Joe Calzaghe has ruled out ever returning to the ring, while questioning the wisdom of Ricky Hatton’s proposed comeback.
Hatton, the former junior welterweight titleholder, is desperate to regain his professional boxing license and enjoy at least one more big pay day — possibly against Mexican Erik Morales — after struggling to come to terms with life away from the sport.
Having spent part of last year in a west London rehabilitation center for depression, alcohol and drug abuse, Hatton, 32, insists he is now ready to fight again.
But, according to Calzaghe, who retired two years ago after an incredible 11-year unbeaten stint at the top of the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, that would be a mistake.
Although sympathetic with Hatton’s situation, the Welshman, 39 last month, said: “I can’t really give advice to Ricky because he is his own man, but I wouldn‘t like to see him fighting again. I think Ricky has achieved everything he wants to achieve in boxing.
“But I can also understand why a fighter doesn’t want to end his career on a defeat. You always want to finish with a win. It was different for me because I finished undefeated.
“After 27 years in the sport, I’d had enough. I didn’t want to put my body through it anymore or be a fighter who keeps coming back after getting beaten. I retired from boxing, rather than boxing retired me, and I’m one of the lucky few.”
Those comments would appear to be a major blow to the plans of another of Britain’s current stars, Carl Froch, who was hoping Calzaghe might be tempted to re-lace his gloves and take him on.
The Nottingham-born super middleweight meets Glen Johnson next month in the semi-finals of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic but clearly has his eyes on a future bout with Calzaghe.
“Joe Calzaghe keeps being mentioned and who knows? Something tells me he could come out of retirement — stranger things have happened — and what a fight that would be," said the 33-year-old, who this week signed a five-fight deal with Barry Hearn’s Matchroom Sport.
Do not hold your breath, though, because later this year Calzaghe begins work on his first film as he attempts to forge an acting career on the big screen.
Calzaghe revealed: “I’ve got my first film in October, although I can’t say too much about it. I went for the audition, got the part, and I am really happy. Acting was something I always thought I’d like to try after boxing.”