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Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 12:11 UK

Calzaghe relishes American debut

Bernard Hopkins (left) and Joe Calzaghe
Hopkins (left) and Calzaghe have a combined age of 79

Joe Calzaghe is adamant he will not be overawed when he makes his debut on American soil against Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas on 19 April.

Wales' super-middleweight champion is unbeaten in 44 fights but has only fought outside of Britain twice.

"I have to go there and dominate and that's a difficult task against Hopkins," said the 36-year-old.

"I'm going outside my comfort zone but I feel I have the personality to adapt to anything. I'm excited about it."

Calzaghe, who will travel to Las Vegas on Saturday, has taken Ricky Hatton's advice to stay away from the Strip's air conditioning units to avoid any risk of illness, preferring to stay at a rented apartment in the city suburbs.

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The Newbridge fighter said he wanted to win over American fans, just as Hatton did with a string of US bouts including his defeat to Floyd Mayweather last December.

"Every fighter wants recognition not just from his own people but from fans all over the world," said Calzaghe, who will also be fighting at light-heavyweight for the first time.

"Of course it's important for me to get fans in the States and to come across and prove the best fighter in the world is from Wales."

Former middleweight king Hopkins has built the intensity of the contest with his vow to "never lose to a white boy" and his warning that Calzaghe had "better be ready to die".

But Calzaghe sounded a more conciliatory tone in his latest round of interviews, admitting Hopkins was "still an excellent fighter" and suggesting he was unlucky to lose his two fights against Jermain Taylor in 2005.

Hopkins, known as "The Executioner", reigned as middleweight champion for 10 years and holds a record of 48 wins (32 KOs), four defeats and one draw.



see also
Wales' greatest US fight nights
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Round one to Calzaghe
07 Feb 08 |  Boxing
Hopkins issues chilling warning
19 Feb 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe seals Hopkins showdown
23 Jan 08 |  Boxing
Hopkins taunts 'white' Calzaghe
07 Dec 07 |  Boxing
The Calzaghe Record
04 Nov 07 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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