by James Slater – For a while there, it looked as though Joe Calzaghe would join the vast number of other ex-champions who retired at the top but were unable to stay away for good. A short while back, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions spoke of how he and the former 168 and 175-pound champion met to discuss the possibility of the 46-0 Welshman returning for one more fight, against Bernard Hopkins. And while Calzaghe, in a news article in The Liverpool Echo, has admitted that, yes, he and Schaefer did talk and that he even went as far as resuming training for a time, there will not be any comeback..
Joe, 38-years-of-age, confirmed yesterday that he did embark on a couple of training sessions in his Newbridge gym, but that he knew almost immediately that the “fire wasn’t there.”
“There’s no truth that I’m coming back,” Calzaghe said. “A lot of boxers come back from retirement but when I retired, I said I intended to retire and nothing has changed from that. A lot of boxing fans would want to see me come back but at 38, after 27 years in the sport, being a champ for eleven years, my time is up. I have no desire to fight, to be honest.
“Richard [Schaefer] and I spoke about it a few months ago when I was in L.A with my girlfriend. I said ‘possibly’ and went away to think about it, whether I wanted to, who the potential opponents could be. But I went to the gym a couple of times and realised that I didn’t want to.”
And while a Calzaghe return against any top name would have been interesting (more so if it were to have been a second clash with “The Executioner”), it is almost certainly for the best that the Welshman is not coming back to the ring. After having gained a fair amount of weight and after having done his share of partying since walking away last year, Calzaghe would likely look a shadow of his former self today.
As is the case with Ricky Hatton, who has also been tempted to fight again, Calzaghe went to the gym and evidently realised pretty quickly that the old stuff simply wasn’t there any longer. All we need now is for Hatton to officially confirm his retirement also.
Aside from not having the fire in his belly, Calzaghe knows he has nothing at all to prove. And though a return would have netted him quite a few million pounds, Joe says no amount of money dangled in front of him will tempt him back now.
Good for him I say.