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Thursday, August 5, 1999 Published at 05:33 GMT 06:33 UK

Special Report

Calzaghe's father ousted as trainer

Joe Calzaghe weighs in for the Ben Thornberry fight

The camp of world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe has erupted in a row over the dropping of his father Enzo as trainer.

Calzaghe Senior dismissed comments by manager Frank Warren that he had "gone as far as he can" as his son's trainer and should step aside.

The veteran trainer said he was furious at the suggestion he was incapable of doing the job.

[ image: Calzaghe's next trainer could be George Francis]
Calzaghe's next trainer could be George Francis
"That's a load of rubbish," he said. "How much further could I take Joe? He is unbeaten as a professional and is world champion."

The 27-year-old Welsh world super-middleweight champion was guided to three Amateur Boxing Association titles at three different weights by his father, who has trained him for 17 years.

But Joe Calzaghe has come in for criticism following a lacklustre title defence against Australian Rick Thornberry which the boxer blamed on a hand injury.

Veteran trainer

"The bottom line is that he is fighting like a champion and not a challenger. He's not hungry anymore," said Enzo Calzaghe.

"In that Thornberry fight, he won every round, but I had to take the wrap."

The Newbridge fighter is now due to fly across for a debut in the United States next month and the shake-up could mean veteran trainer George Francis takes his corner.

Warren has denied a rift exists.

"Sensible man"

"Enzo is a sensible man and he only wants what is best for his son," said Warren.

"It will be a terrible wrench for Enzo to leave after almost 20 years in his corner."

Enzo Calzaghe, though, is clearly furious at his apparent treatment - although he denied Warren was the cause of the problem.

"Why this has happened, I don't know," said Calzaghe Snr.

"I'm realistic"

"This stuff about being too close because we are father and son is a joke because father and sons work better than anyone else.

"I'm a very realistic guy and a positive guy but he has hurt me.

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