Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 22:27 UK

Pacino admires 'amazing' Calzaghe


Watch BBC Sport Wales' exclusive interview with Al Pacino

Two greats of their respective careers came together on the red carpet in Las Vegas last night - Newbridge's Joe Calzaghe and Hollywood's Al Pacino.

They met at the premiere of Pacino's latest film 88 Minutes and Wales Today's Jason Mohammad managed to grab the movie legend for a few words.

The Godfather star expressed his admiration for Calzaghe, 36, who fights Bernard Hopkins, 43, early on Sunday.

Pacino said watching Calzaghe fight "was almost like acting".

Speaking before the film premiere at the Planet Hollywood Resort, the Scarface star said he had seen Calzaghe fight three or four times.

"Not many people know Calzaghe but he is an amazing boxer, as is Bernard Hopkins," said Pacino.

"So it is going to be the most amazing fight, I am so looking forward to seeing it."

Al Pacino arriving for his premiere in Las Vegas
Al Pacino arriving for his film premiere in Las Vegas

BBC Wales presenter Mohammad said meeting and interviewing Pacino - one of his favourite actors - was the highlight of his career so far.

He said the BBC team had managed to obtain passes for the film premiere, knowing that Calzaghe would be there to meet Pacino.

When the actor came along the red carpet, Mohammad shouted for him to come over.

"I told him who I was and he shouted 'hey Jason', which was an unbelievable moment. We had a chat about boxing and he was so charming," he said.

"He's one of my favourite actors of all time. I saw one of the other entertainment TV reporter put their arm around him for a piece to camera.

'Only one chance'

"So I thought I would do the same (for Wales Today) - you only get one chance to do something like that in a lifetime.

"I had my arm around him and he said 'Hi BBC' to the camera. There were loads of other reporters there who he didn't speak to - I think sticking my neck out paid off."

He added: "I wasn't too nervous because he's such a nice guy. When you're on the red carpet, it's like a chicken pen - there are loads of cameras around you and it's hot so you just get on with it.

"So that was my brush with Scarface! I've met Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and George Best. But Pacino is the king."

An estimated 8,000 fans have travelled to "Sin City" for the fight - Calzaghe's first in America and his debut at the light-heavyweight limit.

The undisputed super-middleweight champion is the favourite to win the fight with the backing of pundits and previous champions ringing in his ears.

But Hopkins has tried to unnerve the Calzaghe camp by criticising his opponent's father and trainer Enzo Calzaghe.

BBC Radio Wales, and Radio 5 Live will have live coverage of the Calzaghe v Hopkins fight from Las Vegas from around 0230 BST on Sunday.

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