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Monday, 25 November, 2002, 14:15 GMT
Calzaghe eyes Hopkins showdown
WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins would step up to Calzaghe's weight
The prospect of Joe Calzaghe fighting Bernard Hopkins moved a step closer to reality on Monday with the news that negotiations are underway.

Calzaghe must first defeat American challenger Thomas Tate in Newcastle next month, but his next fight could then be the biggest of his career.

"This is brilliant news and is just the incentive I need to put on a top performance against Thomas Tate," Calzaghe said.


Joe has agreed to it and it is now up to Hopkins to agree
Boxing promoter Frank Warren

"I have been chasing a super-fight against the likes of Hopkins for a long time.

"I want to prove that not only am I the best super-middle but also the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world."

World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight champion Calzaghe has long wanted a lucrative fight against one of the big American names.

Roy Jones Jr has made encouraging noises but done little else to suggest he will ever test himself against the Newbridge fighter.

But Hopkins - the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight champ - appears to have at least looked seriously at a match-up.

Calzaghe revealed that his promoter, Frank Warren, met with opposite number Don King in London on Monday to negotiate the details of a fight to take place next year.

Both camps are confident that the fight will take place next summer, with Cardiff's 72,500-seater Millennium Stadium the favoured venue.

However, for the Calzaghe v Hopkins fight to take place, both have to come through title defences first.

Welshman Calzaghe makes his 12th defence against Tate on 14 December at the Telewest Arena in Newcastle.

Joe Calzaghe is the WBO super-middleweight champion
Only Calzaghe's world title would be on the line

Then Hopkins defends his titles on 11 January in his hometown of Philadelphia against Frenchman Morrade Hakker.

Providing both come out winners then the duo should meet in a summer extravaganza, with Hopkins stepping up a division to challenge for Calzaghe's crown.

"Don and myself are set on making this fight happen," Warren said.

"Joe has agreed to it and it is now up to Hopkins to agree. The fight can take place next year providing both men come through their forthcoming defences.

"We have been working a long time for this fight to take place and finally all the hard work is bearing fruit.

"Boxing fans can look forward to a sensational showdown in 2003."


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19 Nov 02 | Boxing
31 Oct 02 | Boxing
10 Oct 02 | Boxing
23 Apr 01 | Wales
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