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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 22:21 GMT 23:21 UK
Calzaghe maintains perfect record
Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe defended his WBO super-middleweight belt for the 15th time
Joe Calzaghe retained his WBO super-middleweight title with a unanimous verdict over Kabary Salem in Edinburgh.

The victory saw the 32-year-old Welshman stretch his unbeaten record to 38 fights and match Chris Eubank's record of 15 title defences.

But Calzaghe was nowhere near his best against the Egyptian, and suffered the embarrassment of being knocked down for only the second time in his career.

He was also cut and docked a point for using his head in a disjointed fight.

Despite his fourth-round visit to the canvas, the three judges scored the fight 117-109, 118-107 and 116-109 in Calzaghe's favour.

The Newbridge boxer did put his opponent down in the final round with a good right-hand shot, but Calzaghe was clearly unimpressed with his own display.

Calzaghe said: "I'm disappointed with my performance. I'm glad I won but Salem came to spoil, he succeeded in making me look bad but I'm going to get better.

I'm still looking for that career-defining fight
Joe Calzaghe
"It just shows you always have something to learn and that even the best can have an off-day.

"He caught me off-balance and embarrassed me a bit but I've still got a lot to work on.

"I'm still looking for that career-defining fight."

Calzaghe was cut after a clash of heads with his awkward opponent in the second round, and that seemed to rouse the champion into a more urgent performance.

The Welshman upped the tempo, but Salem seemed to have few problems dealing with the attacks.

Salem was also finding some joy with right hands, but Calzaghe gradually began to edge away from his opponent in the later rounds although he did have cause to worry when he was rocked by a Salem right hand in the 11th.

After having his point deducted - par for the course in a scrappy encounter - Calzaghe finally got his own knockdown in the final round from an innocuous right hand.




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