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Is Calzaghe/Hopkins Inevitable?

BY Robert Ecksel ON December 02, 2006
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Bernard Hopkins’ Plan B includes Welshman Joe Calzaghe

Now that Bernard Hopkins’ return to the ring is officially official, the man in Ex’s sights is none other than the charismatic undefeated super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe.

Joe Calzaghe After destroying Antonio Tarver in June, and after watching Oleg Masakev dismantle Hasim Rahman to win the WBC heavyweight crown, Hopkins flip-flopped on a promise he gave to his late mother that he would quit boxing this year, and is looking for a suitable opponent for his return to active duty.

TSS recently spoke with Maskaev’s manager, Fred Kesch, from his suite at the Peter the First Hotel in Moscow, and asked about Oleg fighting Hopkins if and when he gets past Peter Okhello on Dec. 10.

“I think Bernard is starting to come to his senses and realizing that getting hit by a champion heavyweight is a lot different than he’s used to,� said Kesch. “But you know how it is in the sport. People can say what they want to say and then find every reason in the world not to make it happen. But Bernard’s a fantastic fighter. He’s a credit to the sport. He’s a wonderful motivator and he likes to get things going and he’s been a champion so many years, people look up to him, as we do, but not as a heavyweight.�

If that doesn’t put the kibosh on the Maskaev-Hopkins rumor, it’s hard to know what will, so maybe it’s time to drop the talk of a heavyweight challenge and put Hopkins’ Plan B into effect, namely a fight with Joe Calzaghe.

But first Calzaghe has to get by Peter Manfredo Jr. of Contender fame on March 3 at the Millennium Stadium. Should Joe emerge victorious, he will have matched B-Hop’s record 20 defenses of the crown.

Hopkins, according to icWales, said, “If I can’t make my history, I can stop him making his history.�

“If Hopkins doesn't want me to break his record,� replied Calzaghe, “he should have fought me years ago when he had the chance.

“There are lots of exciting fights out there for me, but the only one that means anything right now is Peter Manfredo, because there are no other fights without beating him.

“But I will say this: I intend to break Bernard's record, with or without him.�

“Anyone can beat a champion,� Hopkins said, but “Very few can beat a legend.� Read more at the BLOG

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