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Joe CalzagheBy Michael Klimes: The realities of boxing and politics seem dimensions a part but there are instances when these realities overlap. Both pit individuals against each another in colossal struggles, demand vast sums of money to make things happen, consume their participants, inflict irreversible damage and usually elevate the art of trash talking up or down a notch.

Generally, it must be said that politicians win the fight against boxers when it comes to their debating skills as they grasp the nuances of language far better than most athletes do. If a politician is an aristocratic wordsmith, than a boxer usually has more of a working class vernacular although there are exceptions such as Chris Eubank. Even his eloquence, however, has always been of the lisp variety.

It seems Joe Calzaghe is the John McCain of the boxing world in the sense that out of the three best fighters on the planet, the other two being Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao; he is oldest and the most seasoned operator. Calzaghe is a thirty six year old pugilist but a sprightly one who is looking to conclude his career at the end of this year. His desire to finish sooner rather than later is admirable, but the question remains, when should he cut the gloves? The answer very much depends on how much longer he can sustain his athletic prowess. The same is true of John McCain if he wins the White House. His presidency will only be secure as long as his health remains intact.

There is a side of the argument which wants to see Calzaghe have one last hurrah and then forget he was ever a boxer. How much easier would life be for boxing fans if they did not have to see their heroes take prolonged beatings and sustain permanent brain damage? Nevertheless, there is another side to the argument that acknowledges the massive presence of Joe Calzaghe in British boxing. His stature has only grown. At the end of last year, the British press were reacquainting the public with a lost stranger that was the obscure figure of boxing.

The British people were learning about the significant fact that our former empire had a plethora of world champions including Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Gavin Rees, Clinton Woods, David Haye, Enzo Maccarinelli and Junior Witter. Sadly, the previous six months have seen many of those names be defeated. Maccaranelli, Rees, Hatton, Witter and Woods have been made into mortals.

Fortunately, some such as David Haye have experienced their market value rise tremendously but others seem an endangered species. Hatton has not been particularly eye catching since 2005, Rees was never world class, Maccaranelli was partially unlucky and outgunned while Woods was accumulated too much mileage. Haye and Amir Khan seem to be the immediate heirs that will have to inherit, whether they like it or not, Calzaghe’s hefty mantle.

This brings us back to the question of retirement because when the Welshman sees the dusk there will be a gaping black hole in British boxing. He only broke into mainstream’s consciousness in 2006 with the schooling of Lacy and perhaps, if one is being pessimistic, he only received the proper respect he was due to him at the end of 2007 when he was named as the BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year. He will probably fight Roy Jones Junior next, a spectacle that has come too late but what if Calzaghe stays for one more year? There are two lucrative match ups one can envisage after Jones. It does not matter what order they come in but clashes with Glen Johnson and Kelly Pavlik would be tantalising. They would be stern challenges, bring dollar bills and be meaningful victories for Calzaghe’s legacy but will time allow him the grace of one extra year as an elite force?

For certain detractors, Calzaghe still has not done enough to consider his legacy unassailable. There is an element of truth in their thinking although much criticism of Calzaghe is schizophrenic. He has always followed a spectacular victory with disappointment. After Jeff Lacy, there was Peter Manfredo, after Mikkel Kessler there was Bernard Hopkins and after Chris Eubank there was a lot of mediocrity. If he could clinch two excellent back to back performances, they would be the sword in the stone which nobody could pullout. Afterward, I could then attempt to write a just tribute that is due to a gentleman of the sport and the most accomplished European fighter of the post-war period.
 

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Great read. I don't think Calzaghe will ever fight Johnson now that he lost to Dawson though. Fighting (and beating) this version of Jones won't add to his legacy but it's an opportunity to put on a great performance against a faded ATG who can still show flashes of his former self. The Pavlik fight would be a legacy-defining moment and it would make money on top of that so it might happen next if Kelly is available (he plans on unifying the middleweight division). But is Top Rank gonna let him take this risk? I don't think Arum will risk losing his cashcow in a dangerous fight like that at least for now.
 

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Yeah, i think Arum showed that when he said no to Winky. After Cotto-PBF, Pavlik-Calzaghe is the fight i want to see but i don't think its ever happening. I think Pavlik is fighting Rubio next and then probably unifying against Abraham if hes still champ.
 

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I would hope he fights Pavlik next as Pavlik is a come foward fighter and Calzaghe is the best in the world fighting backing up i think he schools him badly.

I really dont think Pavliks team will put him in with Calzaghe, hope they do would be a war.
 

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i think pavlik would struggle at this stage against calzaghe,
joe calzaghe is a very awkward fighter to go up against, he is very quick and throws punches from all different angles, whether they are damaging or just clean landing he will make his way to a clear UD, even though pavlik can bang, i don't think joe will give him too many opportunities to let loose with, however i think joe will fight jones and then that will be that, a nice pension pack for him to retire on.

joe doesn't want to end his career with a loss and he's coming to the end of his career, with his hands weakening more and more after every fight, i think he'll beat jones by a convincing UD and then he will close his legacy.
:thumbsup:
 

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I would love to see him beat Jones & Pavlik in the USA, then come home for a final farewell and absolutely school and expose Carl Froch. But the longer he waits to fight Pavlik the closer the fight becomes.
 

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i think pavlik would struggle at this stage against calzaghe,
joe calzaghe is a very awkward fighter to go up against, he is very quick and throws punches from all different angles, whether they are damaging or just clean landing he will make his way to a clear UD, even though pavlik can bang, i don't think joe will give him too many opportunities to let loose with, however i think joe will fight jones and then that will be that, a nice pension pack for him to retire on.

joe doesn't want to end his career with a loss and he's coming to the end of his career, with his hands weakening more and more after every fight, i think he'll beat jones by a convincing UD and then he will close his legacy.
:thumbsup:

He isnt fighting Jones.

I think he said to Warren "60-40 i`ll kick his ass" Warren has all but ruled out a Jones bout.

And with Pavlik fighting Duddy could be a fued angle being worked.
 

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Seriously, Pavlik at Madison Square Garden, then Roy Jones Jr. next spring at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff :thumbsup: He could fight Tarver/Taylor as well, but not for his final fight :thumbsup:
 

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I think he has two fights left in him at most and as much as i would like him expose Froch i think Kessler or Bute will do that soon enough.

I will add historically fighters that go up to 175lbs then back to 168lbs have not fared very well.

Pavlik and a homecoming, Jones is shot id rather him fight a Bute or Froch.
 

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I think he has two fights left in him at most and as much as i would like him expose Froch i think Kessler or Bute will do that soon enough.

I will add historically fighters that go up to 175lbs then back to 168lbs have not fared very well.

Pavlik and a homecoming, Jones is shot id rather him fight a Bute or Froch.
If not Jones then I'd love to see him knock Tarver senseless :D
 

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I would hope he fights Pavlik next as Pavlik is a come foward fighter and Calzaghe is the best in the world fighting backing up i think he schools him badly.

I really dont think Pavliks team will put him in with Calzaghe, hope they do would be a war.
No he's not. Floyd is. Actually Calzaghe rarely moves backward but he got good side to side movement.
 

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No he's not. Floyd is. Actually Calzaghe rarely moves backward but he got good side to side movement.

I should have said he LOVES!!!! guys that attack him he really lays the smack down with his footwork and timing always gets off first and throws stinging combos inside. Calzaghe is not good at attacking fighters he is poor coming foward thats why i thought Hopkins had the only style to beat Joe had it been an earlier Hopkins i think he would have opened up and lost by more than the version that fought Joe did.

I would lay a bet Joe would have more trouble with Taylor than Pavlik as he would have to go looking for Jermain.

I agree on the Floyd thing btw.
 

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I should have said he LOVES!!!! guys that attack him he really lays the smack down with his footwork and timing always gets off first and throws stinging combos inside. Calzaghe is not good at attacking fighters he is poor coming foward thats why i thought Hopkins had the only style to beat Joe had it been an earlier Hopkins i think he would have opened up and lost by more than the version that fought Joe did.

I would lay a bet Joe would have more trouble with Taylor than Pavlik as he would have to go looking for Jermain.

I agree on the Floyd thing btw.
Yeah Joe is unpredictable because of his awkward style and upper body movement. Not to mention he throws punches from all angles. He's a pretty smart fighter but against the top dogs only his stamina and punch output make the difference. Taylor would be very competitive but not busy enough to beat Calzaghe. Pavlik on the other hand is busy and has enough power to hurt Calzaghe and maybe stop him. So Pavlik would be a more dangerous opponent IMO.
 

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Yeah Joe is unpredictable because of his awkward style and upper body movement. Not to mention he throws punches from all angles. He's a pretty smart fighter but against the top dogs only his stamina and punch output make the difference. Taylor would be very competitive but not busy enough to beat Calzaghe. Pavlik on the other hand is busy and has enough power to hurt Calzaghe and maybe stop him. So Pavlik would be a more dangerous opponent IMO.


Having followed most of Joes career i disagree and think although Pavlik will be game and dangerous i would see Joe struggling against the guy he has to look for. Pavlik will come at him and with Joes footwork and speed i could see a brutal beatdown for Kelly. I always said Joe cant fight going foward against Reid and Hopkins his only two close fights he was the aggressor.
 

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I wouldn't say that was the case against Reid. Reid was pretty much standing infront of him, but Calzaghe had a real bad night against him. Reid was being very dirty and landed that big right hand counter with ease.
 
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