Boxing

What Next For Calzaghe - Hopkins II, Jones II, Dawson Or Retirement?

by James Slater - Joe Calzaghe put the finishing touches to a great career last night with his dominant points win over former great Roy Jones Junior. Or did he? Will "The Pride of Wales" call it a day, or will he fight again next year? As good as he looked in busting up and all but overwhelming Jones in his New York debut last night, it may well be extremely hard for Joe to give up fighting - even though no-one but an incredibly harsh and biased critic would say he has anything left to prove..

Whilst being interviewed post-fight by Max Kellerman, Calzaghe was asked about his future, in particular a fight with IBF light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Joe, understandably, said he needed time to think. But what about his other options aside from Dawson and hanging 'em up? Kellermam didn't ask Joe about this thoughts on facing the ringside Bernard Hopkins in a return - something "The Executioner" very much wants. Nor did the commentator ask either Calzaghe or the beaten Jones about a return fight in Wales - something that had been bandied around as a possibility before last night's win by Joe.

No, there was probably no need for anyone to ask about a Calzaghe-Jones II fight, so comprehensive was the Welshman's win, but a Calzaghe-Hopkins II fight would be interesting. For what it's worth, this writer feels that fight has more of a chance of taking place than any other, with retirement being Joe's most likely choice. Who would demand a Calzaghe-Dawson fight? Judging by his cocky, almost contemptuous handling of Jones last night, "Bad Chad" would have no chance against the incredible man with the 46-0 record.

A further fight would definitely be welcomed from Calzaghe though. Looking as good as ever, the 1st round knockdown aside, Joe was in tremendous shape. He came on as the fight went on and his chin looked as reliable as ever - as he showed by taking one helluva right uppercut flush from Jones in the early going of last night's bout. As was the case with the trip to the floor he took against B-Hop, Calzaghe simply got back up and looked woken up and fought better upon beating the count. A remarkable fighter in this respect, Calzaghe, almost like the great Felix Trinidad, comes back stronger after being knocked down.

There is no doubt a fight with Jones would have been a lot more interesting had it taken place when it should have done, six or seven years ago, but Calzaghe has nonetheless enjoyed a quite fabulous career. Beating two legends in a row in what may well prove to be his final performances, Calzaghe has proven to be a fighter who has gotten better with age.

He could conceivably go on successfully for another fight or three, but no-one could blame Joe for taking the opinion that he has done all he needs to. Bernard Hopkins would almost certainly disagree, but the choice is no-one's but the 46-0 Joe Calzaghe's.

Article posted on 11.11.2008



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