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Calzaghe Sees Froch beating Dirrell, and Haye defeating Valuev – News

By Scott Gilfoid: Former IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe thinks that World Boxing Council super middleweight champion Carl Froch will beat American Andre Dirrell tomorrow night in Nottingham, according to a column from Calzaghe in the South Wales Argus. Calzaghe seems to be picking from his heart rather than his head, though, saying “The best thing for British boxing would be a Carl Froch win.” As such, I have to dismiss Calzaghe’s prediction as him rooting for a fellow UK fighter. Obviously, being from Wales, Calzaghe has probably seen few, if any, of Dirrell’s prior fights, so I doubt he has much knowledge on him.

It’s too bad that Calzaghe retired right when Dirrell came to prominence because Calzaghe would not only see how great he is, he’d also have Dirrell breathing down his neck looking to take him on. Calzaghe also thinks that fell Brit David Haye will beat World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev next month. Calzaghe: “I fully expect David to win this fight, I personally don’t rate the seven-foot Valuev at all. He struggled last time out against Evander Holyfield who is well and truly shot.”

Andre Dirrell Carl Froch Joe CalzaghePhoto Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME – I agree that Valuev isn’t that great, but Haye has a glass chin and I’m not sure he’ll be able to stand up to Valuev if the big Russian lands a shot late in the fight. Valuev certainly looks terrible and ready to be beaten based on his last fight against Evander Holyfield in December, but Haye’s chin is very fragile and his stamina is horrid. If Valuev can take Haye deep, he could knock him out with a feather if he can catch up to Haye. I doubt that Haye will be acting brave in this fight.

After all, he’s not fighting a cruiserweight or journeyman Monte Barrett. Say what you want about how limited and slow Valuev is, he’s got a good chin and will likely stick around for the entire fight. Haye could knock him out if he were brave and was bold enough to stand and trade with the big seven foot Russian. But I don’t think Haye will want to risk getting clipped on his tender chin, so I expect him to only throw one punch at a time in this fight.

Haye won’t knock a big fighter like Valuev out with one punch, and it’s going to take a lot for him to get a decision in Germany. I expect Valuev to win the fight, probably by knockout. I can stress enough how poor Haye’s stamina is. When he exerts himself hard, he wears down quickly and can be hurt during this time.

Calzaghe acknowledges that the 32-year-old Froch has problems with his defense, but still thinks he’ll win, commenting “He’s very vulnerable as he doesn’t really defend too much, but I expect him to beat Andre Dirrell on Saturday and to go fairly well in this.” I guess Calzaghe was in a kind mood because he usually has a lot more to say about Froch’s “skills.” But he is open enough to point out Froch’s leaky defense. What Calzaghe doesn’t realize is how good Dirrell is, and how superior he is to Froch.

This fight is going to be similar to Dirrell’s fight with 5’9″ Victor Oganov, another fighter with very slow hand speed like Froch. Dirrell boxed circles around him, hit him at will for six brutal rounds before the bout was finally stopped in the sixth round in November 2008. Froch is about as slow as Oganov, maybe slightly slower. It’s going to be nearly impossible for the painfully slow Froch go catch up to Dirrell with his punches.

I actually wonder whether Calzaghe was trying to be politically correct prediction by choosing Froch to beat Dirrell. I mean it wouldn’t look good for Calzaghe to be picking against his own countrymen, would it? There would be some who would say that he’s not loyal to his country by picking against Froch. This is another reason why I don’t buy Calzaghe’s pick of Froch and I think his prediction of Haye beating Valuev is wishful thinking. Valuev is going to tap Haye’s glass chin and send him into slumber land.

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