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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 14:42 GMT
Samuels back on track
Paul Samuels (left)
Samuels says Enzo Calzaghe had no time for him
Paul Samuels is a rejuvenated fighter as he prepares for Saturday's rematch with IBO light-middleweight champion Richard Williams.

And the Newport fighter puts it down to a switch from trainer Enzo Calzaghe, the man who guided his son Joe Calzaghe to the WBO super-middleweight crown.

Samuels, 29, told BBC Radio Wales' 'Back Page' programme: "Enzo's a great trainer with a lot of dedication - but it's all for Joe.

"He got all the attention and there was no time for any of the other fighters."

After an accomplished amateur career, Samuels turned pro in 1995 and went on to win his first 15 fights.

He was a regular face at Joe Calzaghe's title fights, where Samuels was proud to carry the champ's title belt to the ring.

But the clash that still rankles with the hard-punching light-middleweight is the British title fight with Wayne Alexander in February 2000.

Samuels claims that Enzo only devoted two weeks to him in the build-up to that match. The Newport puncher was stopped in a brutally memorable three-round battle.

Pundits have claimed that Samuels' heart hasn't been in the fight game since, and his first clash with Richard Williams in June of this year was supposed to be an easy night for the champion.

But Samuels was happy with new trainer Tony Ball and had got himself focused for the fight.

He took Williams' best shots in the opening round before firing back at the talented Londoner.

It was anybody's fight at the end of the third when an accidental clash of heads led to two horrible cuts opening around Williams' right eye.

The referee stopped the bout and declared it a technical draw.

Samuels has respect for Williams who he describes as a "smooth operator."

But the man from Newport has his own ambitions in the fight game and is eager to prove that he can do more than just carry other people's world-title belts.

You can listen to the full Samuels interview on BBC Radio Wales' 'The Back Page.' 0830 BST, Saturday, 7 Decmeber



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08 Mar 02 | Boxing
30 Jun 02 | Boxing
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