Calzaghe hunting Hopkins
Joe Calzaghe will urge his American television paymasters to make a fight with former middleweight great Bernard Hopkins after his stunning win over Mikkel Kessler.
Calzaghe is ready to relinquish the title belts he claimed against the unbeaten Dane and move up to light-heavyweight for one more lucrative showdown before retirement.
But with veteran Hopkins known as a tough negotiator Calzaghe will have to rely on all the help he can get, and that means the big-money backing of the Home Box Office pay-per-view network.
Calzaghe said: "Given the opportunity to fight the best I will show them what I'm all about. Honestly, if I had my pick and it was up to me, Hopkins would be the guy."
Hopkins last fought in July when he beat Ronald Wright on points. Now he appears to prefer the winner of the middleweight title rematch between new champion Kelly Pavlik, and deposed No.1 Jermain Taylor.
But if HBO, who have invested heavily in Calzaghe and broadcast his superb points win over Kessler in prime-time slots across the US, makes its feelings clear, Calzaghe versus Hopkins could happen.
"Joe will go to the States. He will fight Mr Hopkins in his home town. He will go to Philadelphia to fight him. He will fight him anywhere to get this on," insisted Calzaghe's long-term promoter Frank Warren.
"Bernard Hopkins is a great fighter and a great athlete. But go back and think of the great fighters, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler. They fought everybody. They didn't duck."
"If Bernard Hopkins is the warrior he says he is, then make the fight. Make that fight with Joe Calzaghe."
Calzaghe proved he still has plenty left at the age of 35 in the way he came on strong in the second half of an absorbing contest to figure out his unbeaten opponent and add the WBC and WBA belts to his collection.