Boxing

Calzaghe Talks About Hopkins At Today's Grand Arrival At Planet Hollywood

calzaghe hopkinsLAS VEGAS, NEV (April 14, 2008) -- photos courtesy of Planet Hollywood by Denise Truscello - JOE CALZAGHE, boxing's current longest-reigning world champion, greeted hundreds of fans and media at his grand arrival at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas today.

Calzaghe (44-0, 32 KOs), from Newbridge, Wales, the super middleweight champion since October 11, 1997, has successfully defended his title a division-record 21 consecutive times, fourth-best on boxing's all time list. The only super middleweight champion to have held every major belt, Calzaghe makes his U.S. and light heavyweight debut this Saturday when he challenges Philadelphia's Bernard Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs), for Hopkins title in a rare battle of The Ring magazine champions..

* "I feel great. I'm 100% confident that I will win on Saturday night. If you compare our records you will see that I have faced better opposition than Hopkins. They have been faster, stronger and younger. I'm getting older and beating younger undefeated champions including Jeff Lacy who held the IBF and IBO titles and Mikkel Kessler who held the WBC and WBA titles when I beat them."

* "Hopkins will need a respirator if he tries to keep up with me. He talks a bigger game than he fights. He's a Saint Bernard -- all bark and no bite. All of his blathering sounds like he's trying to convince himself he can beat me, not head games or intimidation. He'll be leaving the ring with his tail between his legs after I've put him through his paces."

* "Hopkins likes to fancy himself a legend. What kind of legend has four losses and a draw on his record? My title reign is longer than his. I've had more successful title defenses. I'm tied for fourth place on the all-time list for title defenses. I dropped him from the top-five forever. I've already passed him by. His career is in my rearview mirror. My last two fights each broke European indoor records, with my last event attracting over 50,000 fans! Hopkins couldn't even pull in 20% of that the last time he fought in Philadelphia, his hometown! He's not a legend, he's a B-Side fighter who depends on big name opponents to attract fans to his fights...Trinidad, De La Hoya and me. He should have B-SIDE not B-HOP on the waistband of his trunks."

* "Hopkins has been able to hand-pick his latest opponents. He took Winky Wright up 10 pounds over his fighting weight and pushed him around. He knew Tarver's best days were behind him when he challenged him. Before that he lost two straight to Jermain Taylor, a guy who doesn't even like to fight. What does that tell you? When he fights me, it will be against a younger and more experienced opponent."

* "I've been asked if I'm concerned about his dirty tactics. That's the easy part. All I need to do is use my speed and my ring intelligence to counter those tactics. The real question for me is, 'will Hopkins fight?' I'm coming out to the middle of the ring, I won't be running a marathon around the ring over 12 rounds. Will he?"

* "We do have similarities in our careers. Despite world title reigns that have lasted longer than most careers, it took a career-defining victory to break through with media and boxing fans outside our borders for international recognition. For Hopkins, it was his victory over Felix Trinidad and for me it was my shellacking of Jeff Lacy. After those victories, things took off for us. I have been a lot more comfortable and relaxed since the Lacy fight."

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Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Frank Warren's Sports Network and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Hopkins vs. Calzaghe "Battle of the Planet" will be broadcast live from the Planet Hollywood Ring at the Thomas & Mack Center on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET / 6:45 p.m. PT.

Remaining tickets, priced at $1500, $1200, $750, $450, $350 and $250, may be purchased by calling 866-USFIGHT or online at www.planethollywood.com.

Article posted on 15.04.2008



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