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Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 10:23 UK

Calzaghe eyes Pavlik after Jones

Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe's last hurrah could be against Kelly Pavlik

Joe Calzaghe has hinted he may take on Kelly Pavlik for the WBO super-middleweight crown next year.

It was believed the 45-fight undefeated Welshman's light-heavyweight bout with Roy Jones Jr in New York on 20 September would be his last.

But Calzaghe has no intention of giving up his WBO super-middleweight belt.

"There is no way I am going to give up my WBO title. If I beat Jones, I might move back down to super-middleweight to face Kelly Pavlik," said Calzaghe.

606: DEBATE
"I do not have a mandatory challenger at the moment so I do not have to defend my title."

It had been believed a forthcoming bout between the WBO's leading super-middleweight contenders - Karoly Balzsay and Jean Pascal - would be for Calzaghe's belt, but their clash will be for the 'interim' WBO title.

It had been widely assumed Calzaghe's 12-stone days were over following his light-heavyweight win over Bernard Hopkins in April, a belief given extra credence by his decision to give up the WBC portion of his title.

Calzaghe, 36, is the longest reigning champion in his sport, having defended the WBO belt 21 times, four short of the record for consecutive defences held by heavyweight great Joe Louis.

Calzaghe and Louis are two of only seven men to have held world titles for over 10 years.

BOXING'S 10-YEAR CHAMPIONS
Joe Louis, 1937-49
Archie Moore, 1952-62
Julio Cesar Chavez, 1984-94
Azumah Nelson, 1984-94
Ricardo Lopez, 1990-2001
Bernard Hopkins, 1995-2005
Joe Calzaghe, 1997-
In a letter to WBO President Francisco Valcarcel, Calzaghe wrote: "I am proud to be the WBO's super-middleweight champion and wish to remain so.

"Following my proposed contest against Roy Jones Jr it is my intention to defend the WBO title."

Calzaghe had previously hinted the fight against Jones would be his last, and he had no desire to fight Pavlik, who hammered his stablemate Gary Lockett to third-round defeat in New York last month.

Meanwhile there could be more frustration ahead for Nottingham's Carl Froch, who has been ordered to fight for the WBC crown vacated by Calzaghe, against former world middleweight king Jermain Taylor.

Although the WBC have extended the deadline for purse bids for the contest, Taylor's team have made no secret of the fact they prefer the more lucrative and probably softer option of a clash with former Calzaghe victim Jeff Lacy.

Newbridge-based Calzaghe is currently big box office in the United States following his points win - and debut at light-heavyweight - over Hopkins in Las Vegas in April.

At the end of June, Calzaghe split with long-term promoter Frank Warren saying he would manage himself.

see also
Calzaghe v Eubank - 10 years on
08 Oct 07 |  Boxing
Wales' greatest US fight nights
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe and Dallaglio honoured
13 Jun 08 |  Sport Homepage
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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