02.04.08 – When undefeated superstar Joe Calzaghe of Wales (44-0, 32 KOs) steps into the ring on Saturday, Apr. 19 and faces off with boxing legend Bernard Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs) in a light heavyweight showdown from Las Vegas that will be telecast live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing at 9:45 p.m. ET/ 6:45 p.m. PT, the undefeated visitor from across the pond will be making his first appearance in a ring outside Europe..
HBO analyst Lennox Lewis, a native of Great Britain, who retired in 2004 while carrying the title of reigning world heavyweight champion, assesses the challenge awaiting the 36-year-old southpaw:
On the challenge of traveling to a fight:
“It is an advantage for Hopkins and an issue for Calzaghe because he has never traveled for a fight. Now he actually has to travel, get readjusted, stay for quite awhile in a brand new environment. That has to have some kind of effect on you because you have never done it before. All of a sudden this is you, the whole world is focused on you. You are not at home anymore, your fans are traveling. Some boxers can adjust and some boxers can’t, we are going to have to see whether he can make the adjustment or not.”
On the effects of opponents who talk smack and try to get inside your head:
“Some opponents listen to it. Some opponents take it in and some opponents use it and take advantage of it. Like me, for example. Mike Tyson bit me on the leg (in January 2002) and I used that to my advantage. Everyday I put up a picture of Mike Tyson at training camp and said, ‘Ok, he had first blood, but I am going to finish the fight.’ “
Assessing the fight:
“It is going to be a great fight because you have one undefeated fighter coming all the way from England and you have one cagey old fighter which you never know what to expect when he comes out, but you know that he has a lot of experience going behind him. As an American fighter Hopkins’ popularity is greater than Calzaghe’s, so this is a recipe that makes for a good fight.”