Surprise, surprise, surprise. Rumored word from the UK is that former super middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Joe Calzaghe is having a comeback fight shopped to the major TV networks across the pond, according to BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno. Calzaghe, 38, last fought in November 2008 when he beat Roy Jones Jr. at Madison Square Garden. He claimed then that he would never come back to the ring, but retirement looks like it's getting to the Welsh star.
Calzaghe appeared on "Strictly Come Dancing" in late 2009, and was to focus on getting his promotional firm running in retirement. The promotional company was a bomb, as Calzaghe appeared to not really care about it at all, leaving the company to essentially just float away into the wind. Most recently, he admitted to using cocaine, which was a big story in the UK.
Speculation has grown and grown in recent months that Calzaghe is bored in retirement and has the itch to fight again. Reeno reports that one name being floated as a comeback opponent is Robin Reid, who himself retired in 2007 after a bad loss to Carl Froch. Calzaghe and Reid (who turned 39 in February) met once in 1999, with Calzaghe winning a disputed split decision. Reid may be most famous for his stomach-turning "loss" to Sven Ottke in 2003, which was among the worst robberies of recent years.
Years ago, Calzaghe-Reid II would have made a lot of sense and made some good money. Now it seems something like white collar boxing, or some kind of professional exhibition fundraiser or the like.
And if Calzaghe is serious about a return, rather than just a one-off, what's he going to do after that? As a fan, I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Calzaghe's career. I liked watching him fight. He's very talented and a unique fighter. But his arrogance always seemed like it was there to hide something else, too. Do you think he'd do something like fight Chad Dawson? I frankly have a hard time believing that Calzaghe would do that as he closes in on 40, especially considering how much he adores his undefeated record. But otherwise, what's the point?
I guess Antonio Tarver needs an opponent...
Usually I'd say that chances are this turns into nothing, at least in the short-term, but Calzaghe, I think, clearly retired before he was genuinely ready to let it all go. Whether he thought it would be good to protect his legacy and retire undefeated, or just made a mistake in his own judgment, I don't know, but it seems obvious he hasn't really let boxing go, or that boxing isn't letting him go yet.