Rees, Maccarinelli both win by unanimous decision

Updated: July 21, 2007, 8:13 PM ET
Associated Press

CARDIFF, Wales -- Gavin Rees won the WBA light-welterweight title from Souleymane M'Baye by unanimous decision before fellow Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli retained his WBO cruiserweight belt on Saturday.

Maccarinelli defeated U.S-based Guyanese fighter Wayne Braithwaite in a unanimous decision at Cardiff International Arena in the third defense of his title.

M'Baye lost his second defense on judges scoring of 118-110, 117-112 and 117-113.

Rees took the initiative from the first bell and was briefly troubled only in the fourth and fifth rounds.

"From the first bell, I outpunched him every round," Rees said. "I started to tire towards the end but I had won the first eight rounds. I knew I had already won the fight so I knew to keep calm.

"No one expected me to beat him, no one at all."

Rees shares the same trainer as Maccarinelli -- Enzo Calzaghe, father of WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, another Welshman who is based at the same Cardiff gym and watched Saturday's fights.

Rees improved to 27-0 (13 KOs). His career nearly ended when he was given a yearlong boxing ban for punching a funeral mourner in 2004.

M'Baye claimed the vacant title with a fourth-round TKO of Raul Horacio Balbi in September, and drew his first defense against Andreas Kotelnik in March.

Maccarinelli's patient approach and solid hitting gave him judges scores of 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108 against Braithwaite.

He floored Braithwaite in the fifth round and a hook shot sent Braithwaite's mouthguard flying. Braithwaite caught Maccarinelli with left hooks that left swelling around the champion's eyes.

Maccarinelli (27-1 20 KOs) inherited the belt after Johnny Nelson retired last year.

"It was a tough match against a WBC world champion," Maccarinelli said. "He took some great shots, I dominated with the jab. I neglected the right hand a bit, I hurt it early on but the jab kept me in it.

"I could throw it but it was painful every time I threw it. He's a tough man, he took some great shots. I showed I could take a shot on the chin, I showed I can box, I showed that I have great stamina. It was a good performance."

Alex Arthur stopped Georgia's Kobo Gogoladze to claim the WBO interim world superfeatherweight title. The Scottish fighter floored Gogoladze three times before the referee called a halt, two minutes, 48 seconds into the 10th round.

Arthur has 25 wins and one defeat.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press