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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 17:28 GMT
Calzaghe uninspired by Manfredo
Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe is preparing for possibly his last fight in on home soil
Joe Calzaghe has admitted his next WBO super middleweight title defence in Cardiff is not firing his imagination.

Calzaghe, who faces Peter Manfredo Jr at the Millennium Stadium on 7 April, said: "The most difficult fight for me is motivation and to stay hungry.

"The Jeff Lacy fight was a Premiership fight - and those are the fights you really get yourself up for.

"I'm not taking anything away from Manfredo, but as far as I'm concerned I'm a league above this guy."

He added: "If I fight like I did in my last fight against [Sakio] Bika, it's going to be a hard fight for me.

"But if I get in there with same mindset I had against Lacy, it's going to be a masterclass and I'm going to smash this guy to pieces."

This is a chance for me to make another statement and hopefully it will tempt Bernard Hopkins to fight me

Joe Calzaghe

Manfredo is a virtual unknown to most British boxing fans, having re-launched his professional career after finishing runner-up in American reality television series The Contender.

The 26-year-old holds a record of 26-3 (12 KOs) but has yet to face an opponent in Calzaghe's class.

But despite his opponent's lack of pedigree, Calzaghe knows there is plenty on the line as he defends his title for the 20th time.

"The motivation for this fight is that I can create history," said Calzaghe.

"People ask why I want to keep fighting - obviously for the money number one, and to create history.

"No British fighter has ever made 20 title defences. I've worked so hard all my life and I don't want to throw it away at the last hurdle.

"I can achieve something that will take a long time - if ever - to match."

Calzaghe's preparation for the fight will begin in earnest next month, with the unbeaten Welshman admitting he needs to shed a few pounds after he "indulged" over the Christmas period.

And despite finding motivation hard to find at the moment, the 34-year-old assured his fans he would in peak condition for what could turn out to be his last fight on home soil.

"I'm hoping to end my career with fights in New York or Las Vegas so it's imperative I put in a wicked performance in the biggest and best venue in Britain," said Calzaghe.

"Manfredo is a big name in the States, and this fight should give me the biggest audience I've ever had in America.

"This is a chance for me to make another statement - they had a taster against Lacy - and hopefully it will tempt Bernard Hopkins to fight me."



SEE ALSO
The Calzaghe Record
05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Living the dream
12 Dec 06 |  Boxing
Calzaghe relinquishes IBF title
27 Nov 06 |  Boxing
BBC Wales Sport coverage
31 Oct 05 |  Wales


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