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Page last updated at 06:54 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 07:54 UK

Calzaghe makes Maccarinelli plea

Interview: Joe Calzaghe

Joe Calzaghe says Enzo Maccarinelli has to think long and hard about whether he should retire from boxing.

Former Cruiserweight world champion Maccarinelli, 28, suffered his third knock-out defeat in four fights to Russian Denis Lebedev at the weekend.

"I'm not going to say it's time for Enzo to quit, that's something he has to decide for himself," said former training partner Calzaghe.

"All I know is the Enzo at the moment is not the Enzo I know."

Swansea fighter Maccarinelli has said he is not retiring amid reports that he was about to hang up his gloves following the defeat to Lebedev.

In the build up to the fight he said that it could represent a "last-chance saloon".

And following the defeat, he suggested that retirement was a possibility after being left "devastated".

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Since his emphatic defeat to David Haye in a title unification match last year, Maccarinelli overcame Mathew Ellis in two rounds before slumping to a surprise ninth-round knockout against Ola Afolabi in March.

His latest comeback was short-lived against Lebedev - a third-round stoppage.

"All I can say is Enzo doesn't become a bad fighter overnight," said Calzaghe, who retired as the undefeated world super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champion last February.

"He will have to go away, take time with his family and decide for himself what he wants to do."

Meanwhile, Calzaghe has also warned fellow Welshman Nathan Cleverly to build slowly towards a world title fight.

Cleverly, 22, is targeting a world title tilt after stopping Danny McIntosh to retain his Commonwealth light-heavyweight title and take the vacant British title at London's York Hall on Saturday.

It has left Cleverly hungry for more big-fight success and some pundits such as Barry McGuigan and Duke McKenzie tipping him to emulate Calzaghe's success.

But Calzaghe said: "He has to keep his feet on the ground. It's still early days. You can't get carried away.

"While they are talking about world titles, he shouldn't be in a rush.

"He hasn't fought anyone who can hit back yet. He knows he's gaining experience with every fight.

"I believe he can get to the top."



see also
Is Cleverly the new Calzaghe?
22 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Maccarinelli rules out retirement
20 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly targets world title tilt
20 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Undefeated Calzaghe quits boxing
05 Feb 09 |  Boxing


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