Devastated Maccarinelli controversially stopped in second round as McKenzie retains Commonwealth title
23:03 GMT, 9 November 2012
Enzo Maccarinelli was robbed of the chance to win the only belt missing from his collection when his light-heavyweight Commonwealth title clash with Ovil McKenzie was stopped prematurely in the second round.
The Welshman, 32, came under pressure from the champion but appeared in no distress, only for referee Ian John-Lewis to end the fight, much to the bewilderment of the former cruiserweight world champion, and the crowd.
'I am absolutely devastated,' Maccarinelli said. 'The referee apologised to me afterwards.
Taking the blows: Enzo Maccarinelli gets caught with a left hook from Ovill McKenzie
'We knew he [McKenzie] was strong but it was my plan to take the shots on the ropes. My hands were up and I blocked his shots until the referee stepped in.'
McKenzie meanwhile admitted the fight could have continued.
'It's not my fault, there's nothing I can do,' he said. 'I will give this guy a rematch anytime. The fight could have carried on, I can't lie about that.'
Maccarinelli was involved in a controversial bout for the second time this year following his British title victory over Shane McPhilbin in March.
Stoppage time: Refree Ian John Lewis explains to Maccarinelli why he stopped the fight against McKenzie. The referee later apologised
That fight was marred by the bizarre decision to end the first round 47 seconds early after Maccarinelli had been knocked down. He was floored again in the third before winning on all three judges' scorecards.
Having endured a torrid four years since losing a cruiserweight unification bout with David Haye at the O2 Arena in London, Maccarinelli had hoped to get back on track against McKenzie after serving a six-month ban for failing a drugs test.
Game over: Maccarinelli looks stunned as McKenzie celebrates his win
He looked comfortable in the opening stages, although the man from Derby was the busier man which was also the case in the second session before the controversial stoppage.
The final fight of the evening saw Paul Butler maintain his unbeaten record and claim the vacant British super flyweight title with a stunning first-round stoppage of John Donnelly.
The home favourite delivered a sickening body shot after just 69 seconds to send the Liverpool crowd into delirium.