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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 18:13 UK

Calzaghe suffers big-fight blow

Bradley Pryce
Newbridge bruiser Bradley Pryce insists he is a 'changed man'

Welshman Joe Calzaghe's preparations for his Las Vegas super-fight with Bernard Hopkins have been dealt a blow.

His sparring partner Bradley Pryce is struggling to get an American Visa due to a record of drink-related incidents.

Pryce, who will fight Norberto Bravo on the 19 April show, is awaiting results of a blood test before the American authorities make their final decision.

"It's a nightmare as things in my past that I regret have come back to haunt me," Welshman Pryce admitted.

Pryce was due to fly to Vegas with his senior stablemate last weekend but the Commonwealth light-middleweight champion could not get the required paperwork.

Super-middleweight king Calzaghe steps up to light-heavyweight to challenge for Hopkins' Ring Magazine crown at The Thomas and Mack Center on his American debut.

606: DEBATE

So as unbeaten Calzaghe steps into the unknown against one of boxing's all-time-greats, the Welshman would have wanted a trouble-free build-up.

"I was done for resisting arrest, drink-driving and a few drunk and disorderly in about 2001 and 2002," Pryce conceded.

"Drink may have been an issue in my life in the past but it plays no part now.

"I have been out of trouble for five years or so now, I've moved on from that stage of my life. I'm a changed man.

"I've a young family and a far more professional attitude to my boxing.

"The American Embassy seemed to think I was going to Vegas to party, but I'm going to work.

"As soon as they looked at my record, they sent me for a blood test to see if I've got alcohol in my system and I'm awaiting for the result.

"My visa delay is a blow for Joe's training and for mine too but I'm confident I'll be flying out on Saturday.

"Our stablemate Nathan Cleverly and I normally spar with Joe in the build-up to his fights.

"Joe's stamina and work-rate is so intense that Nathan and I share sparring with him, I do two rounds then Nathan does two.

"That's tiring enough but poor Nathan is having to do it all at the moment. I don't envy him as Joe is in fantastic shape."

Calzaghe has already started his two-week pre-fight training camp in the scorching heat of the Nevada desert.

Pryce is desperate to join the 10-year WBO super-middleweight champion to acclimatise to the 25C temperatures before his fight with veteran Bravo, 37.

"It doesn't give me long to get used to the heat, humidity and time difference," said the 27-year-old, who has won his last six bouts since his last defeat in October 2005.

"It's not ideal because my coach is Enzo Calzaghe and he's obviously with Joe in Las Vegas.

"I can't spar without Enzo's supervision so I've been doing bag-work, weights, circuits and treadmill stuff to tick over.

"But I'm confident I'll get out there and my fight with Bravo will go ahead."

see also
Pryce lands Bravo date in Vegas
26 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Pryce relishing Calzaghe stable
20 Oct 06 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales


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