Joe Calzaghe: "It was a shock to see Taylor lose to Pavlik"

The longest reigning world champion in boxing, Joe Calzaghe, has promised not to take Mikkel Kessler lightly after watching Jermain Taylor's shock loss on Saturday night. WBO/WBC middleweight champ Taylor, who had been mentioned as a future opponent for Calzaghe, was stopped in the seventh round by heavy-hitter Kelly Pavlik and now the unbeaten Welshman has promised he will not be complacent when tackles the undefeated Dane on November 3rd at the Millennium Stadium..

The record-breaking undefeated WBO World Super-Middleweight champion faces the biggest fight of his 44-fight career against Kessler, the WBC/WBA title-holder, exclusively live on Setanta Sports.

Calzaghe, the Ring Magazine Champion, said, "It was a shock to see Taylor beat but this is the reality of boxing - anyone can get beat. I've been world champion for ten years which is a long time in a hard sport like boxing."

"I have always said that the secret to my longevity is because I look at every fight as if I am the challenger. When you have been at the top for a number of years complacency can set in but the fear of getting my ass kicked drives me to get out of bed and hit the mountain runs and then face the blood, sweat and tears in the gym."

"Maybe Taylor took his eye of the ball and was looking at future fights down the line and dismissed Pavlik's threat. It's hard to keep your mind focused when big names and big purses are being talked about when you are training for a routine title defence because these are the fights that you could lose. I just put the talk aside and concentrate on the fight that is in front of me."

He added, "Kessler is a serious threat to my reign and I am training my heart out for this fight. I would be a fool to under-estimate and under-prepare for him. In my mind I'm not the world champion for this fight - I'm the challenger."

"Kessler, like Jeff Lacy, has got something that I want, his two title belts, and I'm going out there to tear them from him."

Calzaghe is not bothered about making the history books with his achievements even though his 21st title defence inches him closes to the record 25 defences set by the great Joe Louis.

"I never view my career in terms of breaking records, if I break them then that's great and I'll read the history books when I've retired. I don't see it as only five more fights until I break Joe Louis' record. What it's about for me is securing the big fights, winning them and banking the money."

Calzaghe v Kessler is the headline attraction on a superb card that also features the dynamite-punching WBO World Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Maccarinelli, Barrie Jones, Nathan Cleverley, Kerry Hope, Jamie Cox, Tony Bellew and Harry Miles.

Article posted on 01.10.2007

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