Calzaghe-Manfredo Part of HBO's Free Preview Weekend in the U.S

CARDIFF, WALES (March 29, 2007) -- Undefeated super middleweight champion JOE CALZAGHE'S landmark 20th title defense against Top-5 contender PETER MANFREDO, Jr., the first alumnus from "The Contender" to challenge for a world title, will be part of an HBO free preview weekend in the U.S. The April 7 world title rumble will be broadcast Live! from Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 5 P.M. EDT / 2 P.M. PDT with a replay airing later that evening at 10 P.M. EDT/PDT..

With over 30,000 tickets already sold and projected sales expected to exceed 35,000, this will be the highest-attended indoor event to ever take place in the United Kingdom and perhaps all of Europe.

Calzaghe (42-0, 31 KOs) from Newbridge, Wales, trained by his father Enzo Calzaghe, is boxing's current longest-reigning world champion, having held the title since 1997. Tied for sixth-place on boxing's all-time list for consecutive successful world title defenses with Ricardo Lpez and Eusebio Pedroza, a victory over Manfredo will elevate him into a fourth-place tie with Larry Holmes and Bernard Hopkins.

Manfredo (26-3, 12 KOs), from Providence, RI, trained by his father Peter Manfredo, Sr., added five-division world champion Sugar Ray Leonard to his training team as a strategist. Leonard, who on April 6 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his own "upset of the year" when he emerged from a three-year retirement to dethrone undisputed middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler, feels a sense of dj vu.

"A lot of the same signs I had in my camp training for Hagler I have seen in Peter's camp," said Leonard. "I don't want to give it all away, but I'm even noticing similar patterns in Calzaghe that I observed with Hagler. Even the media is asking Calzaghe the same 'what's next?' type of questions that Hagler was asked before our fight. I love it. A lot of reporters are going way out on a limb thinking a Calzaghe victory is a done deal. Those kind of advance stories will only make Peter's victory that much sweeter. The only question I have is will Joe Calzaghe go into retirement after this loss the same way Marvin Hagler did?"

Article posted on 29.03.2007

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