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Joe Calzaghe
"I have to be at my best so nobody can beat me."
 real 14k

Richie Woodhall
"To be the best I have to beat the best."
 real 14k

Boxing promoter, Frank Warren
"It's a fight Richie can't afford to lose."
 real 14k

World featherweight champion, Paul Ingle
"It's going to be an exciting fight and I'm looking forward to it."
 real 14k

Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Calzaghe-Woodhall - the countdown
Richie Woodhall
Richie Woodhall will get his chance at last
The long-awaited clash between WBO super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe and British rival Richie Woodhall has been finalised at last.

The match will take place on December 16 at the Sheffield Arena.

Telford boxer Woodhall, 32, is the former WBC champion who has been seeking a big-money clash with his Welsh rival.

Champion Calzaghe has been disappointing since taking the title in a classic encounter with Chris Eubank, but he looked to be getting back to his best in his last outing against Omar Sheika.

Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe: back on form
Calzaghe will start a strong favourite as Woodhall has not fought a major opponent since losing to Germany's Markus Beyer last October.

The Welshman's long-term goal is an encounter with Roy Jones, the man many see as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Calzaghe's father and trainer, Enzo, spoke highly of Woodhall:

"He is a creditable name, he's a past champion," he told BBC Wales.

He admitted that his son would start as favourite, though:

"He's the challenger, Joe is the champion."

He (Woodhall) is a creditable name, he's a past champion
  Enzo Calzaghe
Five titles

The 12-stone showdown is one of five world-title contests on the pre-Christmas promotion, including Paul Ingle's delayed mandatory IBF featherweight title defence against South Africa's Mbulelo Botile.

WBO championship chances have emerged for Belfast welterweight Neil Sinclair and Newark bantam Esham Pickering.

Sinclair, 26, will challenge Daniel Santos, of Puerto Rico, while 24-year-old Pickering will meet the Panamanian Mauricio Martinez.

Frank Warren will also parade his Brazilian knock-out specialist Acelino Freitas in a defence of his WBO super-featherweight crown.

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See also:

03 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
Woodhall targets Calzaghe showdown
14 Aug 00 |  Wales
Calzaghe's unification goal
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