Calzaghe: “There will only be one place left for Hopkins after this fight – retirement"

Joe CalzagheJoe Calzaghe says he will have a spartan 36th birthday on Sunday as he continues preparations for his super-fight against Bernard Hopkins on April 19. There will be no cake for the Welshman, who has vowed to instead blow out the candles on Hopkins’ career when they meet at the Planet Hollywood Ring in Las Vegas next month.

“ I’ll be spending my birthday in the gym and running up the mountains around my home in South Wales,” said the undisputed super-middleweight king.

“ All celebrations are on hold for now, but I’ll get my present on April 19 when I kick Bernard Hopkins’ backside in front of his own fans.

“ It will be like all my birthdays coming at once, because once I’ve dealt with Hopkins I’ll cement my position in the States as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

" This is the last flickering flame in his career and I will extinguish it for good on fight night.

“ There will only be one place left for Hopkins after this fight – retirement.”

Calzaghe is already closing in on the 175-pound light-heavyweight limit with the fight still four weeks away, and claims to be in the shape of his life.

“ Those extra seven pounds are making such a difference,” said Calzaghe. “I feel so good at the weight it is unbelievable.

“ Hopkins is going to get a nasty shock on April 19 because I’m quicker, sharper and punching harder than ever before.

" I spent 10 years struggling to make super-middleweight, but I'm like a new man at 175 pounds.

" I've always said I'll be even better at light-heavyweight than 168 pounds, and people are going to see that when I beat Hopkins."

Article posted on 21.03.2008

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