Calzaghe: I would have beaten Andre Ward
By Scott Gilfoid: Former super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe never got the chance to fight WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward because Calzaghe retired just when Ward was starting to make his presence felt in the division.
As it turns out, Calzaghe’s retirement may have saved him from taking a loss against the faster Ward. We saw how easily Ward beat a fighter that Calzaghe badly struggled against in Mikkel Kessler.
While Calzaghe has to really struggle to beat Kessler, Ward made it look easy in beating him by a 11th round technical decision.
Calzaghe saw Ward’s fight against Carl Froch last weekend and he believes he would have beaten Ward had they fought, saying in an interview at joecalzaghe.com “He [Ward] looked to spoil a lot…I think the way Ward fights would have suited me to be honest. I would have had too much speed and power for him. So, yes, I would have beaten him, but congratulations to him and his team. I hope he goes on and have a great career.”
I think Calzaghe is kidding himself if he thinks he would have beaten Ward. Not only was Calzaghe not as fast as the talented American, but he clearly wasn’t a bigger puncher. Calzaghe was more of a slapper than a puncher.
Most of his knockouts came during his years as the champion of a then weak super middleweight division. When he would get knockouts it often a case where he flurry on some overmatched fodder type opponent and the referee would jump in and halt the fight. He wasn’t a puncher and his hand speed wasn’t as good as Ward’s.
The best way to tell how Calzaghe would have done against Ward is to look at their two common opponents Sakio Bika and Kessler. While Ward dominated both, beating Bika by the scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 118-110, and Kessler by the scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 98-92; Calzaghe had serious problems with Bika, winning by the scores of 117-110, 117-110 and 116-110; and beating Kessler by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112.
As you can see, Ward beat Bika and Kessler I a more convincing manner than Calzaghe. Therefore, Ward is better than Calzaghe based on those fights.