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Clive Bernath

Calzaghe Motivated for Jones Like Never Before

By Clive Bernath: Joe Calzaghe has said that he is far more focused and motivated at the prospect of facing Roy Jones Jr this weekend than he was against Bernard Hopkins seven months ago.

Speaking earlier this week at a New York press conference Calzaghe, who scraped past Hopkins via a 12 round split decision, said: "I’m definitely more up for this fight. I’ve been a lot more focused for this and a lot more psyched up for it and I’m excited. That’s the big thing, I was not excited about my last fight.

"I underestimated Hopkins a little bit which I nearly paid for. So to fight Roy Jones at Madison Square Garden outside my comfort zone is a big deal.
Calzaghe is indeed favoured to beat Jones Jnr, and on current form-the odds at the bookies appear to be justified. One only has to look back at Calzaghe’s last two fights, the win over Hopkins and a tight but well deserved points win over the classy Dane Mikkel Kessler to understand why. To put those two victories into perspective lets not forget that since then Hopkins has produced arguably a career best performance against Kelly Pavlik and Kessler has gone on to regain the WBA super-middleweight crown.

When you consider Jones Jnr has lost three of his last six fights and not produced anything like the form that made him the undisputed pound for pound king of the 1990’s-one can certainly understand why Calzaghe is favoured to triumph Saturday night.

Jones Jnr, though, is in no doubt it will be him whose arm is raised in victory and after witnessing Hopkin’s win over Pavlik recently and Vic Darchinyan banging out Cristian Mijares last weekend, we dare not disbelieve him.
One of the reasons Jones Jnr is so confident of a return to form despite a knockout loss to Glen Johnson and two defeats against bitter Florida rival Antonio Tarver is because he now firmly believes his weight is finally back under control.

Ironically, Jones Jnr’s incredible history making win over John Ruiz to claim the WBA heavyweight title in March 2003 could, in my opinion, be the reason hisa magical skills and speed have not been evident since.
Before you dismiss this theory,please hear me out here?

Lets not forget that Jones went from weighing 174 3/4lbs defending his undisputed world light heavyweight crown against Clinton Woods in September 2002 to bulking up to 193lbs again Ruiz six months later. Now that must have taken a lot of work to actually put on nearly 20lbs and remain strong and maintain his speed and flexibility against a much bigger man. Of course many boxers have moved up in weight over the years but how many do you know that have actually moved back down and been forced to loss 20lbs as well?

Ok Jones Jnr out-pointed Tarver via majority decision eight months after the Ruiz fight but lost three successive fights afterwards, twice against Tarver and a ninth round ko to Glen Johnson. Since then Jones has won three times, all unanimous 12 round points wins, the last against a very out of shape(and weight division) Feliz Trinidad in January this year.

Speaking earlier this week Jones Jnr said: “My body is back down to my normal weight now. As opposed to when I fought Johnson when I was not at my normal weight. I was coming down from over 200 pounds. Now I am down to where I am walking around at about 185 so I am good.”

If the one time American pound for pound king is to be believed, then the 35 year-old undefeated Welshman will have to be primed and focused like never before. Because if he is not-then we may just witness another minor upset in the space of four weeks.

November 5, 2008

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