RingTV.com conducted an exclusive Q&A with 39-year-old former undisputed super middleweight titleholder Joe Calzaghe of Wales, who retired undefeated with a mark of 46-0 that included 32 knockouts.
Among the greatest triumphs for Calzaghe were those over former beltholders Jeff Lacy, Mikkel Kessler, and, in consecutive non-title bouts, current RING and WBC light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr., the latter being his final bout in November of 2008.
Lacy and Kessler were unbeaten when Calzaghe vanquished them both by unanimous decisions in March of 2006, and, November of 2007, respectively.
Lacy was 21-0, with 17 knockouts, including four straight stoppages, when Calzaghe dethroned him as IBF beltholder, adding his crown to the WBO belt he already owned. Calzaghe dropped Lacy in the 12th round.
Kessler was 39-0 with 29 knockouts, when Calzaghe dethroned him as WBC and WBA beltholder. That win over Kessler marked Calzaghe’s 21st and final defense of the WBO belt that he earned by unanimous decision over Chris Eubank, whom he floored in the first round of their bout in October of 1997.
In his next bout, Calzaghe became the only successful southpaw — out of 12 who have tried — to defeat Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs), rising from a first-round knockdown to win a disputed split-decision in April of 2008.
Calzaghe also rose from a first-round knockdown to rout Jones in a one-sided, unanimous decision.
Calzaghe told RingTV.com that he will be rooting for the 46-year-old Hopkins when he defends his belts opposite 29-year-old southpaw Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) in an HBO Pay Per View clash from The Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
He also described how he and Hopkins made amends following their pre-fight, volatile relationship — their reunion taking place in July in Las Vegas at ringside when WBA junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan dethroned Zab Judah as IBF titleholder by fifth round knockout.
RingTV.com: So you’re definitely going to stay retired?
So, yeah, that’s the end. At the end of the day, I’m doing other things. You know, I’ll say that I missed it for maybe the first 12 months.
I don’t think that I could really drag myself to lose all of that weight and to fight again. That’s the reason that I retired in the first place, because I had been boxing for about 30 years.
You know, 30 years is a long time.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts when you watch Roy Jones still fighting, getting knocked out by Danny Green and Denis Lebedev?
But obviously, you know, I love Roy Jones, he’s a great fighter and a legend. But obviously, I don’t like to see him still fighting. He’s like, one of my last two opponents, and their both legends.
But they’re having different endings to their careers. They’re opposites. Obviously, you have Bernard Hopkins who is still a world champion at nearly the age of 47.
But then you have Roy Jones on the other end of it. He’s gone to Russia and getting knocked out in his last fight. Let’s be honest about it, in Roy’s hey day, that guy wouldn’t have been able to lay a glove on him.
That’s two completely different points in his career. But like I said, obviously, I love Roy, and I really wish that he would retire.