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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Taylor running scared - Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe says Jermain Taylor is becoming 'chicken'
Joe Calzaghe says Jermain Taylor is becoming 'chicken'
Joe Calzaghe has warned Jermain Taylor he will only win the respect he craves if he faces a "genuine challenge".

The Welsh WBO super middleweight king is desperate to meet WBC and WBO middleweight champion Taylor.

But Calzaghe's promoter Frank Warren is still locked in negotiations with opposite number Lou DiBella in the hope of matching the rivals in September.

"I thought the Jermain Taylor fight could be made but maybe he's becoming chicken," Calzaghe said.

Taylor, the 28-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas, laboured to a split-decision win last weekend against the smaller Cory Spinks, who had stepped up from light middleweight for the fight.

And the lacklustre win by the American against his compatriot has drawn a scathing response from Calzaghe.

"I'm just hoping he doesn't take up any more fights against blown-up welterweights and instead gives the fans what they want to see - and that's a fight against a champion," said the 35-year-old Calzaghe.

"I don't understand what his mind-set is. He beat Bernard Hopkins and I thought he would want to cement his legacy by fighting the best.

If I was offered $6m I'd go to Jermain Taylor's back garden and let his mum be the referee

Joe Calzaghe

"But he hasn't looked very good in his last two contests where he's been picking easier opponents.

"I don't know whether he just fights for the money, but if he is doing it for that and not for the love of the sport then he should find something else to do.

"People are getting bored of him picking easy fights. He's not getting respect because he's not fighting anybody.

"If he wants respect then he needs a genuine challenge."

Taylor has been offered $4m to face Calzaghe but the American is holding out for more money and haggling over the location of the contest.

Calzaghe says he is ready to fight in the US for the first time in his unbeaten 43-fight career if it delivers Taylor, although DiBella has told BBC Sport Wales that a fight in the UK is also realistic if the money is right.

The only agreement at the moment is that any contest would take place in Calzaghe's super middleweight division, meaning Taylor's titles would not be on the line.

"I'll go anywhere to find the big fights. I saw somewhere that Taylor wants in the region of $6m to fight me," Calzaghe added.

"If I was offered that I'd go to his back garden and let his mum be the referee.

"It's a no-brainer fight for him - he'd get a lot of money and keep his middleweight titles whatever happens.

"If he wins then he's got it all, if he loses he's still got his title and the money.

"I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it will happen because it's the number one fight for me."

Calzaghe has resumed bag work as he continues his recovery from the severely bruised hand sustained in his third-round demolition of Peter Manfredo Jr last month.

The injury ended hopes of a return to action in July but Calzaghe is determined to finish his career with a series of super-fights.

WBC and WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler is also a possible opponent, with Calzaghe confirming that Warren is also talking to the Dane's camp.

However, although that fight would be a big draw in Europe, it has far less appeal to Calzaghe's US cable television backers HBO.

  • Calzaghe will present three-division world champion Manny Pacquiao with the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America's Fighter of 2006 award at their 82nd annual awards dinner on 8 June in New York.

    Lacklustre Taylor retains title
    20 May 07 |  Boxing
    Calzaghe closer to Taylor fight
    17 May 07 |  Boxing
    Taylor wants $10m from Calzaghe
    16 Apr 07 |  Boxing
    Q&A with Jermain Taylor
    16 Apr 07 |  Boxing
    Calzaghe confirms hand fracture
    10 Apr 07 |  Boxing
    The Calzaghe Record
    05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
    BBC Wales Sport coverage
    31 Oct 05 |  Wales


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