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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 07:01 GMT
Calzaghe to profit from Lacy win
By Sean Davies
BBC Sport at the MEN Arena, Manchester

Joe Calzaghe (right) v Jeff Lacy
Calzaghe dominated Lacy from first bell to last in Manchester
Joe Calzaghe has the world at his feet after his stunning win over Jeff Lacy, says top American promoter Gary Shaw.

Calzaghe sent his stock rocketing by demolishing Lacy to add the IBF super middleweight title to his WBO crown.

An impressed Shaw said: "Calzaghe could go to Times Square now and people will recognise him. Promoter Frank Warren's got a platinum bar in his hands."

Ring legend Roy Jones Jr and light heavyweight Antonio Tarver have been tipped as future rivals for Calzaghe.

But the 33-year-old Welshman will take a well-earned break before deciding which route to pursue.

Shaw, Lacy's promoter, believes Calzaghe will have plenty of options when he decides to enter the ring again.

"There are a lot of fights opening up for him that we thought were there for Jeff," said Shaw, who admitted he had underestimated Calzaghe.

"I make no excuses for making this fight, I would have put my house on this not being the result.

"Calzaghe was highly under-rated for sure, and I was one of the ones to under-rate him."

That was the best performance from any British boxer I've ever been involved with
Frank Warren
Calzaghe's promoter

Lacy's trainer Dan Birmingham was just as effusive in his praise for Calzaghe.

He reckoned his performance at Manchester's MEN Arena was "the best he's ever seen" .

Birmingham added: "Calzaghe's a master of angles, timing and distance. It's the sort of show I expect from another of my fighters, Ronald 'Winky' Wright."

Before his unanimous points win over Lacy, Calzaghe planned to move up to light heavyweight and retire within two years following three or four more major fights.

But after Sunday's win, he back-tracked on both statements and now says he will take a rest before deciding his next move.

"I've had the WBO belt for eight years now and it's hard to give up, especially when I've just got the IBF one as a beautiful partner," said Calzaghe.

"I'll think about my options, but if I could get the likes of Antonio Tarver or Roy Jones Jr in the States and the money is right I'd go for it.

"Tarver's the main man at the moment, but he's not exciting. Roy Jones is more of a legend and would probably be my choice."

Calzaghe could fight Tarver or Jones Jr at light heavyweight - and in my book he beats them both hands down
American promoter Gary Shaw

Other options at 175lbs could include Glen Johnson or fellow Briton Clinton Woods, while WBA champion Mikkel Kessler or WBC belt holder Markus Beyer could be options at super middleweight.

Although Calzaghe still seems somewhat reticent to travel overseas and is a big fan of the MEN arena, Warren is confident of delivering more major fights for his prize asset.

"He won't be avoided now, people will have to fight Joe," said the promoter. "And if he meets Jones, the American isn't even in the race."

Shaw did sound a note of caution given his experience of managing a fast, awkward and classy southpaw.

"No-one is banging on our door to fight Wright," he said. "But it's a good feeling when everyone wants to avoid you.

"Calzaghe could fight Tarver or Jones Jr at light heavyweight - and in my book he beats them both hands down."


JOE CALZAGHE

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