David Haye in March 2008, is hoping to make another return to form after suffering a shock knockout at the hands of relative unknown Ola Afolabi four months ago.

The 28-year-old split from the Calzaghe camp and it later emerged that he had minimal sparring in the build-up to the contest.

But Maccarinelli said of the split this week that he just needed a change of direction to get his ring career back on track.

"There was no bad blood at all,

CAPTION(S):

TAKING IT ON THE CHIN: Enzo Maccarelli says his spilt with Enzo Calzaghe (inset) was amicable, but now he's looking forward to his comeback fight in Manchester
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 18, 2009
Words:644
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