2008-03-08 David Haye w rsc 2 Enzo Maccarinelli, O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England - WBA/WBC/WBO/The Ring
Having decided to move up to the heavyweight division, Haye relinquished the WBC title on 12 May and a few days later he notified the WBA that he would be sending back his belt. He also vacated The Ring magazine’s prestigious title on 23 May. Following that, Arslan was handed full WBA title honours on 16 June, while the WBC set up a match between Giacobbe Fragomeni and Rudolf Kraj to decide their vacancy. Fragomeni’s only defeat in 26 contests had been at the hands of Haye, while Kraj was getting his chance due to his win over Matt Godfrey (w pts 12 Koenig Arena, Krefield, Germany on 8 March 2008) in an eliminator.
Although Haye relinquished the WBO title on 22 July, it took the body some while to fill his boots. Eventually, Victor Ramirez contested and won the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title when forcing Alexander Alekseev to retire after nine rounds at the Castle Guard Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany on 17 January 2009, being promoted to full championship status a few days after. Following that decision, Ola Afolabi knocked out Maccarinelli in the ninth round to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title at the MEN Arena, Manchester, England on 14 March. Originally, Maccarinelli was matched against Jonathon Banks but when he pulled out Afolabi stepped in at relatively short notice.