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Calzaghe, through your eyes; all time great, or all time very good?

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:10 pm

Alright chaps, just a quick, simple one here.

Last month OneTwo posted a thread about how strong Joe Calzaghe's Hall of Fame (the rubbish Canastota one, not our exclusive and all-round better one!) credentials would or wouldn't have been had he never faced and beaten Hopkins and the shell of Roy at 175 lb at the tail end of his career, having previously donned at least one version of the Super-Middleweight title for a full decade.

General consensus was that, with that additional swansong at Light-Heavyweight, Calzaghe's career made him a dead cert for the IBHOF, and that even if he'd have called it a day after sewing up all remaining business against Kessler at 168, he'd probably still have enough going for him to warrant his place.

However, as we know, it most certainly doesn't take an all-time great to make the Hall in many cases; Ingemar Johansson, Daniel Zaragoza, Barry McGuigan, Arturo Gatti, Eugene Criqui and a score of others are proof enough of this.

Wider acclaim among hardcore boxing fans means a lot more, I feel, than the call from Canastota. Obviously, we're no paragon of standard setting either; we all have our own ideas of what makes an all-time great, which aspects of a fighter and their career should be prioritized ahead of others, what balance to strike between statistics, the eye test and other elements etc. But I thought it might be a decent idea to put our own standards to the test to see if we can reach any kind of consensus here.

No need to go in to Calzaghe's record in any great depth here to refresh you all on it, of course - we've been there before. So, over to you. Are you comfortable calling Calzaghe a 'great' fighter? Or was he just a great talent, without the necessary achievements to do that talent justice? Was he neither of those things, perhaps?

Any comments appreciated. Ta.
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Post by horizontalhero Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:23 pm

Certainly a very good, and possibly a great- certainly a great SMW, but for me the issue is unlike say a Larry Holmes, who also maybe lacked a defining fight, and lack quaility in depth regarding his opposition, is that for too much of his regin his wasn't "the man" in his division. A victim of his times in some ways- too many belts/ other champions, too hard to make fights with genuine rivals when they are relevant.Your question does raise an interesting question in how difficult it is for modern fighters to achieve greatness- bxong politics and economics makes it nearly impossible.

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Post by rIck_dAgless Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:27 pm

I am a huge Calzaghe fan and I think on talent, probably an all time great, but I agree with Horizontalhero, we will never know as there is not one big defining fight.

lacy could have been, but the destruction and subsequent slide of Lacy will mean, again, we will never know.

Reid, Eubank both great wins, but arguably contentious and too late for both.

So in answer: Talent - ATG
Career - ATVG (frustratingly)

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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:29 pm

Happy New Year, Chris.

Thought I'd have my two cents' worth before the storm breaks! By British standards, there's no doubt that Calzaghe is an all-time great. He's anywhere between 5 and 8 on my list of UK fighters, which is pretty high. Problem is that there are plenty of really good British fighters of around equal merit who can't really make a true H of F (not Canastota, then) in my eyes, and I suspect that Calzaghe is the same.

If we look at my boxing hero, Ken Buchanan, whom I reckon to be 4th or 5th all-time from the UK, we rejected his claims for the 606 v2 H of F and, reluctantly, I'm forced to agree that we were correct by the strictest standards. Ken is probably around number 20-25 among all-time lightweights, which means that we are setting the bar pretty high, but that's as it should be. For me, there are only three fighters from the UK who definitely deserve to be placed among the true all-time elite - Wilde, Ted Kid Lewis and Lennox Lewis (Fitz excepted for the usual boring reason). There are another couple - Welsh and Moran - about whom I'm agnostic - and a few more, including Lynch, Driscoll, Hamed and Berg, who are in the same boat as Buchanan, for me.

Calzaghe, I have no doubt, had most of the tools to have been one of the real chosen few - sadly, by the time he got round to removing all the doubts, it was just too late for him to acquire the CV of some of the guys who are can't miss, first-ballot 606 Hall of Famers. I'm happy to call him a great fighter by most standards - I just demur at the idea that he is part of the all-time global elite. I can't honestly see him in the same company as Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore or even a Mike McCallum.

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Post by Rowley Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:30 pm

For me he is from the very good rather than the great category. Should say this is not as negative as perhaps it sounds because personally when I refer to an all time great I am speaking of folk like Armstrong, Greb, Robinson and the Leonard’s so there is no great shame in not belonging in that category. However I should also add Joe is not really in the next category to these guys, whatever that may be.

Would not want to be too dismissive of his abilities or achievements as being an undisputed world champion and two weight Ring Magazine champion is not to be readily dismissed and he proved in his fights against the likes of Kessler and Hopkins he could be a handful for anyone on his night.

However a guy who does want to be considered amongst the greatest of all time does not go 8 years in the same division without a unification fight where the best wins they can boast are the likes of Reid, Woodhall and Brewer, all of whom arguably had seen better days. When these are your best wins it does make you realise the extent to which you are scraping the barrel. What makes this even worse is for a good portion of this time the best fighter in the world was operating in the weight just above him so the argument he had a dearth of options is not one that can be made too reasonably.

Good fighter and worthy addition to Canastota but alas a guy who, given his talent should have achieved more or certainly underlined his ability far sooner than he did.

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Post by J.Benson II Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:32 pm

Very good. Both in terms of talent and career.
Not great in either imo.

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Post by Guest Mon 06 Jan 2014, 1:41 pm

For me, Calzaghe was the man at SM in all but name. There's aren't many (outside of the deluded, deranged or fervent anti-Welsh brigade) who would have given Ottke a hope in hell of getting a genuine win against Joe although that doesn't mean that I don't think all possible efforts shouldnt have been made to get the fight on (much like Jones Jr and Darius). A result one way or the other would have gone some way to helping firm up Joe's final standing

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Post by BoxingFan88 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 2:08 pm

I thought that the Ringside interview was a real eye opener, it showed how Calzaghe really suffered with injuries to his hands and why he had to totally change his style.

Had he not suffered those injures he would have been an even bigger force than he was in my opinion.

I think he is a very good fighter who had the talent to become an all time great, just not the luck.

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Post by Boxtthis Mon 06 Jan 2014, 2:17 pm

Very good for me.

Like others, I consider his lack of defining fights and his reluctance to push himself to fight the best to count against him.

I think he would've been a handful for any SMW. Very quick, very awkward, and superb gas tank.

No shame at all in where he got to, but, if we're talking ATGs then it has to be guys that took huge risks and fought multiple other greats in their prime.

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Post by Guest Mon 06 Jan 2014, 2:20 pm

Boxtthis wrote:Very good for me.

Like others, I consider his lack of defining fights and his reluctance to push himself to fight the best to count against him.

I think he would've been a handful for any SMW. Very quick, very awkward, and superb gas tank.

No shame at all in where he got to, but, if we're talking ATGs then it has to be guys that took huge risks and fought multiple other greats in their prime.
So using that rationale, you'd have to put Hatton above Calzaghe despite the two losses Ricky suffered at the hands of Floyd and Pac being as humiliatingly one-sided as Calzaghe's beating of Lacy?

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Post by Rodney Mon 06 Jan 2014, 2:27 pm

Depends Chris where the bar for an ATG gets set for this generation Too many times todays "good fighter who snagged the title" somtimes ends up as tomorrows legend.

Many fighters from the 40s and 50s who we today credit all time great status to were not highly hyped in their own time. Take fighters like Ezzard Charles, Loyd Marshal, Holman Williams, Jersey Joe Walcott, and Charlie Burley.

Now in Calzaghes case many of the people he beat are still active and going concerns. A champions stock can continue to rise after he retires if his opponents keep winning (see Lennox Lewis) A lesser version of Kessler is still a top 5 super middle, Hopkins has had some great wins since he lost to Joe and is still a major player and even Saiko Bika managed to pull a strap.

Originally I would have classed him very good but as time passed he maybe pushing towards the ATG status.

Cheers Rodders
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Post by Boxtthis Mon 06 Jan 2014, 2:32 pm

Good points. The prime Kesslar win was excellent. And Hopkins is a top win in hindsight. In fact, considering what Hopkins has went on to do, that could almost be counted as a 'great' win. But, then there are asterisks with the tight scoring and Hopkins being 'non-prime'.

Just too many OK, good, or very good wins rather than great ones for me.

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Post by Group Cpt Lionel Mandrake Mon 06 Jan 2014, 3:01 pm

How much did Warren hold him back and was Joe's supposed fear of flying a genuine reason for him staying at home and not going to US and unifying?

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 3:08 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone (Happy New Year to you as well, captain).

See, I personally feel that, the more time that passes, the more people seem to be labeling Calzaghe an all-time great, or even a "legend" in some quarters (for instance, he made Boxing News' 100 Greatest Fighters of all Time, has garnered lavish praise from none other than Ray Leonard, and in general his record seems to be given a little more leeway than it used to be).

Seems that here on v2, however, we're not all that convinced - and neither am I, really.

I do think that Calzaghe was a great talent, mind you. Wouldn't dispute that he was one of the most lavishly gifted fighters Britain has ever produced, and among the most uniquely gifted of all his contemporaries. His defence wasn't all that hot, but he could punch a bit (particularly when he was younger), had stamina to rival anyone, blurring hand speed which so few European fighters have tended to have, a great set of whiskers (round 9 against Reid, anyone?) and wasn't a bad adapter when he needed to be either (see the Reid and Kessler fights).

However, for a man who contested a whopping 24 world title contests (if we count the Ring Magazine belt), his list of career-best wins reads pretty pathetically in relative terms, if we're being honest. There have been top class champions who made up for a lack of big-name fighters with great consistency, but Calzaghe really did take the mick a little bit in that respect.

Would he have beaten Ottke? 99 times from 100, yes, I believe. A peak Glen Johnson? Again, not much doubt in my mind. Tarver? I think so. But the bottom line is, if you don't get the results you can't get the credit, and unfortunately that means that Calzaghe spent something like 18 of those 24 title fights as nothing more than a Felix Sturm kind of figure, albeit one who didn't lose in that period of time.

His late-career boost from 2006 to 2008 was superb, but a couple of annoying little factors prevent it from being enough to push him over that ATG line. It's unair in a lot of ways to subsequently write Lacy off as being overrated, overhyped and having built up an impressive-looking record against generally poor opposition after Calzaghe drubbed him so emphatically, despite the bookies making them pretty even, but unfortunately it's hard to deduce that the above statements aren't true.

Likewise, his Hopkins win was still a pretty darn good one, given that Hopkins has done some impressive things since. But the fact that he was run so closely by Bernard, aged 43, means I have to question whether Calzaghe would have beaten a version which was a few years younger.

Some pretty impressive wins on his ledger, but no great ones, for me. And regardless of talent, longevity and consistency, if you don't have any great wins it's pretty hard to become an all-time great.
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Post by Guest Mon 06 Jan 2014, 3:22 pm

And regardless of talent, longevity and consistency, if you don't have any great wins it's pretty hard to become an all-time great.
Joe Louis will be in his grave...thinking "Phew, lucky me, whilst it's hard, it's clearly not impossible!"

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 06 Jan 2014, 3:49 pm

He was an exceptional talent although if I am being blunt his career and the likelihood to face "everyone at the weight" was probably let down by politics, Warren and Joe's self-confessed fear of flying.

It's also a bit unfair to have a go at him for not unifying; the WBC title changed hands 12 times during the time Joe was WBO champ (the last being when he unified with Kessler). As such he probably couldn't get a shot due to mandatories on both sides of the equation. The WBA title also changed hands quite regularly, and the IBF title was held mainly by Ottke who as we all know had even more of a compunction to stay at home. The two IBF titlists other than Ottke (Brewer and Lacy) were both beaten by Joe, although Brewer wasn't champ at the time.

I have no doubts he would have dealt with Ottke pretty handily, but sadly due to both believing they were the bigger draw and various other politics and money, the fight never took place.

I watched every one of Calzaghe's fights from his British title defence against the then unbeaten Mark Delaney and it's a shame we don't have anyone in the British ranks who is as skilled at present. He had speed, power (which wrecked his hands), fantastic stamina and a half decent chin with great powers of recovery. We will not see his like again for a while. Not an all-time great, but history will look favourably at him  Smile 

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Post by bellchees Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:20 pm

88Chris05 wrote:Thanks for the replies, everyone (Happy New Year to you as well, captain).

See, I personally feel that, the more time that passes, the more people seem to be labeling Calzaghe an all-time great, or even a "legend" in some quarters (for instance, he made Boxing News' 100 Greatest Fighters of all Time, has garnered lavish praise from none other than Ray Leonard, and in general his record seems to be given a little more leeway than it used to be).

Seems that here on v2, however, we're not all that convinced - and neither am I, really.

I do think that Calzaghe was a great talent, mind you. Wouldn't dispute that he was one of the most lavishly gifted fighters Britain has ever produced, and among the most uniquely gifted of all his contemporaries. His defence wasn't all that hot, but he could punch a bit (particularly when he was younger), had stamina to rival anyone, blurring hand speed which so few European fighters have tended to have, a great set of whiskers (round 9 against Reid, anyone?) and wasn't a bad adapter when he needed to be either (see the Reid and Kessler fights).

However, for a man who contested a whopping 24 world title contests (if we count the Ring Magazine belt), his list of career-best wins reads pretty pathetically in relative terms, if we're being honest. There have been top class champions who made up for a lack of big-name fighters with great consistency, but Calzaghe really did take the mick a little bit in that respect.

Would he have beaten Ottke? 99 times from 100, yes, I believe. A peak Glen Johnson? Again, not much doubt in my mind. Tarver? I think so. But the bottom line is, if you don't get the results you can't get the credit, and unfortunately that means that Calzaghe spent something like 18 of those 24 title fights as nothing more than a Felix Sturm kind of figure, albeit one who didn't lose in that period of time.

His late-career boost from 2006 to 2008 was superb, but a couple of annoying little factors prevent it from being enough to push him over that ATG line. It's unair in a lot of ways to subsequently write Lacy off as being overrated, overhyped and having built up an impressive-looking record against generally poor opposition after Calzaghe drubbed him so emphatically, despite the bookies making them pretty even, but unfortunately it's hard to deduce that the above statements aren't true.

Likewise, his Hopkins win was still a pretty darn good one, given that Hopkins has done some impressive things since. But the fact that he was run so closely by Bernard, aged 43, means I have to question whether Calzaghe would have beaten a version which was a  few years younger.

Some pretty impressive wins on his ledger, but no great ones, for me. And regardless of talent, longevity and consistency, if you don't have any great wins it's pretty hard to become an all-time great.

Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.

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Post by Boxtthis Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:33 pm

Ok, so, a quick in-thread question:

Hopkins or Calzaghe higher in the ATG stakes?

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Post by Steffan Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:39 pm

The guy is great

Just my opinion though

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Post by bellchees Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:51 pm

Boxtthis wrote:Ok, so, a quick in-thread question:

Hopkins or Calzaghe higher in the ATG stakes?

Hopkins,

Head to head I'd pick Calzaghe prime for prime but his career leaves too many question marks to rank above Hopkins.

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Post by milkyboy Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:52 pm

The Hopkins fight is a weird one. It was almost the nadir of Hopkins from a fighting perspective. He was on a run of spoiling negative performances (excepting maybe tarver giving him target practice) 'peaking' with this one. He seemed to change after this and be more positive and impressive for a while, despite his years.

Given what Hopkins has done since, it looks like a great win for jc, and to some degree it is, but watching the fight, I felt that it was clear that the Hopkins that mullered trinidad would have been too good for prime joe. No shame in that, Hopkins is a great in my eyes. I feel he did enough to show the difference between great and very very good in that fight, even in defeat.

On the flipside, hopkins spoiling style is hard to look good against. I think joe is knocking hard on the door of greatness without pushing it ajar.

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Post by catchweight Mon 06 Jan 2014, 4:58 pm

The Hopkins fight was a joke. I dont know how so many people thought Hopkins won that fight. He had a good first round and then fouled, cheated and stank his way through the rest of the fight spoiling. Calzaghe won clearly by at least 2 or 3 rounds. Hopkins was reduced to diving like a footballer trying to win a penalty to stay in the fight.

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 5:21 pm

bellchees wrote:Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.

See, I don't really think that Calzaghe was past his best when he faced Hopkins. His (up until then) career-best win against Kessler, and arguably his best all-round performance - depending on how you judge that - had come just five months before. I don't think the fights leading up to Hopkins in the previous couple of years (Lacy, Bika, Manfredo and Kessler) had shown all that much deterioration to Calzaghe, if you can take aside the hand issues which got worse and worse as his career went on.

He struggled against Hopkins, but then again, Hoppo was by far and a way the best fighter he'd ever been in there with, so no real surprise there. And though I haven't ever revisited the Jones farce (and I doubt I ever will), me recollection is that after the first round knockdown Calzaghe proceeded to absolutely belt the living daylights out of Roy for the other eleven. You could question Calzaghe's failure to get the stoppage, I guess, considering how inept that version of Roy was and the calibre of a few other fighters who have put him away inside-schedule, but that's maybe scraping the barrel a little for me.

This won't make me popular with catchweight, but I actually do think there's still a claim to be made for Hopkins edging that fight against Joe - albeit there's just as good a claim for Calzaghe. One of those kind of fights, for me. I rewatched it a few months back and had it a draw, as it goes. Fully agree that, after three rounds, you can't give all that much to Hopkins, but I thought Bernard won the first three rounds clearly, and of course one of them was a 10-8, so he didn't really need to win a torrent of rounds late on to at least keep it very, very close.

What struck me as being very odd about that fight was that, early on, Calzaghe was actually being outworked as well as outboxed, which was a turn up for the books. And then after being dominated on the inside in the early stages, Calzaghe actually managed to just about get the better of Hopkins in those close-in exchanges, another surprising thing (for me anyhow!).

No doubt that Hopkins definitely contributed to his own downfall, mind you, as he became so, so negative as the fight went on, and his rolling around on the floor act after the 'low blow' was pretty embarrassing.....Made even worse by that little shimmy for the crowd Calzaghe did with his hips right behind Hopkins as he doubled over, which made it look as if he was trying to back-end him.


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Post by Boxtthis Mon 06 Jan 2014, 5:24 pm

catchweight wrote:The Hopkins fight was a joke. I dont know how so many people thought Hopkins won that fight. He had a good first round and then fouled, cheated and stank his way through the rest of the fight spoiling. Calzaghe won clearly by at least 2 or 3 rounds. Hopkins was reduced to diving like a footballer trying to win a penalty to stay in the fight.

I don't think there was much clear about that fight. Pretty hard to score, and wouldn't have been particularly outraged if it had went either way.

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Post by catchweight Mon 06 Jan 2014, 5:33 pm

Not popular indeed! Ive only ever watched the fight the one time and that was one time too many but I cant remember Calzaghe being outworked at any stage unless it was in terms of being grabbed. I dont believe in rewarding those kind of performances Hopkins in the scorecards. Blatant spoiling. The worst is there will be someone on now in a while probably calling it a technical masterclass or something. Hopkins had to try spoil his way through the fight because he couldnt live with Calzaghe. Calzaghe was throwing more, landing more and boxing cleaner. As the fight went on Hopkins just became more desperate.

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Post by milkyboy Mon 06 Jan 2014, 5:50 pm

That's what sets chris apart from the rest of us.... Watching Hopkins Calzaghe again to get another perspective. I'd rather disembowel myself with a blunt instrument than suffer that.

Dedication to duty  clap

For the record, I thought Calzaghe shaded a close fight, not easy to score. Cleaner shots from Hopkins, workrate from Calzaghe.

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Post by Steffan Mon 06 Jan 2014, 5:55 pm

I was at the fight and I always knew it was gonna be a boring one but fancied a trip to Vegas. I had Joe winning but then im biased. Dont think Hopkins crawling around like a dog did him any favours really

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Post by Strongback Mon 06 Jan 2014, 6:01 pm

With Calzaghe I think it is good to look at some of his best performances. Talent cannot allows be judged on the ledger book. The way he fought against an unbeaten extremely durable, hard hitting athlethic fighter in Mikkel Kessler when he was 35 years old made a believer out of me.  The engine and array of punches he displayed that night were nothing short of tremendous.

To my eye Calzaghe is the greatest British fighter to come out of the UK since I've started watching boxing in the 1980's.  Calzaghe was a better fighter than Lennox in my view even if that isn't reflected in the ATG lists largely based on opposition beat.

What's the downside, with all but the very greatest there always is one, well it has to be the lack of travel and the high level of protection he receieved from Warren.  

Calzaghe's greatest crime may have been he lacked the confidence to grab his talents and throw himself into unchartered waters.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Mon 06 Jan 2014, 6:04 pm

I stayed up late to watch the fight on Setanta and thought Calzaghe had shaded it. Having not rewatched it and why would anyone but I vaguely remember two knock downs that Calzaghe should have been credited with.

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Post by bellchees Mon 06 Jan 2014, 6:44 pm

88Chris05 wrote:
bellchees wrote:Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.

See, I don't really think that Calzaghe was past his best when he faced Hopkins. His (up until then) career-best win against Kessler, and arguably his best all-round performance - depending on how you judge that - had come just five months before. I don't think the fights leading up to Hopkins in the previous couple of years (Lacy, Bika, Manfredo and Kessler) had shown all that much deterioration to Calzaghe, if you can take aside the hand issues which got worse and worse as his career went on.

He struggled against Hopkins, but then again, Hoppo was by far and a way the best fighter he'd ever been in there with, so no real surprise there. And though I haven't ever revisited the Jones farce (and I doubt I ever will), me recollection is that after the first round knockdown Calzaghe proceeded to absolutely belt the living daylights out of Roy for the other eleven. You could question Calzaghe's failure to get the stoppage, I guess, considering how inept that version of Roy was and the calibre of a few other fighters who have put him away inside-schedule, but that's maybe scraping the barrel a little for me.

This won't make me popular with catchweight, but I actually do think there's still a claim to be made for Hopkins edging that fight against Joe - albeit there's just as good a claim for Calzaghe. One of those kind of fights, for me. I rewatched it a few months back and had it a draw, as it goes. Fully agree that, after three rounds, you can't give all that much to Hopkins, but I thought Bernard won the first three rounds clearly, and of course one of them was a 10-8, so he didn't really need to win a torrent of rounds late on to at least keep it very, very close.

What struck me as being very odd about that fight was that, early on, Calzaghe was actually being outworked as well as outboxed, which was a turn up for the books. And then after being dominated on the inside in the early stages, Calzaghe actually managed to just about get the better of Hopkins in those close-in exchanges, another surprising thing (for me anyhow!).

No doubt that Hopkins definitely contributed to his own downfall, mind you, as he became so, so negative as the fight went on, and his rolling around on the floor act after the 'low blow' was pretty embarrassing.....Made even worse by that little shimmy for the crowd Calzaghe did with his hips right behind Hopkins as he doubled over, which made it look as if he was trying to back-end him.

Career best win against Kessler but not a career best performance. I think he'd slowed down a touch by then and had to out think Kessler to edge a very close fight that a year or so earlier I reckon he would have won a bit clearer. What Calzaghe showed in the Hopkins fight more than anything was his ability to adapt, the first few rounds he had the same problem Froch had all night against Ward, he was either too far away or too close and Calzaghe got caught every time when Hopkins lunged with the straight right followed with the headbutt then held. By the mid rounds he'd adapted and was taking a step back and was getting his own shots off before Hopkins could tie him up.

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Post by tunes666 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 8:05 pm

bellchees wrote:

Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.


Taking into account his statement on ringside that he was in his best form ever against Roy Jones, then he was not past his best against Hopkins.

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Post by bellchees Mon 06 Jan 2014, 8:15 pm

tunes666 wrote:
bellchees wrote:

Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.


Taking into account his statement on ringside that he was in his best form ever against Roy Jones, then he was not past his best against Hopkins.

I prefer to watch the fight and make my own judgement than just take his word for it. Hatton was apparently winning the second round by a mile against Manny according to him. Didn't Calzaghe also say he could have won a belt at heavyweight? Might of been his dad but either way it was nonsense.

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Post by rapidringsroad Mon 06 Jan 2014, 8:17 pm

All Calzaghe's important fights were in the last two years of his career,starting with the unbeaten Lacy,Hopkins and Jones.I don't know why he didn't fight away from home,but if he had I think he may have been judged to be better thought of world wide.

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Post by tunes666 Mon 06 Jan 2014, 9:01 pm

bellchees wrote:
tunes666 wrote:
bellchees wrote:

Joe was also past his best when he beat Hopkins, just look at the pretty poor performance against Jones straight after and fighting at a new weight for the 1st time in his whole career. I actually think he beats the younger version of Hopkins who is more likely to engage a bit better than the old spoiler we see stinking the place up today.


Taking into account his statement on ringside that he was in his best form ever against Roy Jones, then he was not past his best against Hopkins.

I prefer to watch the fight and make my own judgement than just take his word for it. Hatton was apparently winning the second round by a mile against Manny according to him. Didn't Calzaghe also say he could have won a belt at heavyweight? Might of been his dad but either way it was nonsense.
The Difference there is Hatton suffered a humiliating defeat and was asked the question after the fight, Where Joe won the fight easy and answered the question a couple weeks ago.. They were also the only time he fought in the USA.

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Post by WelshDevilRob Mon 06 Jan 2014, 9:35 pm

I agree his career could have been a lot more and there are alot of title defenses against average opposition.

Overall based on talent, length of reign and several good names on his record, he deserves to be in the IBHOF.

I also thought he beat Bhop - he just outworked the guy and showed what you need to do against the wily veteran. It's a pity Bhop turned down the fight several years before despite the money being there.

Joe also had trouble getting the two German belt holders in the ring (Ottke and Beyer) they simply weren't interested in fighting Calzaghe. Luckily Joe got the opportunity to unify against Lacy and Kessler.

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Post by Steffan Mon 06 Jan 2014, 10:10 pm

The guy is great

Calzaghe, through your eyes; all time great, or all time very good? CalzagheFlagBLKS75

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Post by Lance Tue 07 Jan 2014, 2:13 am

Joe was an all time great. He showed this in his performance against Hopkins. I thought Hopkins just about won the fight. I also think the knock down and Freddies poor tactics cost Hopkins winning it more clearly. He seemed to think he could coast to victory on home soil after the dominant earlier rounds. But either way, Joe went there and just about managed to get the job done against a fellow all time great boxer. Joes spoiled as much as Bernard in that fight, something that gets overlooked. But he was a winner if nothing else was Joe. He changed his game plan and showed tactically he could live with the best of them. Add in his speed and his victories against Kessler, Lacy and Eubank and I think we have a great fighter.

Was a ducker though, didn't fancy his chances in a rematch with Hopkins, didn't fancy Johnson or Tarver either. Deserves some of the criticism he gets sometimes, but he was a gifted fighter none the less.

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Post by compelling and rich Tue 07 Jan 2014, 10:39 am

very good for me, there's still something that irks me about calzaghes career and i think its a missed opportunity to become a all time great because i feel he had the ability to do so

overall i feel he falls short on truly great wins and career defining fights, his best win for me is kessler. bhop fight is difficult to judge because while still a test for anybody even at that age i cant see how anybody could say hopkins was anywhere near his prime. he was gassed after 5 rounds, and even then i had it a very close fight.

i should also add that i dont buy into lacy was ruined by joe, found out by yes but not ruined. also saw someone put eubank as i great win, i disagree with this think eubank was well shot by the time they fought. eubank was on the slide during the collins fights let alone calzaghe. great fight but more of a passing of the torch than a truly great win

all time great brit, but falls short in the world accolade for me

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Post by hampo17 Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:17 am

Lance wrote:Joe was an all time great. He showed this in his performance against Hopkins. I thought Hopkins just about won the fight. I also think the knock down and Freddies poor tactics cost Hopkins winning it more clearly. He seemed to think he could coast to victory on home soil after the dominant earlier rounds. But either way, Joe went there and just about managed to get the job done against a fellow all time great boxer. Joes spoiled as much as Bernard in that fight, something that gets overlooked. But he was a winner if nothing else was Joe. He changed his game plan and showed tactically he could live with the best of them. Add in his speed and his victories against Kessler, Lacy and Eubank and I think we have a great fighter.

Was a ducker though, didn't fancy his chances in a rematch with Hopkins, didn't fancy Johnson or Tarver either. Deserves some of the criticism he gets sometimes, but he was a gifted fighter none the less.

To be honest Lance, I got the feeling Calzaghe knew that he had one more fight left in him....and when you know that and have gone your entire career unbeaten you're always going to take the lowest risk highest reward fight, that was Roy Jones. Worth remembering he had to beg Frank to make the Hopkins fight as well, so labelling him a ducker isn't fair imo.

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Post by compelling and rich Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:23 am

jones fight was a bit of a nonentity for me, dont give him any credit for beating that version, but also dont mind him fighting a "name" for his last fight. has no sway on his career either way for me

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Post by Rowley Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:25 am

I don’t think he is a ducker per se, think he can though be accused of taking a way too laid back attitude to his career. Worth remembering the maximum length of a BBBC contract is 3 years. Joe was with Warren for ten years, so basic maths would suggest he signed at least two contract extensions with Warren, even extending in the days when Frank was serving up Rick Thornberry and Tocker Pudwill as opponents. Definitely think Joe can be accused of not taking the bull by the horns and being a bit more pro-active in seeking out the serious fights.

How hard would it be at some point when your contract is up with Frank to say you will extend but give him a list of names and say unless one of those is delivered in the first 18 months you will be off. Would not imagine that would be a difficult thing for any half decent lawyer (or Superfly) to get written in.

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Post by hogey Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:26 am

Very good fighter who was around at the right time to look a little better than he probably was. I think he also was managed in a way that kept his record intact but lessened his legacy long term. He never beats an on top of his game Roy Jones and if i am honest to this day i cant see how he got the decision against Hopkins. Credit though for his win against a very good Kessler though.

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Post by Boxtthis Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:26 am

So, is Hopkins an all time great then?

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Post by hampo17 Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:26 am

I agree C&R, Joe knew what he was doing. Last fight take a name that is still huge in the sport and making a huge amount of cash.

Plus Tarver was signed to fight Dawson, which he lost and then rematched and Johnson had lost to Dawson in April so not sure he would have even been in contention.

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:27 am

Lance wrote:Joe was an all time great. He showed this in his performance against Hopkins. I thought Hopkins just about won the fight. I also think the knock down and Freddies poor tactics cost Hopkins winning it more clearly. He seemed to think he could coast to victory on home soil after the dominant earlier rounds. But either way, Joe went there and just about managed to get the job done against a fellow all time great boxer. Joes spoiled as much as Bernard in that fight, something that gets overlooked. But he was a winner if nothing else was Joe. He changed his game plan and showed tactically he could live with the best of them. Add in his speed and his victories against Kessler, Lacy and Eubank and I think we have a great fighter.

Was a ducker though, didn't fancy his chances in a rematch with Hopkins, didn't fancy Johnson or Tarver either. Deserves some of the criticism he gets sometimes, but he was a gifted fighter none the less.
Think it was more to do with the fact that even if they'd given tickets away, they couldn't get more than 20 people to sit and watch those two fight again. Technically and tactically at times it was enthralling with Calzaghe's footwork upsetting Hopkins' rhythm and stopping him attcking too frequently. As a spectacle it was dreadful but very few will want to watch it again to fully appreciate the clever things both guys were doing or at least trying to do.

I'd pick Calzaghe to beat both Johnson and Tarver but not without having to work hard (not something he was afraid of doing) but the Jones fight made him a lot of money for relatively little risk (flash KD aside) and Jones was still a bigger draw than either Tarver or Johnson.


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Post by Guest Tue 07 Jan 2014, 11:33 am

Rowley wrote:I don’t think he is a ducker per se, think he can though be accused of taking a way too laid back attitude to his career. Worth remembering the maximum length of a BBBC contract is 3 years. Joe was with Warren for ten years, so basic maths would suggest he signed at least two contract extensions with Warren, even extending in the days when Frank was serving up Rick Thornberry and Tocker Pudwill as opponents. Definitely think Joe can be accused of not taking the bull by the horns and being a bit more pro-active in seeking out the serious fights.

How hard would it be at some point when your contract is up with Frank to say you will extend but give him a list of names and say unless one of those is delivered in the first 18 months you will be off. Would not imagine that would be a difficult thing for any half decent lawyer (or Superfly) to get written in.
As highlighted, the first part makes the second part near impossible.

There are obvious similarities with Warren/Hatton however people were more vocal about Hatton's career path as he was chasing a title rather than defending it and there's a very real possibility that Warren was telling Calzaghe to have a bit of faith in him as he'd essentially got a fighter with zero charisma and pulling power a World title shot (where I believe Eubank was still the draw rather than Joe which kind of puts Calzaghe's career into perspective)

Oh, for a fighter with Calzaghe's ability and Hatton's drive and fan base

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Post by J.Benson II Tue 07 Jan 2014, 2:46 pm

The general opinion with Calzaghe seems to be that he was a great talent but had a disappointing career.
I personally don't agree with this. For me, his career pretty much matched his talents, very good but not great.
As a boxer, he had some great attributes such as work rate and stamina, but overall, I never really saw someone that was anything beyond very good - certainly not on par with truly great talents like Jones.
He described Kessler as being his toughest fight and the Dane was able to win a few rounds against him. Does anyone see a very solid but fairly basic fighter in Kessler having any success at all with someone like Jones or even an on form Toney?
To an extent, I actually think Calzaghe's lack of ambition has helped his legacy rather than hinder it. Had he had a more adventurous career, I think he would have got beat against the very best and his career would more resemble Hatton's – albeit better since Calzaghe would have been more competitive in his losses.
However, due the nature of his career, we are left with "ifs" and "buts" rather than absolutes, which in this case, may be beneficial to Joe.

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Post by JabMachineMK2 Tue 07 Jan 2014, 3:22 pm

I'm with the consensus - Calzaghe was unquestionably very good, but his lack of meaningful fights until the end of his career didn't really show us what he was capable of. His Hopkins win and his Kessler win, given what they went on to do are his two standouts, but I have to say that he did seem somewhat "protected" throughout his career. Frank tried the same thing with Clev though and fell on his arse.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Tue 07 Jan 2014, 6:41 pm

J.Benson II wrote:The general opinion with Calzaghe seems to be that he was a great talent but had a disappointing career.
I personally don't agree with this. For me, his career pretty much matched his talents, very good but not great.
As a boxer, he had some great attributes such as work rate and stamina, but overall, I never really saw someone that was anything beyond very good - certainly not on par with truly great talents like Jones.
He described Kessler as being his toughest fight and the Dane was able to win a few rounds against him. Does anyone see a very solid but fairly basic fighter in Kessler having any success at all with someone like Jones or even an on form Toney?
To an extent, I actually think Calzaghe's lack of ambition has helped his legacy rather than hinder it. Had he had a more adventurous career, I think he would have got beat against the very best and his career would more resemble Hatton's – albeit better since Calzaghe would have been more competitive in his losses.
However, due the nature of his career, we are left with "ifs" and "buts" rather than absolutes, which in this case, may be beneficial to Joe.

Then again I don't see Calzaghe being laid out by either Johnson or Tarver either, they were of very similar age when the Kessler and Johnson fights happened. I don't think it's fair to say that Calzaghe was at the peak of his powers because by that stage his hands had let him down to such an extent he had no meaningful power and as a result had to rely on his engine to win.

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Post by Strongback Tue 07 Jan 2014, 9:14 pm

J.Benson II wrote:The general opinion with Calzaghe seems to be that he was a great talent but had a disappointing career.
I personally don't agree with this. For me, his career pretty much matched his talents, very good but not great.
As a boxer, he had some great attributes such as work rate and stamina, but overall, I never really saw someone that was anything beyond very good - certainly not on par with truly great talents like Jones.
He described Kessler as being his toughest fight and the Dane was able to win a few rounds against him. Does anyone see a very solid but fairly basic fighter in Kessler having any success at all with someone like Jones or even an on form Toney?
To an extent, I actually think Calzaghe's lack of ambition has helped his legacy rather than hinder it. Had he had a more adventurous career, I think he would have got beat against the very best and his career would more resemble Hatton's – albeit better since Calzaghe would have been more competitive in his losses.
However, due the nature of his career, we are left with "ifs" and "buts" rather than absolutes, which in this case, may be beneficial to Joe.


Kessler would be seen by many as the 3rd greatest supermiddleweight of all time.  He didn't look that basic when he beat Froch even though by that time he was starting to show the wear of a pro career that began when he was 19 years old.

The Calzaghe and Kessler of the night they fought each other were better than anything Froch has displayed in any fight in my opinion.

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