Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Calzaghe 'mistrusts ex-manager'

Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe outside the High Court in London earlier in the week

World champion boxer Joe Calzaghe has told the High Court that he does not trust his former manager Frank Warren.

Mr Calzaghe, who retired from the ring earlier this month unbeaten, claims he is owed 2m in unpaid fees.

But Mr Warren claims the Welsh super-middleweight owes him 1m for breaking a verbal contract for one more fight.

Taking to the the witness stand in the pair's court battle over the disputed money, Mr Calzaghe denied any verbal agreement.

Ronald Thwaites QC, representing Mr Warren, pointed to his client on the bench in front of him and said: "This is the man who, over a period of 10 years, who picked you up when you were skint, has made you in excess of 16.5m.

"And this is the man who progressively increased your purse, giving you your first million-pound purse on the basis of a handshake agreement."

"Yes, that is right," Calzaghe told the court.

"Why don't you trust him?" asked Mr Thwaites.

"That is the way it was. I don't trust him," the boxer said.

Calzaghe was questioned on the fifth day of the High Court battle with Mr Warren.

The Newbridge boxer denied breaking a promise to Mr Warren, who managed him for 10 years from 1997.

Joe Calzaghe and Frank Warren
I was often pressurised to sign - Mr Warren would use some argument or other to persuade me that I had no other option
Joe Calzaghe pictured with Frank Warren when they worked together

Calzaghe then took over promoting his own fights.

Mr Thwaites asked him: "Are you a man of your word?"

"I like to think so," replied Calzaghe.

"Are you only a man of your word if it suits you?" Mr Thwaites continued.

"Would you give gave a handshake agreement to Mr Warren and then go back on that promise?"

"Of course not," said the boxer.

"You made a promise that you have broken and that is why we are all here today," said Mr Thwaites.

"Absolutely not," said Calzaghe.

He said he had never made a verbal agreement with Mr Warren for him to manage him for further fights after he split with him in 2008.

In his main evidence put before the court, he said he signed a succession of management contracts with Mr Warren.

He said: "I was often pressurised to sign - Mr Warren would use some argument or other to persuade me that I had no other option."

Calzaghe's legal team previously put it to Mr Warren that there had been a conflict of interest between his role as the fighter's manager and his promoter.

The boxer told the court that because Mr Warren was his manager and promoted his fights, he had a "great deal of control" over his boxing career without any independent professional voice on his behalf.

The case continues.

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