Sugar Ray Leonard - "I Give Joe Calzaghe The Edge Over Roy Jones"

by James Slater - Speaking recently with BBC radio, boxing legend "Sugar" Ray Leonard gave his take on the up-coming (new date to be confirmed) Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones Junior fight. A fan and admirer of both boxers, the all-time great who won world titles at five different weights said he gives the Welshman an edge, due in large part to his incredible hand speed..

"Joe has incredible hand speed, he's like perpetual motion with his hands," Sugar Ray told BBC. "I have to give the edge to him. I really thought Mikkel Kessler would give him a tough fight and a lot of problems, but Joe just overwhelmed him with his speed. I even thought Peter Manfredo stood a chance at getting to Joe, but Joe just again overwhelmed him. He's highly motivated and he wants to put the finishing touches to his legacy, so you have to give the edge to Joe."

Ray also said Jones has fast hands and cannot be underestimated.

"Roy has unnatural hand speed and foot speed. He has a radar sense that you can't train, it's just a natural thing - a gift. Roy is an athlete first, which makes it a very intriguing fight. He and (former Calzaghe victim) Jeff Lacy are like night and day. Roy has more artillery and better resources. Lacy's greatest assets were his power and his determination. Roy Jones, even at almost 40-years-of-age, you can't think he's shot or slow. He's just an anomaly."

Leonard's interviewer mentioned what Jones recently said with regards to fighting Calzaghe for both his light-heavyweight and his super-middleweight titles at the same time. Ray, of course, did this exact same thing back in 1988 when he fought Canada's Donny "Golden Boy" Lalonde.

"I did that with Donny Lalonde, it was kind of a marketing thing in a sense. The fight was for the vacant 168-pound title and to make the fight more attractive and even more marketable, Donny agreed to put his light-heavyweight title on the line to give the fight a little more pizzazz. In fact, that fight there was my biggest fight financially."

It seems then, that Leonard believes speed will be the biggest factor in the Calzaghe-Jones fight, as opposed to power. One thing is sure, though, the fight will only get bigger as a result of its postponement. It is to be hoped that legal, out-of-the-ring battles, do not prevent the two greats from getting it on as soon as possible.

Article posted on 30.07.2008

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