Calzaghe – Pavlik: Is it meant to be?

By David Janke: Reigning super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe recently mentioned that he would stay at 168 to fight Kelly Pavlik. That fight would obviously garner huge attention whether it happens in Wales, Las Vegas, or New York. But The Ring champion’s claim is based on a huge underlying assumption: that he will defeat Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler on November 3rd in Wales..

kelly pavlikBoxing has been clamoring for Calzaghe - Kessler for quite some time. Flipping through the August issue of The Ring magazine, the article titled “No More Manfredos…Boxing Needs Calzaghe – Kessler” said it best: “…virtually all fans and much of the media wants Calzaghe to fight…undefeated Mikkel Kessler.” Calzaghe is admittedly approaching retirement from the squared circle, and he feels the need to end on a high note.

He has been criticized for facing lackluster opponents (Manfredo) and he silenced the same critics with decisive victories against more highly rated opposition (Jeff Lacy). But the undefeated and hard punching Kessler will be his stiffest challenge to date, and Calzaghe realizes this.

Let’s assume that Calzaghe can “slap” his way past Kessler. (After the Lacy fight, Calzaghe referred to his slapping by saying, “…if I can slap that hard, I’m pretty happy with that.”) Let’s assume that Calzaghe decides not to move up to light heavyweight to fight over-the-hill Bernard Hopkins. Let’s also assume that Jermain Taylor decides to pass on the immediate rematch with Kelly Pavlik, and he elects to fight John Duddy in Atlantic City on January 26th. We must also assume that Pavlik knocks out Duddy (This is the easiest assumption of them all after seeing the way Pavlik has been fighting). For the final assumption, Pavlik will have to move up to super middleweight. If all of these things pan out just right, that puts Calzaghe – Pavlik around late May. The odds of this fight are somewhat slim, but if it does happen, it was meant to be. Yes, The Ring magazine is right: Boxing needs Calzaghe – Kessler. But boxing wants Calzaghe – Pavlik.

Article posted on 20.10.2007

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