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 Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 13:40 GMT
Tate in the frame
Thomas Tate
Tate in his 1992 title fight with Julian Jackson
Joe Calzaghe has dreams of a superfight with Bernard Hopkins or Roy Jones Jr.

The Welshman's next opponent, Thomas Tate, may not quite be Jones - but he has been in the ring with the Penascola wonder.

The 36-year-old Tate's best days may be behind him, but he's well respected in the boxing world and a dangerous opponent.

The former WBU super middleweight champion from the fighting city of Detroit, renowned for his dangerous right hand, has been there, seen it and has the scars to prove it.

In a distinguished amateur career, 'Ice T' took part in over 200 fights that included a 1986 US National final with Michael Moorer, later to become world heavyweight champion.

Tate went 22 fights undefeated as a professional before losing a controversial decision to Percy Harris in Italy.

Despite the defeat, he was able to secure a WBC middleweight title fight with the hard-punching Julian Jackson in 1992.

Roy Jones
Jones stopped Tate with a brutal left hook

Tate regards this epic fight as his finest performance, but he lost a tight 12-rounder on points.

Roy Jones Jr became the first and only man to stop Tate in 1994. A crashing left hook in the second round relieved him of his senses.

With three defeats on his record it became harder for Tate to secure the plum fights and he moved up to super middle.

He proved he was not finished, though, with a shock win over unbeaten prospect Joseph Kiwanuka in Philadelphia.

Since then there have been a series of ding-dong encounters as the ever-game Tate sought to re-establish himself at the top table.

He won a real war with ex-Calzaghe victim Omar Sheika in 2001.

Tate was on a run of 11 successive wins, but his last two fights have been points defeats to IBF Super Middleweight champion Sven Ottke in the German's own back yard.

Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe cannot afford to be complacent against Tate

Tate thought he was robbed in the first encounter, and in the second struggled for balance after suffering a ruptured eardrum in the second round.

His professional record now stands at 41-7 (28), but in none of his defeats has he proved an easy touch.

Anything other than a comfortable Calzaghe victory would be a major upset and the Welshman will be looking for a knockout to impress the US television audience.

Tate is a capable performer, though, with a reputation for beating the odds.

Calzaghe cannot afford to be complacent or Ice T could cool his superfight dreams.

See also:

23 Apr 01 | Wales
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