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Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Sunday, 20 April 2008 23:11 UK
Joe Calzaghe v Bernard Hopkins
Las Vegas - 20 April, 2008



Joe Calzaghe celebrates his victory
Calzaghe's first fight in America ended in triumph

Joe Calzaghe has reiterated he will fight one more time before hanging up his gloves and retiring from boxing.

The Welshman, 36, is unbeaten in 45 contests after beating Bernard Hopkins on a split-points decision on his light-heavyweight debut on Sunday.

"I don't want to push it too far, one more fight from me and then that is it, I'm done," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Everyone wants to stay unbeaten and I'm no different. If you carry on too long eventually you will get beaten."

Calzaghe, also the undisputed super-middleweight world champion, has several options, with American pair Roy Jones Jr and Kelly Pavlik his two most likely opponents, probably later this year.

Jones Jr, 39, was in Las Vegas to watch Calzaghe beat Hopkins and the Newbridge southpaw revealed he has spoken to the former four-weight world champion.

Fighting Roy Jones would be an amazing way to finish

Joe Calzaghe

"All that's left is one more fight and that could be either Roy Jones or Kelly Pavlik," Calzaghe added.

"Roy Jones is making himself seen and heard. I've spoken to him, he's totally different to Bernard Hopkins.

"He is a nice guy, full of respect and that will be a massive fight and what a way to finish off your career against the former middleweight, super-middleweight, light-heavy and heavyweight champion of the world. That would be an amazing way to finish off."

Jones Jr has already expressed his desire to fight Calzaghe, telling BBC Sport: "That's all I want to do next, nothing else but that.

"Joe's saying that this is going to be his last year so maybe we should make it quicker than November.

Calzaghe is keeping his fans guessing

"But both the countries want to show the fight so I think we should agree to two fights, one over in his country and one in mine."

Calzaghe brushed off a first-round knockdown to take a contentious decision in Las Vegas over Hopkins, with one judge scoring the fight 114-113 in favour of the American, while the other two saw Calzaghe winning by 115-112 and 116-111.

"It wasn't a great performance," Calzaghe, acknowledged.

"I got caught cold early but I showed a lot of heart coming back into the fight and pulling off the win.

"It was a flash knockdown, but I got straight back up and my head cleared straight away.

"I was just caught cold and after that I was fine."

It was Calzaghe's first fight in America, but far from his most satisfying.

I took this guy to school and I won the fight on a unanimous decision, no question

Bernard Hopkins

"I always thought it would be comfortable to beat Hopkins," he continued.

"But my wins over Mikkel Kessler and Jeff Lacy rate as being more satisfying because in those fights I performed at my best.

"I am still satisfied with the win but I didn't win in the style that I wanted to win.

"I felt he cheated. He was holding on the second half of the fight, he was using his head and feigning injury.

"But I am proud to come to America and beat a big name.

"That was one thing missing off my record but I've done that now and I'm very proud to be a two-weight world champion."

Hopkins was surprised to find himself on the wrong end of the decision.

"It's clear the world and the fans, other than the Brits, know that I won this fight," he declared.

Joe Calzaghe is knocked to the floor by Bernard Hopkins
Calzaghe was rocked in the opening round by Hopkins

"The fans are the judges - I know there are officials and judges, but the fans know that I put a gutsy performance on and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

"They know I am the true champion - I took this guy to school and I won the fight on a unanimous decision, no question."

Hopkins used all his experience in round 10 after being caught with a low blow but defended his actions which led to a two-minute interruption to the fight.

"That's my crotch - that's where he hit me and knocked my pirate outside of its cup," he said.

"I told (referee Joe) Cortez that and he gave me five minutes."

MESSAGEBOARD
MW

However, the 43-year-old would not be drawn on whether he would hang up his gloves following the defeat.

"I hit him with short right hands and controlled the pace like a true veteran," he told HBO.

"It was an execution of old school technique.

"I will talk to my partners and wife now and sit back and let the fans marinate this in their mind and show their disapproval - the fans have eyes, they can't be fooled or swayed.

"They've seen a 43-year-old throwback give a boxing exhibition, take this guy to school and make him look amateurish."

see also
Calzaghe v Hopkins photos
19 Apr 08 |  Boxing


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