Calzaghe Blasts Back At Manfredo

24.02.07 - WBO super-middleweight boxing champion Joe Calzaghe has hit back at Peter Manfredo Jnr's claims that he will knock him out when they meet on April 7 at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff. Contender runner-up Manfredo also branded Calzaghe a slapper, questioned whether he was a legend and said his reign as a world champion would be ended in front of his own fans in a fortnight's time..

"To be honest, I've heard it all before," said Calzaghe, who aims to make the 20th defence of his world title and equal the record of Larry Holmes and Bernard Hopkins. Manfredo can talk a good fight but it's one thing to shout your mouth off in the build up, but another to produce the goods in the ring. I think he's getting worried and that's why he's trying to run me down.

"It doesn't fire me up or anything like that, just makes me laugh really. The facts speak for themselves. I've been a world champion for nearly 10 years and this is my 20th defence.

" Like everyone else who has come into the ring thinking they are going to beat me, Manfredo will go home defeated. I'm going to knock him out and then I'm going after Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins.

"I've knocked out 31 opponents, which isn't bad for a slapper, and on April 7 Manfredo will be number 32."

The 34-year-old Welshman, 42-0, added that he is looking forward to appearing in front of what will now be a record crowd for an indoor boxing event in the UK, with 30,000 tickets already sold.

"The atmosphere will be electric, and the response of the fans has been fantastic," said Calzaghe. "I know a lot of people have spent good money on tickets, and they won't be going home disappointed.

" I feed off the atmosphere and Manfredo's got it coming to him. When I make my entrance to the ring it's going to be something special, and I'll return the favour to the boxing fans by putting on a special sports display."

Article posted on 25.03.2007

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