x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Lewis advises unbeaten Calzaghe to quit

The boxing world is split after Joe Calzaghe hinted that he may not retire as originally planned.

LONDON // Lennox Lewis has advised the unbeaten Joe Calzaghe to quit after beating Roy Jones Jr, while Frank Warren, the Welshman's former promoter, believes he will fight on. Calzaghe survived a first round knockdown to take his impressive record to 46 victories with a lopsided points triumph over the hugely experienced Jones in Madison Square Garden. Calzaghe had announced before the light heavyweight fight that it would be his last, but said afterwards he might not stick to his retirement plans.

The reaction to the Newbridge fighter's possible U-turn appears to have split the boxing world. "Joe has beaten everyone there is to beat and has nothing else to prove so I think he should retire," said Lewis, who retired in 2004 when he was still world heavyweight champion. Warren oversaw much of Calzaghe's career when the Welshman held the super middleweight crown for almost 11 years with 21 successful defences.

He expects the fighter to continue even though he has nothing left to prove following victories over Jones and Bernard Hopkins after he cleaned up the super middleweight division. "I think he will fight on. Before the fight he was saying it was his last, now he's saying he's not sure," said Warren. "Joe has got nothing else to prove. He is without doubt the greatest super middleweight of all time, and to me he is the best British fighter certainly since the second World War. His record speaks for itself."

Warren also said that Calzaghe might not listen to calls for him to retire. "They say fighters are the last people who know when it's time to quit," the promoter said. "I don't believe that, but I think they're the last people to admit it. "I think everybody around him including his family would like him to retire." David Haye, the former world cruiserweight champion who fights for the first time as a heavyweight when he meets Monte Barrett next Saturday, said that Calzaghe should quit to preserve his unbeaten record instead of chasing bigger paydays.

"Very rarely do you get a guy with his kind of record retire on top form," Haye said. "Lennox Lewis showed you can walk away from the game and stay away from it. "Roy Jones should have retired after he beat John Ruiz but he tainted his legacy by carrying on. "I would definitely advise Calzaghe to get out on a high. But it depends on how much money he's got. If he's got enough to live his kind of lifestyle he will retire. If not he'll fight on for the money."

*AP