Welsh boxing sensation Joe Calzaghe now on HBO

Welsh super middleweight sensation Joe Calzaghe (41-0, 31 KOs) has left Showtime and will make his first appearance on the cable giant HBO this fall. His 19th title defense, against Cameroon’s Sakio Bika (20-1-2, 13 KOs ), will be on Saturday, October 14, at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, and will be broadcast on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.

HBO’s Senior Vice President Programming, Kery Davis, commenting on the addition of Calzaghe to HBO’s sterling roster, said “We are extremely pleased to be able to bring this exciting fight to our subscribers. Joe is clearly one of the brightest talents in the sport today.”

The Pride of Wales won the vacant WBO title on October 11, 1997, when he twice dropped former two-time world champion Chris Eubank en route to a one-sided decision (118-109, 118-111 and 116-111). But the knock on Calzaghe has always that he was a protected fighter, protected by his promoter Frank Warren, and wins over Charles Brewer, Byron Mitchell, Robin Reid and Richie Woodhall did little or nothing to change that perception.

What finally did change that perception was Joe’s single-minded destruction of then-undefeated Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy.

Now, Calzaghe’s 19th title defense will be against Bika, who while not a household name is unbeaten in his last 12 bouts extending over a four-year period.