Enzo Maccarinelli's career looks to be over after he was laid out by a chilling seventh-round KO against Alexander Frenkel.
Big Macc blasted out in brutal fashion
Enzo Maccarinelli's second coming came to a chilling end at the fists of Alexander Frenkel.
The Welshman had battled his way back from a devastating loss to David Haye to regain the European title only for history to repeat itself in the most horrific of manners.
Maccarinelli was edging a close encounter until half-a-minute into the seventh round when, looking to exert his growing influence, he loaded up with a wild right hook. Frenkel ducked it and on the way back up, caught the Welshman flush on the chin with a heavy left of his own. Maccarinelli didn't even see it coming.
Head back, he thudded heavily into the canvas and although he made it back up at nine, he was clearly still in trouble when referee Erkki Meronen - alarmingly - allowed him to box on. Frenkel, with the European belt all but round his waist, almost apologetically applied the finish, a left then right lifting the Welshman off his feet and onto the floor again for, we hope, the final time.
Those that remember the brutal knockdowns to Haye, Ola Afolabi and Dennis Lebedev were left fearing the worst as paramedics were called and oxygen administered. To his eternal credit Frenkel refused to celebrate and showed far more concern for his opponent's health than referee had, just seconds earlier.
The German-based Ukrainian will go on to bigger and better things, but Maccarinelli will now go back to Wales and, for his own sake, call it a day. Few will forget his impressive reign as WBO cruiserweight champion, few who have met him will have a bad word to say about him and fewer still will begrudge him a long and healthy retirement.
To make matters worse, Enzo was on top here. Admittedly there was little to choose between two hard hitters but after an awkward opening his experience and class were slowly starting to tell.
He had come out in typical fashion, jab abandoned and guns blazing. Although a little crude, Frenkel managed to avoid the pot-shots and send some sharp lefts back to take the first.
Listening to Karl Ince in the corner, Maccarinelli was a little more thoughtful in his approach second time of asking; although that knockout power that has paved the way to so many happy nights down the years had Frenkel hurt by a left late on.
He then dipped to his knees and touched down after a thudding straight left in the fifth, but the referee refused to give the knockdown - and was at least on this occasion proved right. That seemed to give Maccarinelli the belief that he had the beating of the challenger and the sixth round was by far his best.
Perhaps spurred on by the sight of his own blood after a clash of heads opened up a cut above his left eye, he crashed through Frenkel's guard with an uppercut and then trapped him in the corner but could not find the target with his hooks to the body, or head.
Even so, he had hauled himself right back into proceedings and was in control of the seventh until he got caught - typically - going for the big one and was hurt badly. It was not the first time this has happened to the Welshman, but we should all hope it is the last.