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Joe Calzaghe announces retirement from boxing

By Zach Arnold | February 5, 2009

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News broke yesterday that the 46-0 fighter would call it quits from the sport, turning down a long-rumored fight against Carl Froch. With Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the sidelines and Pacquiao/Hatton signed, the question was whether or not Calzaghe would accept a fight against Froch. The answer is no.

Calzaghe had long been promoted by Frank Warren, but ended the relationship to work with Roy Jones Jr. for a fight at Madison Square Garden. He won a decision and the undercard for the show was brutal.

Surprisingly, a lot of Calzaghe’s critics have come out of the woodwork in the media. Accusations of him being ‘scared’ to fight Froch and also the labels of him being a ‘slapboxer’ have been flung around in the foreign press.

He declined to give Hopkins a rematch after the American’s lack of grace in defeat, while he says that he lacks the motivation for bouts against younger, unbeaten champions such as Carl Froch, the WBC super-middleweight champion from Nottingham.

Froch will now turn his eyes towards a fight against Jermain Taylor either on April 18th or April 25th.

Ben Dirs at the BBC makes the argument for why Calzaghe belongs amongst the all-time greats. Ron Borges questions whether or not Calzaghe is the best Brit of all time. The Mirror says that there is no doubt that he was the best of the best. Scott Christ takes a look at Calzaghe’s legacy. Ricky Hatton has nothing but praise for Calzaghe.

Here is a video interview the BBC conducted with Calzaghe on why he’s retiring now.

Topics: Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “Joe Calzaghe announces retirement from boxing”

  1. liger05 says:

    Calzaghe had a good career but the fact he was happy to defend his WBO title against Europeans for 10 years will always go against him. If Hatton beats Manny he will be remembered as beating Kostya and Manny. 2 wins which beat everything calzaghe ever did even though he retires unbeaten,

  2. Ultimo Santa says:

    As an outside observer of the boxing world, it seems like many big name fighters are simply concerned with getting a couple giant paydays, and then leaving the sport as quickly as possible.

    In MMA, there are far more fighters who want to face the best of the best, and prove themselves on the sport – and not just call it quits as soon as they pad their retirement fund.

    Although it is a little strange to hear that BJ Penn is now talking about retirement so soon…

  3. A. Taveras says:

    Well said liger. Hey I like the guy and his style always made for great fights…but he really owes Hopkins and the fans a rematch. Or if he felt really courageous, Dawson.

  4. kjh says:

    Ultimo, I think that’s a function of boxers being much better compensated than MMA fighters.

  5. Robert Poole says:

    Calzaghe, had he spent his prime fighting in the states probably would have lost to a prime Jones Jr. or a prime Hopkins. I still think Joe won both of those fights and I think he beat a pretty awesome Mikkel Kessler but I think with the obvious tarnish on his legacy he’d want to do more than beat two overaged former champions and make some sort of false supremecy claim when there are still good fighters like Froch or more notably Dawson out there. Heck at this point even a Glenn Johnson fight would do more for his reputation than “retiring undefeated” does.


  6. samscaff says:

    I reiterate the point that if MMA fighters could promote their own shows and make $10-20million per fight…I think a lot more guys would be less concerned with “being the best.”

    Not to mention its not like Calzaghe didnt fight constantly for the past 10+ years. I know he was protected in europe for most of that…but trying to compare to MMA and say he didnt fight the best is a little silly. Furthermore..he DID just beat hopkins, who then beat PAVLIK… Proving he is still VERY legit…and top boxer.

  7. Lester Grimes says:

    “As an outside observer of the boxing world, it seems like many big name fighters are simply concerned with getting a couple giant paydays, and then leaving the sport as quickly as possible.”

    Whether its Ali vs Fraizer or Hagler vs Leonard, this practice has been going on for years. When you factor in the limited shelf life of a boxer, plus additional health concerns (Brain Trauma, etc), any rational person (or fighter) would take the opportunity to earn as much as possible; hence the big payday or fight. This is professional sports after all.

    Despite all the money he’s earned in the past, a boxer like Thomas “Hitman” Hearns can barely speak straight anymore due to his longevity in the ring.

  8. skwirrl says:

    Calzaghe would embarrass Froch and would have a good matchup with a much larger and nearly as quick in the hands Dawson. Hopkins running his mouth and basically using a racial slur against Calzaghe, (I don’t remember what it was but I remember the there was an issue about it), pretty much sealed the deal on that fight never getting rematched. Somebody said prime Hopkins… Honestly Hopkins IS STILL in his prime. Being as he’s a tactical fighter he might actually be better now than a few years ago as his experience is greater. He just dominated and made Kelly Pavlik look stupid in the ring. I think Joe C beats Hopkins more convincingly a few years ago.

    Hopkins and Kessler are as good as they come. You can say a prime RJJ would win… And its quite possible. But RJJ is overrated a bit. His skills were amazing but he never liked the adversity that testing himself presented. There is a reason HE never rematched Hopkins either. And he had years to give him a rematch. He beat a Hopkins who wasn’t as good or nearly as experienced and tactical as the one Joe C beat. I think RJJ vs Joe C at RJJ’s peak comes down to a very close and possibly split decision or even majority draw.

    I wish Joe C had stepped up and fought Dawson before retiring but honestly the payday wasn’t worth it. Dawson is still relatively unknown and he is probably the best fighter above 147. His only weakness is his jaw and Joe C is by no means any kind of puncher that would KO him. Just a all around bad matchup for Joe C. Retire on top buddy.

  9. dave2 says:

    It’s very smart for a fighter to get out of the game before their physical abilities and skills deteriorate. Calzaghe is close to 37. Maybe now was the right time for him to call it quits. He should have tested himself more when he was younger though.


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