Joe Calzaghe Hits Back At Shaw

13.09.05 - WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe will be out of the ring until February following confirmation that he broke the meta-carpal bone in his left hand against Evans Ashira on Saturday night in Cardiff. The hard-hitting southpaw fought bravely from the fourth round onwards with only his right hand and relied on his superior boxing skill to outbox Ashira and make a record-breaking 17th defence of his crown.

Calzaghe went to hospital yesterday and the hand was X-rayed which revealed the full extent of the injury. Now, with his hand set in a plaster for a month, he will have to rest for at least six weeks. The unbeaten Welshman and his promoter Frank Warren are bitterly disappointed with the injury as it has postponed the unification showdown with rival IBF Champion Jeff Lacy that was set for 5 November in London. They are even more disappointed with Gary Shaw, the promoter of Lacy, following his comments after the fight stating that the Calzaghe's injury is a way of avoiding a fight with Lacy that is completely untrue..

In fact, Warren said Shaw has had a memory lapse and seaks before he thinks as he tried to make the fight between Calzaghe and Lacy on numerous occasions.

Correspondences date back to 4 October 2004 when Warren first offered Shaw a unification fight against Calzaghe, following Lacy's win over Syd Vanderpool to claim the IBF title, with the aim of making it for either that December or February this year but Shaw did not reply.

Warren then sent an email to Showtime boss Jay Larkin on 14 October 2004 with a proposed date of 5 February 2005 in England after Lacy had called out for a fight against Calzaghe. In addition, Warren offered to take Calzaghe to America so that the fight could go live on Showtime. An email was also sent to Shaw but again no response.

Larkin did reply on the same day and said that Shaw was reluctant to put Lacy in against Calzaghe.

A further email was sent to Shaw on 18 October from Warren asking if he would be interested in making the fight on 5 February in London or America, without the WBO or IBF titles on the line, but again no reply.

Warren even said to Shaw that they could make the fight for September if Lacy withdrew from his IBF title defence on 6 August against Robin Reid and he would pull Calzaghe from his fight in September to make it happen.

Shaw insisted that Lacy would not do that and that he would proceed with the Reid fight first and did not want to lose the Showtime date.

Warren said, "Therefore, I had to make a fight for Joe as he had to get some rounds under his belt,"

He continued, "Shaw say's that Calzaghe has fought "easy" opponents but isn't he forgetting that Lacy has defended his title against two challengers that Joe has already beaten?"

"Robin Reid, Lacy's most recent opponent, was beaten by Joe in over six years ago in February 1999 whilst Omar Sheika was stopped in five rounds by Calzaghe in August 2000, yet he took Lacy the distance last December,"

"Shaw also said that he was told to have a backup plan because Calzaghe was going to fall out. In the draft agreement Shaw sent to me there was a clause, (3b), which was agreed and dealt with the possibility of Joe not fighting:

(b) Interim Bouts. The parties acknowledge that Calzaghe is scheduled to engage in a bout on September 10, 2005. If Calzaghe loses that bout, this Agreement shall be deemed null and void, with neither party owing any obligation to the other. In the event that Calzaghe wins the September 10, 2005 bout, this Agreement shall become automatically binding and effective. SHAW and SN, respectively, shall assure that neither Lacy nor Calzaghe shall engage in any bout or exhibition after the date of this Agreement until the date of the Event, except that (i) Calzaghe may participate in the September 10 bout, and (ii) if Calzaghe wins the September 10 bout but is injured such that he cannot participate in the Event as scheduled, Lacy shall have the right to participate in an interim bout against an opponent of his choice in November of 2005. In the event that Lacy loses such interim bout, shall be deemed null and void, with neither party owing any obligation to the other. In the event that Lacy wins such interim bout, the Event shall be rescheduled to February 4, 2006 (or such other date designated by Showtime Networks, Inc.), and this Agreement shall remain in full force. In the latter circumstances, Calzaghe shall not be permitted to participate in any interim bout whatsoever prior to the rescheduled Event and Lacy shall not be permitted to engage in any interim bout prior to the rescheduled Event other than the interim bout provided for within this Paragraph.

"Joe Will be ready to fight in 2006 and hopefully Lacy will be in the opposite corner." Finished Warren.

Calzaghe, who extended his unbeaten record to 40-0, said, "I'm devastated with the injury but I've proved my heart and skill to everyone by fighting one handed for eight rounds,"

He added, "My victory was soured by the comments made by Shaw saying that I'm using this as an excuse to avoid fighting Lacy,"

"Let's get one thing straight, there is no way I would use this injury as an excuse to avoid fighting Lacy who I know I can knock clean out,"

"I'm the draw and the best in the division and Lacy knows it. That's why he needs me more than I need him,"

"What is there to be scared of? Nothing,"

"Shaw and Lacy will certainly not dictate to me where and when I fight that is down to Frank Warren and myself,"

"Frank has offered them the chance to fight me before and they are the ones who have turned it down claiming that they are not ready to fight me yet,"

"I don't know who's got the bigger mouth, Lacy or Shaw,"

"I want to get it on so I can knock Lacy out once and for all."

Article posted on 13.09.2005

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