x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Calzaghe hits back at critics

Joe Calzaghe believes he answered his critics on Saturday night when he outclassed Roy Jones Jr at Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK // Joe Calzaghe believes he answered his critics on Saturday night when he outclassed Roy Jones Jr at Madison Square Garden. Calzaghe, 36, moved to 46-0 (32 KOs) with an impressive and unanimous points decision win over eight-time, four-weight champion Jones after getting up off the floor following a first-round knockdown.

Scoring a 118-109 victory on all three judges' scorecards, former undisputed super-middleweight champion Calzaghe won the remaining 11 rounds to retain his world light-heavyweight title, the Ring Magazine Championship belt he won in April with a split decision over Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas. With his second fight on American soil and his polished victory over Jones, Calzaghe said he felt his perception Stateside of being carefully matched in Europe throughout his career was well and truly buried.

"I'm just overwhelmed at the moment," Calzaghe said. "It took me eight years to get a unification fight and I was more frustrated than anybody. "I wanted to show the world that I've always been a true champion. It was through no fault of my own that I didn't get the big, big fights that I always wanted. "I beat Mikkel Kessler, and became undisputed (super-middleweight champion in 2007) and after that there was only two more things I wanted to do.That was to come to the States because you guys never thought I'd come over and beat two legends in the ring, one in Bernard Hopkins and a bigger legend in Roy Jones Jr."

Like the Hopkins fight, Calzaghe was floored in the opening round, this time by a jolting straight left from 39-year-old Jones that momentarily stunned his travelling fans. Calzaghe came back to wear down the American, causing a damaging cut above the former four-division champion's left eye in the seventh round that Jones' corner could not staunch. Despite having promised before the fight that he would retire following his meeting with Jones, the Welshman said he would to go away and think about his boxing future.

"I'm 36, nearly 37 and I'm not going to announce anything right now. I said before the fight it would possibly be my last fight but I'm just really happy. I enjoyed it, except the first round of course." * PA Sport