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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 16:07 GMT
Taylor keen on Calzaghe showdown
Jermain Taylor
Taylor is planning to move up to super middleweight
Middleweight star Jermain Taylor says he would relish a bout with world super middleweight king Joe Calzaghe, with late summer a likely date.

"Calzaghe is a fight I would love because he's supposed to be the man at 168lbs, and those are the guys I want," said WBC and WBO champion Taylor, 28.

"It's all but impossible for me to make middleweight now, and I plan to retire in two years when I reach 30.

"Boxing is a job, that's all. What's the point of sticking around?"

The undefeated American, known as 'Bad Intentions', claims his 9 December defence against Uganda's Kassim Ouma in Taylor's hometown of Little Rock will be his last at the weight.

Fighting a guy like Manfredo is only going to make Calzaghe bigger in the United States

Taylor's promoter Lou DiBella

WBO super middleweight champion Calzaghe - voted BBC Wales Sport Personality of the Year for 2006 - has arranged a 3 March defence against Peter Manfredo Jr, a fight to be shown live on US TV.

Taylor's camp hope that will raise the Welshman's profile across the Atlantic and help build-up a 'super-fight' in the States, with August the most likely time.

"If Jermain performs like we expect him to against Ouma we are going to fight again in April, so obviously a Calzaghe fight can't happen then," said Taylor's promoter Lou DiBella.

"But if Calzaghe takes care of business against Manfredo - Jermain is the man at 160lbs and if Calzaghe remains the man at 168, Jermain has never ducked anybody.

"Fighting a guy like Manfredo - who has exposure through The Contender [reality TV series] and doing another HBO fight - is only going to make Calzaghe bigger in the United States.

Calzaghe is a great fighter who I respect

Jermain Taylor

"He is a tremendous fighter in the ring, but he still can use some build-up in the States so that if and when the [Taylor] fight happens, everyone involved makes as much money as possible."

Taylor drew with Ronald 'Winky' Wright in his last outing, having previously beaten the great Bernard Hopkins twice in succession.

"I watched Calzaghe's fight with Jeff Lacy and he is a great fighter who I respect," said Taylor, whose record stands at 25-0-1 (17 KOs).

"He has an awkward style, but in the future I look forward to fighting him. I have no idea when, but I know it will be a great fight."

Calzaghe, 34, and his promoter Frank Warren have named Taylor as their number one target for a 'super-fight', although Hopkins is again back in the picture.

The 41-year-old has announced his intention to come out of retirement after just six months and challenge for a heavyweight world title, but says he would turn his attention on Calzaghe if that does not materialise.

SEE ALSO
The Calzaghe Record
05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Calzaghe relinquishes IBF title
27 Nov 06 |  Boxing
Taylor holds off Hopkins to win
04 Dec 05 |  Boxing
BBC Wales Sport coverage
31 Oct 05 |  Wales


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