light-heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe marked his second US trip
with another huge win, this time dominating a faded Roy Jones, Jr this
past Saturday (November 8) to a unanimous decision win.
expected early chess match of flurries was broken with 50 seconds left
in the first round, as Jones badly stunned and dropped Calzaghe with a
sneaky right hand following a stiff jab.
dazed Calzaghe rose and like his previous knockdowns courtesy of Byron
Mitchell and Bernard Hopkins, was determined to meet his challenger
with a fusillade of hooks instead of retreating to clear his head.
Despite a golden opportunity, Jones was unable to time the feinting
Calzaghe for a follow-up combo and score a huge upset.
round two Calzaghe became the clear aggressor, pushing Jones to the
ropes and unloading 10 punch combos to the body and head. While Roy was
able to pick off most of the head shots, his body remained a constant
target of punishment. To adjust, Jones returned the bout to ring
center, where he was able to catch Calzaghe with several counter right
three saw Calzaghe pick up the pressure and invest heavily in the body,
strafing Jones against the ropes and in ring center. Roys pet punch,
the straight right lead, could not land cleanly as Calzaghe utilized
superb movement and feints to keep Jones off balance. Joness attempts
to walk Calzaghe down behind a high guard fared no better, since
Calzaghes handspeed and head movement prevented the Pensacola native
from landing anything above a few pitty-pat uppercuts and hooks on the
pattern continued throughout the middle rounds, and Jones began to
become more tentative as he found more difficulty keeping Calzaghe in
range. Whenever Jones would land a shot, Calzaghe would simply smile,
showboat, and return 7 to 8 shots to a prone Roy who languished on the
7 showed some early hope for Jones. Throughout the first 2 minutes, the
former pound for pound king repeatedly surprised Calzaghe with hard,
accurate jabs down the pike. However the success was short-lived and
Calzaghe twice countered Jones lead jab with two slashing straight
lefts. The second opened a jagged, nasty cut along Jones left eye.
Never cut before, Roy struggled to finish the round as Calzaghe
continued pressuring him with punches from all angles to the head and
paintjob on Jones became more pronounced in the championship rounds.
Unable to see out the left eye, Roy Jones, Jr bravely started moving
forward in a last-ditch effort to catch Calzaghe with a miracle punch.
opportunity never came, and Calzaghe maintained the punch output,
feinting, and body punching that had bedeviled Roy since the second
the deciding round, Calzaghe kept showboating and dropping his hands,
giving Jones a chance to pull out a dramatic victory. But the faded
legend could not pull the trigger, and in the end gained a pyrrhic
victory by remaining on his feet to the very end.
Final scorecards for the bout all read 118-109 for Joe Calzaghe, still the linear and RING light-heavyweight champion.
Now 46-0 with over 20 title defenses, Calzaghe remained hesitant on whether to keep his word and retire.
have to sit down and think about it as this could be my last fight,
Calzaghe told HBOs Max Kellerman. I wont make a final decision yet.
Ill sit down and take a bit of a break and evaluate the situation. Id
like to thank Roy for fighting tonight. Hell always be my friend and I
have much respect for the guy.
Jones, Jr was equally gracious in his post-fight interview,
acknowledging at this stage of his career that Calzaghe is the superior
he cut me I was like whoa, it was the first time I had ever been
cut, Jones explained. I love fighting so Im going to fight until the
end. I still gave it my best effort but he was the better man
tonight Ill talk to my team and family and see how I feel. If I feel
good Ill continue to fight, if not I wont.
the undercard, former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah won a
pedestrian 10 round unanimous decision over unheralded Ernest Johnson,
despite suffering two cuts from headbutts. Vagabond fighter Emanuel
Augustus (38-30-6, 20 KOs) lost his umpteenth controversial decision to
young Francisco Figueroa (20-2, 13 KOs). And NY favorite Dmitriy Salita
(29-0, 16 KOs) gutted out a tough decision over unknown Derrick Campos
(17-6, 10 KOs).
Should Calzaghe Take On Dawson Before Calling It Quits?
Calzaghe has defeated two prime, then undefeated challengers for his
crown in Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler, and now two legends in Bernard
Hopkins and Roy Jones, Jr. Still, HBO commentator Max Kellerman sought
fit to mention the one fighter left at light-heavyweight who so far has
conquered every challenge put in front of him. That fighter is Bad
can I say, theres always someone young and up and coming, same with
Lacy and Kessler, Calzaghe reasoned. Ive beaten two legends this
year in Hopkins and an even bigger legend in Roy Jones. I fought them
both in the States. I think I showed everybody that I [have] not just
fought at home. I took the risk and came to Vegas and New York.
speaking with fans here in the US and across the pond, this fight has
already polarized the boxing community just one day after Calzaghes
win. American fans feel that Dawson has proven himself as
unquestionably the best fighter not named Calzaghe at
light-heavyweight. And unlike Lacy and Kessler before their fights with
the Pride of Wales, Dawson has proven elite fighters on his resume in
Thomasz Adamek, Glen Johnson, and Antonio Tarver. This, American fans
argue, shows that Dawson has the skills to meet the challenge.
UK fans have countered that American fans, perhaps salty and
disbelieving of Calzaghes run through their best fighters, are
grasping at straws regarding potential opponents to knock off Calzaghe.
For them, Calzaghe has nothing left to prove and should be left alone
to retire on top.
both have solid points, my stance is somewhere in the middle. I
disagree with UK fans that immediately dismiss Dawson as not being a
viable name for Calzaghe. Joes bout with Kessler stands as the lowest
watched championship boxing match in HBO history. That of course can be
attributed to US fans not being aware of how good Kessler is. Even so,
it didn t take away the fact that Mikkel Kessler deserved his shot due
to solid wins over Anthony Mundine, Librado Andrade, and Markus Beyer.
is not well-known to UK fans, but that doesnt diminish the fact he
holds wins over former elite world champions Thomasz Adamek, Glen
Johnson, and Antonio Tarver, the latter two being former linear
light-heavyweight champions. Those wins are greater than any name on
Kessler or Lacys resume at the time they fought Calzaghe, and even now.
all that said, Calzaghe is not bound to fight Dawson, and should not be
given any flack if he decides to retire. At this point, his resume
speaks for itself. However, if he does decide to fight again, the only
opponent that makes sense is Chad Dawson. And if Calzaghe wins, his
already very high all time standing shoots through the roof.
Poll AnswersDawson Calls Out Calzaghe
himself is not wasting anytime letting Calzaghe know where he stands.
Last night, the reigning IBF light-heavyweight champion issued a
statement challenging Calzaghe to a showdown in Wales.
has a lot to be proud of and I for one am very impressed. If Joe wants
to have his grand farewell in Wales, I am ready to accommodate, Dawson
detailed. My passport and world title belts are ready to travel across
the pond. Im ready to give Joe the opportunity to draw the curtain on
his great career in front of his family and friends and 70,000 fans.
Its the best fight in the light-heavyweight division between two
Young Dawson has a point. Lets see if Calzaghe bites.
Throwback Fighter of the Week: Iran The Blade Barkley
super-middle, and light-heavyweight Iran Barkley came to boxing as a
way to escape the streets of his tough Bronx, NY neighborhood. After
discarding his membership to the notorious Black Spades gang, Barkley
began his pro career quietly in 1982.
a respectable record of 22-3 by 1987, he lost a unanimous against
highly-skilled Sumbu Kalamby in his first middleweight title shot.
A year later, Barkley shocked the boxing world by scoring a come from behind 3rd
round KO of Tommy Hearns. Despite having been cut and dropped, Barkley
was able to floor Hearns twice and earn Upset of the Year from RING
1989, Barkley engaged in a classic battle with Roberto Duran, and had
the Panamanian legend out on his feet several times. However the
determined Duran outlasted Barkley to a split decision punctuated by an
11th round knockdown. For their work, Barkley and Duran won Fight of the Year.
accolades didnt translate into wins, and Barkley lost two more
consecutive bouts to undefeated Michael Nunn (MD12) and Nigel Benn
Rebuilding, in 1992 he was able to capture the IBF super-middleweight belt from Darrin Van Horn via 2nd round KO, and moved up to once again defeat Tommy Hearns, this time for the WBA light-heavyweight title.
Barkley proved inconsistent, immediately moving back down to
super-middleweight and being KOd by James Toney in 1993, and suffering
a 9th round KO in his last title shot in 1994 against then IBF light-heavyweight champ Henry Maske.After losing six straight bouts from 1998-1999, Iran Barkley announced his retirement.
to have grossed $5 million dollars throughout his career, Barkley now
lives in one bedroom apartment in the Bronx Patterson Projects where he
grew up. Beset by back child support and failed businesses, Barkley at
the age of 48 has announced he is returning to the ring in hopes
of generating enough money to live on, and to repair heavy scar tissue
over his left eye.
Iran Barkleys record to date stands at 43-19-1, 27 KOs.
Story on Barkleys financial situation and reason for comeback:
Barkley vs. Olajide
Barkley vs. Hearns IBarkley vs. Duran