Joe Calzaghe Says No Way Will He End Up Like De La Hoya, Aims To Retire On Top

by James Slater - Whether he fights again or not, Welshman Joe Calzaghe is sure of one thing; he will not end his career the same way Oscar De La Hoya at least appears to have ended his - beaten up, broken and slumped on his stool. Speaking with Wales On Line recently, the former super-middleweight and current light-heavyweight king says he will not be a fighter who is unable to realise it when his time is up. This may be right now, and Calzaghe admits he may never set foot into a boxing ring to fight again. Still not having made up his mind 100-percent, however, there is also a small chance "The Pride of Wales" will have one more bout..

Joe began by speaking about how he knows age is creeping up on him.

"My success just keeps getting bigger and bigger, but the thing is I just keep getting older and older," Calzaghe said. "I am nearly 37. So many fighters go on too long, get themselves beaten up and boxing retires them. But I want it to be the other way round. So I will have to have a good think over Christmas.

"At the end of the day I have to decide if there's anything else I want to achieve and anyone else I want to beat. That's the real question for me. I don't want to be one of those fighters that keeps retiring and coming back, I want to retire at the top of the game and remain that way."

Which brings us to Oscar De La Hoya, one of recent boxing history's great comeback artists. Capable, in the past, of coming out of months of inactivity and winning big fights, the 35-year-old former "Golden Boy" pushed his own luck too far this past Saturday against Manny Pacquiao.

Calzaghe spoke on the sad Las Vegas bout held on December 6th.

"Oscar has done tremendous things in his career, but there comes a time for everybody to call it a day," Joe said. "Mike Tyson was probably finished at 29, although some people peak at 40. Everybody is different in this sport. De La Hoya may be two years younger than me, but I am a hungry guy. He has got a lot more money than me as well. That's the big difference in this. He really didn't need to keep fighting.

"De La Hoya hasn't been a real fighter for years. You can't fault the guy because he has been a great fighter in the past and made so much money from the sport. But, realistically, he has been a part-time boxer for years. That showed against Pacquiao who was so hungry to win that fight. Unfortunately for De La Hoya he just fell apart at the hinges after the first few rounds. He just didn't have anything there. So hopefully that was his last fight, I don't think he is going to fight again."

Calzaghe, it seems, has no overwhelming urge to box again either.

"At the end of 2007, I wondered what else was there to do," Calzaghe stated. "I wasn't sure anything could top beating Mikkel Kessler in front of 50,000 fans at The Millennium Stadium. But the thing that was missing was going up to light-heavyweight and fighting in America. To do it, not just once but twice, was brilliant. To win in Las Vegas and then Madison Square Garden, I couldn't write the script better. So I have finally done everything I wanted to achieve."

It sure sounds as though Joe is content and satisfied. Carl Froch and Chad Dawson will be disappointed, but Calzaghe looks set for permanent retirement, doesn't he?

Article posted on 11.12.2008

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