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posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 08:12 AM
Frank Warren has hailed Joe Calzaghe as the greatest British super-middleweight of the modern era and lamented the Welshman's failure to meet fallen great Roy Jones Jr.

Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Chris Eubank and Michael Watson helped make the division one of the most exciting in the UK over the past 15 years but Warren believes Calzaghe is the pick of them all.

He said: "Joe is one of the best British fighters I've ever been involved with. "You look at any of the super-middleweights of recent times - guys like Nigel Benn and Steve Collins - and I think he'd have beat them all. "Nigel and Steve are pals of mine but I think he'd beat either of them.

"Joe fought Eubank and Chris said it was the hardest he's ever been hit in his career. "He can punch, has great hand speed, a granite chin and fantastic stamina."

Warren's efforts to match Calzaghe against Jones - who was regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter around - proved unsuccessful and now there is little value in the fight ever taking place. Jones was knocked unconscious by journeyman Glen Johnson nearly two weeks ago and combined with his equally stunning second-round defeat at the hands of Antonio Tarver in May, the Florida-based fighter's career looks over.

The world champion in four different weight divisions reportedly failed a drugs test after beating Richard Hall in 2000 but received no punishment and his latest defeat surely marks the end of a uniquely gifted fighter.

Warren said: "Joe would have beaten Roy Jones. I knew Jones was messing around with steroids. "It all came out into the public and since he's stopped using he's not looked the same fighter.

"He's been described as one of the greatest fighters of all time but I do not understand that. "Great fighters do not get knocked out twice on the trot like he has been". "It's just a shame we could never make that fight with Joe."

Calzaghe's next assignment is against New Yorker Kabary Salem on October 22 and if that hurdle is successfully negotiated, Warren will negotiate a clash with either Jeff Lacy, Johnson or Tarver.

"Jeff Lacy has said he would fight Joe and I've said we'd gladly accommodate him. "But first Joe has got to get through this fight - and Kabary is tough.

"He will come to fight and is the type of guy who will give Joe a tough contest. "I've been talking to Johnson and Tarver, assuming Joe comes through okay.

"Joe will get a big fight early next year and he will travel wherever it takes to prove he is one of the best boxers in this country."

Sporting Life


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