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Boxing correspondent John Rawling
"A dismal fight which was greeted by jeers and boos"
 real 28k

Saturday, 29 January, 2000, 23:04 GMT
Calzaghe disappoints in victory

Calzaghe (right) remains champion after dour display


Welshman Joe Calzaghe has defended his WBO super-middleweight title against England's David Starie.

The main under-card battle before Mike Tyson's first UK fight was a dour affair, and the champion was always in control without really dominating his opponent from Suffolk.

A negative Starie failed to take the opportunity of a world title chance and boos rang around the Manchester venue as the announcement of the judges' unanimous decision was made.


Judges' verdicts
116-113
118-110
120-108
Calzaghe will also not have impressed the audience across the Atlantic on his US TV debut.

The fight was due to go out on the Showtime Network on a five-hour time delay as part of the Tyson package.

One judge did not even give the challenger a round, and injury-prone Calzaghe's below-par performance was not entirely of the 27-year-old champion's making.

Starrie's negativity made for a poor, messy spectacle and boos had been ringing around the capacity arena by the halfway mark.

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Calzaghe enjoyed most of the few patches of success, connecting with strong lefts in the opening round and cutting Starrie's right eyelid in the fourth.

Starrie was more aggressive in the sixth, landing cleanly on Calzaghe's chin but failing to trouble him.

Hampered by his worsening cut, the challenger's aggression soon subsided and Calzaghe unconvincingly regained the ascendancy.

Both fighters were slow-handclapped throughout the final two rounds by 21,000 fans hungry for the main event.

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See also:
05 Aug 99 |  Wales
Calzaghe's father ousted as trainer
07 Jun 99 |  Sport
Calzaghe lacklustre in victory
25 Jan 98 |  Sport
Calzaghe cruises to WBO defence
15 Feb 99 |  Sport
Calzaghe's hand 'not broken'
Links to other Sport stories are at the foot of the page.