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Joe Calzaghe v Roy Jones Jr
Madison Square Garden, New York - 8 November



By Nabil Hassan

0620: Final one from me. That was an amazing performance, vintage Joe Calzaghe and if that is to be his last fight then it's a fitting way to finish. Thank you to everyone who contributed via text and email. David Haye and Ricky Hatton have a tough task trying to top that.

0604: "That was a breathtaking performance, incredible. It's as good as anything I've seen over the past 12 months."
Former featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan

0555: "Well done Joe, you were awesome. Well worth the wait! Five cups of coffee and now I have to be up for work at 7am!"
Imran, Blackburn on 81111

Imran please get some sleep.

0546: "I came here, I gave it my best and I gave it my all. I beat adversity to be here and I lost to a better fighter on the night."
Roy Jones Jr

0542: "I'm so happy. I'm overwhelmed, I thank God and everyone who supported me. This could be my last fight, I won't make a final decision. I'll sit down, take a break and think about it."
Undefeated Joe Calzaghe

0540: What a way to end your career, will he walk away after that? That was up there as one of Calzaghe's best performances. What a true champion. Well done Joe.

0539: He's done it. He's won. All three judges score the fight 118-109 in Calzaghe's favour and he' still undefeated.

Round 12: Both fighters get a standing ovation as they begin the 12th. It's been a brilliant fight, both boxers are bloodied and battered, the white of Calzaghe's shorts are red with claret, Jones Jr can't see out of his left eye. Jones Jr comes forward and catches Calzaghe with a decent left. Calzaghe turns on the style with a minute remaining, the bell goes, the boxers embrace, an epic fight is over. Has Calzaghe done enough?

Round 11: Two rounds to go. Calzaghe uses his jab to great effect in the 11th and Jones Jr responds with very little. He can hardly see out of his left eye but he catches Calzaghe with a right hand. Jones Jr is still a threat and Calzaghe needs to be careful he doesn't get caught with a lucky punch. An even penultimate round.

Round 10: A cagey 10th round but Jones Jr shows he's still a threat with a decent left hook that catches the Welshman. Calzaghe responds, and Jones Jr looks despondent as the bell goes.

Round nine: The doctor takes a look, but Jones Jr is passed fit to fight-on, despite the blood. A controversial decision if you ask me, but the fight goes on, Jones Jr is there for the taking and Calzaghe knows it. The Welshman doesn't stop throwing punches in an electric ninth round. Jones Jr's defence is non-existent and Calzaghe lands with some lethal combinations. It's a close fight but it is just starting to swing Calzaghe's way.

Round eight: Jones Jr looks a mess as he comes out for the eighth. Jones Jr can barely see out of his left eye, there is blood everywhere, Calzaghe peppers the area and the cut gets worse. This should be stopped, Calzaghe senses victory and Jones Jr slumps back to his corner as the bell goes.

Round seven: Calzaghe's best round. Jones Jr started the round well but Calzaghe picks up the pace and batters his opponent. Jones Jr defence starts to weaken and Calzaghe takes advantage with some fine combinations and a couple of shots that rattle the 39-year-old. Jones Jr is cut and it's a bad cut just above the left eye, the American looks a mess, Calzaghe must take advantage.

Round six: Calzaghe starts to work the body of Jones Jr who still looks fresh as a daisy despite his age. Calzaghe stalks Jones Jr around the ring, and it's a familiar sight as the American retreats to the corner. Calzaghe catches Jones Jr with a right hook over the top but the Welshman is caught with an uppercut which rattles the undefeated fighter just before the bell.

Round five: The pace slows and that suits Jones Jr. He catches Calzaghe with a straight right as the Welshman responds with a flurry of punches. Again he has Jones Jr pinned in the corner, but the American takes the hits and comes back for more. This is a cracking fight.

Round four: Calzaghe has his opponent pinned in the corner for most of the round, but Jones Jr's defence is solid. Jones Jr catches Calzaghe with a superb right-left combination on the bell.

Round three: Better from Calzaghe, he regains some composure with his best round of the fight. He catches Jones Jr with a barrage of punches as the Welshman starts to assert himself on the fight. The punches don't appear to be hurting Jones Jr, but Calzaghe is scoring points. There's some priceless showboating from Calzaghe as the bell goes. The pair square up. It's getting feisty.

Round two: Calzaghe looks rattled as the second round begins. He tries to put together some combinations but they appear to have little affect on Jones Jr. Jones Jr catches Calzaghe again, and worryingly for the Welshman he nose begins to pour with blood. It's a bad start for Calzaghe.

Round one: Disaster for Calzaghe he's down in the first-round again! A superb right hook from Jones Jr floors the Welshman. He takes a standard eight-count but he looks hurt. He makes it to the bell but is already bloodied and bruised.

0446: Both boxers are introduced to the crowd, Madison Square Garden has erupted, the pair square up. We've waited a long time for this. Now it's time. Ding, ding, seconds out, round one.

0445: Ladies and gentleman Let's Get Ready to Rumble! You know the drill.

0442: It's a decent version of the American anthem in fairness. Minutes away now as Calzaghe and Jones Jr get ready for battle. Madison Square Garden erupts as Michael Buffer takes the mic.

0441: The Welsh national anthem is drowned out by jeers and boos. It's an electric atmosphere and it's all getting a bit tasty.

0440: Roy Jones Jr enters the arena to boos, here comes Joe to a chorus of cheers. He nods, he's ready, it's fight time.

0440: The stage is set and the world awaits. All around the globe people are cheering you on Joe. Go and make history.

0435: "Come on Joe prove all those doubters wrong and finish undefeated! Give us Welsh something to cheer about today!"
Anon on 81111

0432: Ok, the final undercard fight has just finished so we should be underway any minute now. I can't tell if I'm nervous or just very, very tired.

0429: Any predictions for what music Joe Calzaghe's going to come out to? Please, please, please let it be 'Eye of the Tiger.'

0425: "Joe is just an amazing ambassador for sport in general, and boxing in particular. There's a fine line in boxing between violence and artistry, and Joe is an artist."
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales, on BBC Radio 5 Live

0422: I must say the atmosphere at the Garden sounds amazing, I would pay a lot of money to be there, Ben Dirs is a lucky man. There was talk in the week that the fight hadn't sold out, well it looks pretty full from what I can see. If I was guessing I would say it's not short of its 20,000 capacity.

0419: "On my fourth cup of coffee now!"
Imran, Blackburn on 81111

Anyone else worried about Imran? Shouldn't be long now. Only a couple of rounds left on the undercard fight and then it'll be the big one.

0416: What a contrast. While Joe Calzaghe's locker room was quiet, relaxed and tranquil Roy Jones Jr is having some sort of pre-fight party. Surrounded by his entourage he's in high spirits and is more than willing to put on a show for the camera. He looks ready to do some damage.

0408: Joe is going through final preparations now in the locker room. Shadow boxing with green and red gloves on, not long to go.

0406: Remember if you can't watch the fight then you can listen to it now on BBC Radio 5 Live.
BBC Radio 5 Live commentary

0405: Just to give you an update on timings. We have one more fight to finish before the big one. A couple of the undercard fights also went the distance so we may be looking at a 0430 GMT start. Watch this space.

0400: "Welshman in Delhi. Woken up early to cheer on Joe Calzaghe! 46-0?"
Anon on 81111

Delhi, Brazil, New Zealand, Hackney...who says Joe Calzaghe doesn't have world-wide recognition.

0356: "Agree with Spencer Oliver, Joe is one of the best boxers we've ever produced. I'd rank him at four after Ted 'Kid' Lewis, Jimmy Wilde and Lennox Lewis."
Ishy on 81111

Who would be fifth? Audley Harrison? That's a joke, obviously.

0352: "Has to be Jones for me tonight, I think Joe will find out he might have bitten off more than he can chew with this one. The 'big names' Joe has fought such as Kessler, Lacey, Eubank aren't even in the same league as RJJ. I see another Hatton/Mayweather scenario I'm afraid."
Tony Munky, Hackney via email

0350: "If Calzaghe wins this he goes 46-0. Can anyone really see him stopping with only four more victories before he bests Rocky Marciano's record? 50-0 looks good to me. Maybe Calzaghe himself doesn't think he deserves to be in that position but he can only do what he has done in beating everyone put infront of him."
Jim Parker, Scotland via email

0346: Just seen pictures of Joe in his dressing room embracing his son and getting a final word of encouragement from his stable-mate Enzo Maccarinelli. He looks relaxed and he looks ready. One more fight to go and then it's showtime.

0345: "Shame about 606 not working. I am an exiled Welshman in Brazil and rely on 606 for events like this. Anyway, email is better than nothing - and we still get the text commentary. It's got be Joe, he wouldn't have taken the fight if he wasn't sure he could do it. I just put a big bet as well, so fingers crossed - everything crossed. Keep up the good work, cheers and good luck Joe..."
Alan Thomas, Brazil via e-mail

Alan, sorry again about 606 but remember you can now e-mail your thoughts to sport.interactive@bbc.co.uk

0340: I won't lie, I'm tired. Hopefully only another 30 minutes or so to go.

0338: "For me Joe Calzaghe is in the top three or four greatest ever British boxers. If you look at his record he has done more than most and he is on the road to greatness."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Spencer Oliver at Madison Square Garden

Is Joe the best? Where does he rank?

0332: "Nine quid a pint here at Madison Square Garden! C'mon joe!" Fred tissue from manchester on 81111

Nine pounds for a pint. What is it, a pint of whisky? Silly money.

0330: "In New Zealand at the moment and will monitor the live text on the Beeb website. No 606 ěs not good - just hope Joe shapes better than the BBC techies. Come on boyo - you can do this."
Glyn on 81111

Glyn, Richard next to me may have come up with a solution. You can always e-mail us your thoughts - who's going to win? Can this really be Joe's last fight? - send us your chat to sport.interactive@bbc.co.uk and mark your e-mail FAO: Rich or Hass.

0323: "My Dad is at Madison Square Garden and I'm at home in Barry listening and reading live text! Just as good, and much cheaper! Come on Boyo!"
Chris in Barry on 81111

Big support for Joe from his compatriots at home in Wales. Newbridge rugby club are having an all-night party to cheer on their man, there will be a lot of sore heads in South Wales on Sunday afternoon.

0320: "I'm on m-m-my s-s-second litre of c-c-coffee. How much is a s-s-safe a-m-m-mount?"
Inda, Swindon on 81111

I can't really offer any advice as I'm a journalist not a doctor but I can offer some words of comfort. Less than an hour to go.

0318: "Atmosphere is building nicely here. Drunk Welshman absolutely everywhere and there's nakedness. Seen Sylvester Stallone - awesome, Dirs is busying himself in the distance."
Chaney and Birchy at Madison Square Garden on 81111

Ben Dirs and Sylvester Stallone in the same sentence. Amazing.

0315: Turns out Richard who is sat next to me is backing Jones Jr. This could tasty.

0310: There is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is 606 won't be open tonight/today until 0900 GMT due to technical difficulty. The good news is you can still get involved by texting your views to 81111.

0305: "I feel relaxed and confident and training has gone well, I'm really excited to be here. Destiny awaits and I have no doubt that I am going to win the fight. This is Madison Square Garden and will probably be my last fight. Don't blink I'm going to knock Roy Jones Jr out."
Joe Calzaghe talking live on Setanta Sports

Blimey Joe did look relaxed, he sounded pretty chilled also. "Probably my last fight," that doesn't sound like a man ready to retire though.

0300: "Another stat: Joe Calzaghe has fought 45 times in many different places and not lost once! Good omen?"
Josh on 81111

That Josh is a good stat and hopefully a good omen. Am I meant to be neutral? I hope not. Go Joe.

0255: "Got work at 0900 tomorrow. Can't wait for Joes fight! What time is his fight?"
Farooq from slough on 81111

Farooq, commentary on Radio 5 Live begins from 0400 GMT, if all goes to plan, Calzaghe and Jones Jr should be in the ring shortly after that.

0253: Is it me or has the build-up to this fight been a bit low-key? If this is to be Calzaghe's last fight let's hope he can go out on a high, he deserves to in my opinion.

0250: "Judging by the reactions to the entrances to the arena, Jones and Calzaghe have about an equal fan base for this one. Arena is well over half full already."
Pearlo on 81111

0243: A quick stat for you. Jones Jr has fought six times in New York and not lost once. Bad omen? Hope not.

0230: "We just had three fellas doing a hip-hop medley in the ring. Made a refreshing change from the usual lack of anything in particular - apart from heavy boozing - you get between fights on most cards in Britain."
BBC Sport's Ben Dirs at Madison Square Garden.

A hip-hop medley? Surely 'Da Mystery of Chessboxing' by Wu-Tang Clan had to be in there.

0237: Sorry, just been alerted to the fact that 606 is not yet open. I'm assured the man with the key is just about to turn the lock. If you get me?

0236: "As his book is titled "no ordinary joe " well tonight Joe will prove it. Good luck from your fans in bonny Scotland."
Ron on 81111

0230: Jones Jr arrives at the Garden to a mixed reception. I'm guessing there's probably a few more people from Wales inside the New York venue at the moment. Apparently there's going to be around 7,000 Welshman and women at the Garden.

0227: Richard next me has gone for 'The Boxer' by Simon and Garfunkle. Not heard it myself, but it sounds awesome.

0225: "Come on Joe. Huw my best mate just got engaged to a beautiful girl called Sheena. If you win this they'll stay married forever."
Anon on 81111

Now that is big pressure.

0221: A calm looking Joe Calzaghe arrives at the Garden listening to his IPod while throwing shadow punches. No doubt he's listening to 'Eye of the Tiger.' Best boxing song ever?

0218: "This is Joe's toughest fight so far, Roy Jones Jr is a very, very dangerous customer. Joe to win by split decision though and to retire undefeated. Oh and to silence those doubting Yanks."
Anon on 81111

Remember to include your name when you text, but I'll join you in predicting a points victory for Calzaghe.

0214: "Welshman everywhere and the place is crawling with touts. In the press-room lots of booths with old school Bakelite telephones, shades of the golden age…"
BBC Sport's Ben Dirs at Madison Square Garden

0205: Just to introduce you to the rest of the team. Ben Dirs is ringside and will be bringing you all the post fight analysis from New York while BBC Radio 5 Live's commentary team for the bout will be Mike Costello and Spencer Oliver. And finally, Richard Irvine-Brown will be assisting me and keeping an eye on 606.

0200: Good morning fight fans, or if you are in the US, good evening. This has the makings of a cracker. I will be taking you through the proceedings pre, during and post fight in New York, so if you want to get involved then text 81111 or have your say on606.

Calzaghe has hinted that this could be his last fight. What do you reckon, will the Welshman retire undefeated? Calzaghe is 45 (32)-0 while Jones Jr is 52 (38)-4.

see also
The no-win fight?
07 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Jones Jr can imitate Ali - Haye
07 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Jones inspired by Obama victory
06 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Joe Calzaghe's career in photos
06 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe ready to cement legacy
05 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Brits at the Garden
03 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe given Jones Jr warning
29 Oct 08 |  Boxing


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