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Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 13:21 UK

Calzaghe will be easy - Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins (left) and Joe Calzaghe
Mary Poppins has escalated the Calzaghe and Hopkins war of words

Bernard Hopkins expects an easy night on his 19 April light-heavyweight bout with Joe Calzaghe in Las Vegas.

"Don't be surprised when I make it look easy and I make him look amateurish, but only after I've given him punishment," said the 43-year-old.

"Joe won't quit but his father is going to have to step in to save him.

"I love a guy who punches hard because I don't have to do much work. This is a guy who likes to throw 1,000 punches, I hope he does, it'll help me shine."


The Philadelphian, 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.

Wales' Calzaghe, 36, who has won all his 44 fights (32 KOs) and is into his 11th year as world super-middleweight champion, flies to Vegas on Saturday to prepare for his US debut.

The war of words has been building ahead of the clash at the Thomas & Mack Center, with Hopkins claiming he would "never lose to a white guy".

Come 19 April, I'm going to be glad I was called Mary Poppins

Bernard Hopkins

But the latest verbal sparring surrounds the unlikely figure of Mary Poppins.

Before the match was made Calzaghe likened the American to Poppins in a press release, saying:

"Bernard Hopkins should be called Mary Hopkins, in fact, there is more fight in Mary Poppins. Every time he says my name it's: Supercalzaghefragilisticexpialidocious."

Hopkins has now come out with an impassioned defence of the character from PL James' children's books, saying:

"He called me Old Poppy Hopkins, or Mary Hopkins, but she was a very, very powerful lady.

"He can't have been caling me a female, because he called me Poppy, and if you know the history of Mary Poppins... She was a powerful lady who had magical powers with that umbrella.

"Mary Poppins was one of my favourite bedtime stories when I was small, and if anyone knows the history of Mary Poppins it's nothing to laugh at.

"Come 19 April, I'm going to be glad I was called Mary Poppins."

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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