Joe Calzaghe has lost his love

Joe Calzaghe has lost his love

JOE Calzaghe was back on home soil today, admitting that he has “fallen out of love” with boxing.

Speculation is expected to continue for the next few months over whether Saturday night’s demolition of Roy Jones Junior at Madison Square Garden will actually be the Newbridge man’s last fight.

Reports suggest American TV giant HBO are prepared to back one last Calzaghe hurrah at the Millennium Stadium, but it’s understood the undefeated superstar is veering towards retirement.

“To be honest I haven’t loved boxing for a few years,” he admitted.

“It’s getting harder to focus on a fight and dad (Enzo Calzaghe) has to kick me up the backside more and more every time I fight.

“I think I will be able to walk away from boxing easily enough because I have always wanted to stay ahead of the game.

“It’s not a case of fighting until I can’t do it anymore, I want to get out at the top.

“I believe I am at the top now. So there is a good chance I am going to call it a day.

“And, if it was my last fight against Jones, I’m glad people got to see the best of Joe Calzaghe. I like to win in style and it was a great fight.”

It’s probably fair to say that most pundits are advising Calzaghe to quit while he is ahead and not risk spoiling his blemish free record for the sake of one last pay day.

And in any case, the Ring Magazine light-heavyweight champ says there are no names out there who excite him any more, not IBF light-heavyweight king Chad Dawson, not a rematch with Bernard Hopkins, not a dust-up with Kelly Pavlik.

He continued: “There just isn’t a big name left for me to fight. They are talking about Dawson but he is unproven just like Kelly Pavlik and what’s the point if it doesn’t get me excited?

“And as for Hopkins, if I had turned around and said I would never lose to a black guy, what would have happened? It wouldn’t have been acceptable.

“I won’t give him a rematch. I don’t think it would be a good fight either.”

However, for all Calzaghe’s hinting that now is a good time to walk away, he did admit that one accolade remains appealing.

He is yet to be named as Ring Magazine’s best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, a plaudit that currently belongs to Manny Pacquiao, the WBC lightweight champion who is set for a superfight with Oscar De La Hoya next month.

“Of course it’s a title I think about,” admitted Calzaghe.

“If Ring Magazine put me as their number one fighter, it would be amazing.

“I know Manny is up there at the moment and he is great fighter. But he has lost three times whereas I am undefeated after 46 fights now.

“People have said I am the best and it feels great to be thought of as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, especially at this stage of my career.

“After all the hard times, to finally be given the respect and credit is just fantastic.”

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