Big Blow For Calzaghe: Injury Scuppers Homecoming But The Show Goes On

01.06.06 - A hand injury has ruled out Joe Calzaghe from his triumphant Homecoming at the Millennium Stadium on July 8. The WBO & IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion damaged his left hand, the same hand in which he broke a bone in against Evans Ashira last September, in a training session this week. Calzaghe is absolutely devastated that the injury has once again held up his career and his dream of headlining at the Welsh landmark.

Despite Calzaghe's withdrawal, Frank Warren's super show at the Millennium Stadium will still go ahead with a superb six-title fight card including the highly anticipated Heavyweight rematch between Danny Williams and Matt Skelton, Swansea's KO King Enzo Maccarinelli leads the Welsh charge along with the explosive shoot-out between Gary Lockett and Ryan Rhodes for the WBU Middleweight title. Newport's Bradley Pryce defends his Commonwealth crown and Tony Doherty and Taz Jones once again square off for the Celtic championship, which ended in such controversial circumstances last time. The Millennium Stadium will also see the return to Welsh soil of boxings hottest young prospect Amir Khan.

Calzaghe encountered the same problem in the build up to his fight against Jeff Lacy in March when he injured the left hand in training and missed out on a week of training and considered withdrawing. However, the 34-year-old pressed ahead and put on what has been described as the finest display of ring-craft ever performed by a British fighter.

Despite his faultless showing - in which he hit IBF king Lacy a staggering 1006 times - his masterful performance did come at a cost as he suffered a hairline fracture in the eighth round.

After a re-occurrence this week, Calzaghe sought immediate specialist advice and although he has not broken the bone, the injury is severe enough for him to have been ordered to rest the hand and delay his comeback until the autumn.

Promoter Frank Warren said, "Like everyone else involved in the promotion, I am really disappointed that Joe has had to withdraw because of this latest injury. After medical consultation he has been advised to rest so we are looking at Joe returning to action in the autumn. Although Joe's withdrawal is a blow, I'm delighted to say that the show will still go ahead and we have a fantastic line up at the Millennium Stadium with Williams v Skelton, Maccarinelli, Rhodes v Lockett and young Amir plus a top quality undercard. This is still a massive, massive show and I am sure the Stadium will still witness Wales' greatest ever boxing show."

Ticket-holders who attend the Millennium Stadium on 8th July will be given an added incentive as, if they retain their used ticket, they will be given a voucher that will entitle them to a 10% discount on a ticket for Joe Calzaghe's ring return in the autumn.

Article posted on 01.06.2006

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