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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
4 future boxing champs

Who, when the time comes for Manny Pacquiao to leave the scene, is the Filipino to receive the torch from him?

There are several prospects, all of them eager to follow in the PacMan’s footsteps. His solid reputation as one of the premier fighters in the world has international ring impresarios giving other Filipino boxing talents a more respectful look.

Pacquiao’s success—both as a boxing hero and a moneymaker—made the pull of being a pro stronger for AJ “Bazooka” Banal, Bernabe “Real Deal” Concepcion, Z “The Dream” Gorres and Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Calzaghe hands Kessler Defeat

CARDIFF - Undefeated Joe Calzaghe grabbed Mikkel Kessler's WBA and WBC world titles on Sunday and is once again surrounded by super-middleweight belts.

Unanimously outpointing a previously undefeated Dane seven year his junior, the 35-year-old Welshman once again proved he gets better as he gets older. He shook off the Dane's powerful right hands and finishing strongly for his 44th victory in a row and 21st defense of the WBO title dating back 10 years.

"To win the four major title belts, to be the unbeaten champion and 10 years a champion it's just amazing and I'm so proud," said Calzaghe, who said it could well be his final fight at 168 pounds before he finishes his career as a light-heavyweight.
Calzaghe closed with three standout rounds at the Millennium Stadium to unify the three titles in front of 35,000 of his fans.

After both fighters traded big shots and combinations in all 12 rounds, the three judges gave the decision to Calzaghe. Raul Caiz scored it 117-111, fellow American John Stewart had it 116-112 and Massimo Barrovecchio of Italy scored it 116-112.

Kessler dropped to 39-1 and said he wasn't sure of his next move after losing for the first time.

With combined records of 82 victories, something had to give and both fighters refused to let each other take control amid deafening roars from the fans at the Millennium Stadium, a rugby ground which had the roof closed.

The left-handed Calzaghe connected with his trademark overhand left in the second round, but Kessler - with a punishing jab - got through with a right uppercut that pushed the Welshman back onto the ropes.

Kessler's fans chanting his name between rounds but Calzaghe's followers silenced them as he came back in the third. As if stung by that right hand, Calzaghe charged at Kessler at the start of the third, spinning him down with a combination that ended with the Dane on the floor. Referee Mike Ortega ruled a slip, but it gave Calzaghe confidence.

He varied his punches to the head and body and even taunted the Dane with a short dance of celebration as he got through with his left hands.

The two fighters traded fast combinations, which ended with Kessler getting home with a right uppercut that shook Calzaghe and he landed another later in the round to quiet the local man's followers.

Kessler got through with some more left jabs and rocked Calzaghe with two right hands in the seventh. But the Welshman, showing that his 35 years were not catching up with him, came back with some strong combinations that pushed Kessler around the ring.

The two fighters continued to trade punches but it was the younger Kessler who looked more tired at the end of each of the last three rounds and Calzaghe threw far more punches.

On the undercard, Enzo Maccarinelli stopped New Zealand-based challenger Mohammed Azzaoui less than a minute into the fourth round to retain the WBO cruiserweight title.
 
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