Joe Calzaghe Apologises For Cocaine Use; Criticises Newspaper's Reporting Tactics

by James Slater - As is currently being reported all over the internet, former two-weight world champion and all-time great Joe Calzaghe has admitted to how he has taken cocaine since retiring from the ring with an unbeaten 46-0 record. Huge U.K newspaper The News of The World, in an exclusive that has stunned the Welshman's fans, today revealed how the former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champion has used the drug since retiring after his November 2008 win over Roy Jones Jr.

The paper also reports how the 38-year-old has "bad-mouthed" fellow boxers such as Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan and Naseem Hamed (however, as you will see when reading on, the allegations about Joe "laying into" other fighters are pretty much a case of over blowing the facts)..

Talking on his official website, Calzaghe has apologised for, and is regretful of, his "occasional" use of cocaine. Joe also is critical of the way The News of The World "secretly" filmed him in order to get their story.

According to the BBC, Calzaghe speaks of how some of the things he said whilst being in the company of the undercover reporters were "not meant seriously." Feeling he has been the victim of underhanded tactics by the paper he may be, but Calzaghe is also full for regret for the way he has set a bad example.

"I very much regret my occasional use of cocaine in what have sometimes been the long days since my retirement from the ring," Calzaghe said. "I am fully aware of the bad example it sets to other people and I apologise. It is not a major problem in my life but it is something I am actively addressing.

"Many of the other conversations reported to have taken place simply involve men joshing or shooting the breeze over a drink. While some statements are untrue or exaggerations I am, naturally, sorry for any embarrassment their publication may cause to entirely blameless third parties."

As to the "Bad-mouthing" Calzaghe gave Hatton, Khan and Hamed; this aspect of the paper's report is, in my opinion, nothing more than a cheap shot. The "bad" things Joe said about his fellow boxers are as follows:

"The main thing is your health. Look at Ricky Hatton for instance. You know he was knocked out really badly the last fight, knocked out two fights ago, and the reality is he's done himself a lot of damage. Regardless of when he fights again, and he says he's going to fight, he's been knocked out by a nobody hasn't he, because his punch resistance has gone as far as I'm concerned."

You can see that, aside from being off-the-mark when he refers to either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr as being a "nobody", that Calzaghe has said nothing about Hatton that has not been said by many other people in the recent past.

On Naseem Hamed:

"Naseem, he's living in London now. Obviously he had that episode didn't he, where he went to prison (for leaving the scene of a car crash). He's quite big, he's only like five foot two. He's quite a size now."

Again, no earth shattering revelations here.

On Amir Khan:

"He's not exceptional. If he fights against a tall guy he'll be knocked out again. He can't fight a puncher."

Wow! Isn't this the same thing a number of fight fans and experts have said a number of times in recent months?

Okay, Calzaghe's cocaine use is a shocker, and his image will definitely take a blow. But why must the newspaper try to make Calzaghe out to be a man who has "laid into" his fellow boxers, when clearly he hasn't.

Article posted on 28.03.2010

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