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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 16:52 GMT
Calzaghe-Woods talks 'under way'
By Ben Dirs

Clinton Woods (left) and Joe Calzaghe
Woods (left) and Calzaghe have been circling each other for years
Clinton Woods says talks have opened over a British super-fight between himself and Joe Calzaghe in 2008.

Sheffield's Woods, the IBF light-heavyweight champion, said he would be ready for a match in March.

"There's been talks and money's been offered. I could be ready in March or April," Woods told BBC Sport.

"I'd be a massive underdog, but I'd fancy my chances against him. And for the British public, it's far bigger than Calzaghe against Bernard Hopkins."

Calzaghe's promoter Frank Warren told PA Sport it was too soon after the Welshman's victory over Mikkel Kessler to say who he will fight next.

"That fight was only a few weeks ago and I haven't had chance to sit down with Joe yet," he said.

"There have been some preliminary talks (with Woods' camp) but there's nothing at the moment."

Undisputed super-middleweight champion Calzaghe, 35, targeted American legend Hopkins following his victory over Dane Kessler earlier this month.

Warren apparently opened talks with Hopkins' representatives, Golden Boy Promotions, over a possible match in New York in the spring.

I don't know how many fights I'm going to have before I retire, but I feel fresh as a daisy

Clinton Woods

But Hopkins, a notoriously tough negotiator, has been told by his trainer to forget about a fight with Calzaghe and instead seek a rematch with old rival Roy Jones Jr.

Fellow American Jones Jr beat Hopkins at middleweight in 1993 before the latter embarked on a 12-year unbeaten run in that division.

And Woods added: "Calzaghe's not going to prove anything by beating a 42-year-old Hopkins.

"The British public aren't worried about the Hopkins fight. He lost two against Jermain Taylor [in 2005], who's just been beaten by Kelly Pavlik.

"I think Roy Jones would be a better fight for Hopkins because there's still a bit of needle between them. I still think Roy Jones is a force to be reckoned with, in his last two fights he's looked very good."

However Woods, who has made four defences of his IBF belt, is aware that a clash with Calzaghe is far from being set in stone, especially as the Welshman allegedly turned down an offer to fight Woods last year.

"There are negotiations going on between [Woods' promoter] Dennis Hobson and Frank Warren for the Calzaghe fight.

"But I don't really listen to what they're saying until I know for definite. You know boxing - it's on, it's off, it's on, it's off again, so I'm just waiting for them to finally set a date.

"I need to improve 20-30% from the last fight [a unanimous points win over Julio Cesar Gonzalez in September], but I know I can beat him. I wouldn't fight him if I didn't know I can beat him.

"Financially I'm all right but I just want to fight the best. We're both 35 and he wants to win a light-heavyweight title.

"I don't know how many fights I'm going to have before I retire, but I feel fresh as a daisy. I've started running and I'm not even a stone above my weight."

Woods added that he is likely to fight WBC light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson if a fight with Calzaghe does not come off.

SEE ALSO
Calzaghe laughs off Froch fight
16 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe turns down Woods offer
07 Apr 06 |  Boxing


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