Calzaghe Doesn’t Want To Fight Pavlik: Does This Red Coat Have a Yellow Coat?
By Michael Lieberman: There are really brave fighters in boxing, there are fighters that would take on anyone anywhere, then there are fighters that prefer not to take risks in the twilight of their careers. Joe Calzaghe is the prefer not to take risks at the end of their career type, judging from today’s boxing news about him saying that he’s not interested in fighting Kelly Pavlik this year. Calzaghe, 35, had a unique way of showing his disinterest in Pavlik, however, instead of coming right out and saying that he doesn’t want to fight him, Calzaghe instead put it on Pavlik, saying to the South Wales Angus “I’m not sure if Pavlik really wants to face me at the moment.”
This was a new one for me. If you don’t want to fight someone, turn the heat on them by saying they don’t want you. In this case, Calzaghe went even further, suggesting that Pavlik would have “little to gain” by fighting him because Calzaghe would beat him. Let me admit, I was more than a little amused by Calzaghe’s excuses because I had seen them coming weeks ago. I knew that Calzaghe wouldn’t face Pavlik long ago, and would find a suitable reason to give to the boxing public for declining a bout with him. Part of me – a big part of me – wanted to see this day come about, but even when I predicted this weeks ago, I figured that Calzaghe would have come up with a little better excuse, one that didn’t sound as disingenuous as what he ultimately came up with.
Part of me wanted to see Calzaghe come clean, say the truth, that he didn’t want to fight Pavlik because he was afraid of the risk, so that I could stick it right up his backside. Calzaghe didn’t give me the pleasure of saying that, but his nonsensical excuse gave me about as much satisfaction as if he’d admitted that he was afraid of Pavlik. As expected, Calzaghe mentioned that he’s looking in the direction of a fight with Roy Jones Jr. and that fights are underway with him. I suppose, from Calzaghe’s standpoint, this is the smart fight for him to take.
I mean, certainly a bout with Pavlik would be the more exciting and the easily the better paying fight, but by taking that fight Calzaghe would be taking a calculated risk, which if it went wrong and he ended up losing badly, he would mess out on a chance to fight Jones at a later point in the future.
Frankly I don’t believe for a second that tripe about this being the last fight for Calzaghe, because I think he fully intends on fighting both Jones and Pavlik. For that matter, greed may get the best of him, and I’d be willing to bet that we may see something really bizarre down the road, something along the lines of a bout with Cotto one of the other younger fighters. That is, if he gets out of the fights against both Jones and Pavlik in once piece.
I don’t expect that Calzaghe will have too much trouble against Jones, since he’s not been the same fighter he once was for years now, but who knows? Calzaghe was lucky to get by a faded Hopkins in their recent fight, and if Jones can make it close, I have my doubts about Calzaghe getting the nod twice in a row, not when he’s barely scraping by in the first place.