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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 21:32 GMT
Hopkins taunts 'white' Calzaghe
By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport in Las Vegas

Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe come face-to-face in Las Vegas
Hopkins and Calzaghe squared up in Las Vegas on Friday

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American Bernard Hopkins insisted he "would never lose to a white person" when he came face-to-face with Joe Calzaghe in Las Vegas on Friday.

Calzaghe, 35, beat Mikkel Kessler to become undisputed super-middleweight champion last month and is keen to fight Hopkins, 42, next year.

And the pair almost came to blows at the MGM Grand ahead of Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather's weigh-in.

"I would never let a white boy beat me," Hopkins said five times.

"You can print that. I would never lose to a white person. He said on record that he's going to take the fight and that's all you need to hear.

606: DEBATE
CJ

"I haven't ducked nobody in my career, my credibility is intact. Kessler is not in my league, man. Who is Kessler? You think Kessler was a true warrior?"

Calzaghe and Hopkins caused such a commotion in the MGM Grand media centre that former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis broke off an interview nearby to listen, as dozens of journalists circled the pair.

"He ducked me four years ago," said Welshman Calzaghe. "He thinks he's a legend but he lost to Jermain Taylor twice and, believe me, he will lose to me.

"He will not beat me throwing 12 punches a round. I throw 1,000 punches a fight. He'll get his arse kicked, full stop.

"I'm undefeated for 17 years - look at his face and look at mine. He's all mouth. When he fights he doesn't fight, he holds.

"He's 42 and can't throw the punches like me, and if we do fight he's going to get beat."

Former middleweight king Hopkins, now campaigning at light-heavy, has a career record of 48 wins, four losses and a draw from 54 fights.

Promoter Frank Warren confirmed an offer had been made to Hopkins and he was awaiting a reply.

He said: "We know Bernard wants the fight in America and we're happy with that. We've made him a good offer and we'll make it happen."

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