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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Johnson snubs Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe must now look for a different opponent
Joe Calzaghe's chance of fighting IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson looks to be over.

The Welshman withdrew from the original fight against the 35-year-old American because of a back injury.

Calzaghe's promoter, Frank Warren, had been in talks with opposite number Dan Goossen, but Goossen told BBC Wales on Wednesday the fight will not go ahead.

"There was a multitude of problems but the bottom line is that Glen will not be fighting Calzaghe," Goossen said.

"We're certainly in negotiations on defending his title, but we were very disappointed in Calzaghe not being able to take up this challenge.

"Unfortunately circumstances beyond his (Calzaghe's) control negated that opportunity.

"We wish Joe all the best and we certainly had a straightforward relationship with Frank (Warren), but the timing just didn't work out on this one."

However, the Calzaghe camp insists that a recurrence of the back injury was the reason the fight was not rescheduled for the alternative date in Cardiff on 24 July, which has now been cancelled.

I'm not fighting this guy anymore, I'm not wasting my time on him
Glen Johnson

They believe a legal agreement exists in the original contract that says the fight would take place within 90 days if either boxer got injured.

Warren said that the matter is now in the hands of his US counsel, Judd Burnstein.

Warren said: "This is a bitter blow for Joe who has had a bad time recently.

"He will now have a good rest and seek further treatment from specialists during the summer and will return to the ring in September."

Goossen's effort to part from the failed negotiations on good terms is in contrast to the relationship between the two fighters.

Since the failed bout on 12 June, the pair have traded insults through the media.

That is not unusual for boxers but Johnson appeared genuinely angry that Calzaghe had cancelled and is on record as saying he was not interested in rescheduling.

"I'm not fighting this guy anymore, I'm not wasting my time on him," Johnson said.

"I've told my manager and promoter (Henry Foster and Goossen) to find me someone else to fight because I'm not interested in Calzaghe now."

The 32-year-old Calzaghe might now have to postpone his step up a weight and continue to defend his WBO super middleweight crown.

Johnson, meanwhile, could be aiming for a showdown with Antonio Tarver, who sensationally beat Roy Jones Jr in May, or even Jones himself.




JOE CALZAGHE

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