Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe shared some laughs last night, but Calzaghe says he won't come back for a rematch. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
We mentioned yesterday that Bernard Hopkins was ringside for the Amir Khan vs Zab Judah fight in Las Vegas, and that he was asking UK media if Joe Calzaghe would come out of retirement for a rematch. Surely they had no definitive answers, but when asked later in the evening by Primetime's Andy Kerr, Calzaghe answered for himself:
"I think Bernard has a seat for me on the other side of the ring. I know what he will do, he will try and talk me into fighting him, but I am done, I am finished. I’ve done my thing, undefeated, two years ago and I am not coming back so sorry to disappoint everybody."
I have a few thoughts on this, and any potential comeback by Joe Calzaghe.
First off, it's a terrible idea for Calzaghe to come back. Our own jrok mentioned yesterday, Calzaghe is the exact sort of fighter who tends to not age well, guys built around reflexes and speed. At 39, and having not fought in three years, Calzaghe is no doubt not near the fighter he used to be. Hopkins, though he's 46, has been active and staying in top shape to fight. Calzaghe has not.
Calzaghe always wanted to retire undefeated, and he did that, and he did it at the right time, because the years were starting to creep up on him. In his mind, he went out beating two legends -- a close, debatable win in a terrible fight with Hopkins, and a pointless win over a shot Roy Jones Jr that nobody cared about.
To Calzaghe's credit (and Bernard's, I guess), Hopkins even said he'd go to Wales to make the fight happen, but Joe just doesn't sound interested. I think he's happy with his record as it is, and doesn't want to risk tacking on that first L in a fight that would seem more like an exhibition, even if it were for the legit light heavyweight championship. Joe Calzaghe had his time, and that time is over. He should be respected for realizing that, no matter what you think of his record or the decision in the fight with Hopkins or whatever else.
The two did meet up later in the evening and seemed to enjoy the chance to get together, which was nice to see.