Joe Calzaghe Must "Fight The Fight Of His Life" If He's To Beat Roy Jones, Says David Haye

Joe Calzagheby James Slater - For once not speaking about his own career and lofty ambitions, former cruiserweight world champion David Haye has been speaking with BBC Sport about the upcoming Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones Junior clash. A student of boxing who views tapes of fights in a bid to learn even more about his chosen profession, Haye thinks he has an idea how November 8th's big fight will turn out style-wise.

Warning "The Pride of Wales" that he is in for a potentially tough evening, especially if he takes Jones at all lightly, Haye said Joe must give an above average performance if he's to keep his unbeaten record and world title.

"An average performance will not be enough to beat even a washed-up Jones," Haye told the BBC. "Joe's not that effective against someone who's a counter-puncher and doesn't chase him round the ring. Bernard Hopkins' plan was to counter-punch, counter-punch, counter punch, and that's what I think Roy Jones will do.

"The Bernard Hopkins fight could have gone either way. If Joe comes into this fight thinking he's going to fight an old man who isn't up for it, he could be in for a hard night's work, because Jones has such fast hands. Jones will do what Jones always does, he's not going to do anything new. And if he can throw combinations like he once did, he could nick rounds. And if Joe comes in a bit lacklustre, he could be hearing the final bell not sure which way the decision's going to go."

Clearly, though he has his own career to worry about, Haye has put a lot of thought into the Calzaghe-Jones fight. And he makes a lot of sense. Will Calzaghe be able to master a Jones who confuses him with clever counters? Will the Welshman come into the (possibly) final fight of his career overconfident?

Haye also said what a Jones win would mean for R.J.

"Jones has a chance to right the wrongs," Haye said. "He doesn't only win that one fight, he smoothes over all those losses (to Tarver and Johnson). They just become a bad spell in his career, he's no longer defined by them. If he beats Calzaghe he goes out on top and people will start talking about him as an all-time great again. [They'll say] He came back, showed what he's all about and beat one of the great pound-for-pound fighters who was 45-0."

Haye can certainly read another fighter's mind, because coming back and re-proving his greatness is surely just what Roy Jones is thinking about doing. Whether he can do it or not is something else entirely.

Article posted on 30.10.2008

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