Boxing


Calzaghe/Hopkins: Bernard Hopkins trains with his "Execution Squad" for highly anticipated bout with Calzaghe

LOS ANGELES. March 20, 2008 . . . With his entire team assembled at his training camp in Los Angeles, CA, light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is settling into his intensive routine for what will be the most highly anticipated contest in boxing so far this year. Supported by trainers Freddie Roach, coming off his Saturday night triumph with his other star pugilist Manny Pacquiao; Nazim Richardson, who is the longest reigning member of Hopkins team; and southpaw specialist John David Jackson, who also saw victory this month with Nate Campbell's win over Juan Diaz, Hopkins is leaving nothing to chance.

"This guy Calzaghe is a tough customer and his record shows that," said Hopkins. "But I don't think he and his father can actually "out corner" my corner when it comes to expertise and preparation. I consider my crew the "execution squad", boxing's elite and a vital part to my success, which will be the case on April 19. Not only am I going to beat Joe Calzaghe, I'm going to punish him and Enzo Calzaghe will be forced to stop being the trainer and start being the father and save his son for another day, the same way Don Felix Trinidad saved Tito from me."

Also joining the training trio is conditioning expert Mackie Shilstone, who sports a perfect 5-0 record when it comes to victories for the fighters— the likes of which include Michael Spinks, Riddick Bowe, Roy Jones and Hopkins—he has worked with over the course of his boxing career.

"Bernard might be older but his body responds like a young champion," said Shilstone. "We work out together and I watch the opponents' tapes with him too. Trust me, we will be ready."

Hopkins vs. Calzaghe "Battle of the Planet", is presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Frank Warren's Sports Network and the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The match-up will air live from the Planet Hollywood Ring on HBO's World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. PT.

Tickets, priced at $1500, $1200, $750, $450, $350 and $250, are now on sale and may be purchased by calling 866-USFIGHT or online at planethollywood.com.

One of the greatest middleweights of all-time, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs) owned the middleweight title for over ten years before moving up to the light heavyweight division in 2006, and immediately won The Ring Magazine World Championship with a dominating 12 round decision win over Antonio Tarver. In his last fight, on July 21, 2007, Hopkins continued his amazing run at the age of 42, outpointing Winky Wright. Now it's on to Calzaghe.

Unquestionably one of the greatest super middleweights in boxing history and currently The Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Champion, Newbridge, Wales' Joe Calzaghe (44-0, 32 KOs) has never tasted defeat in his pro career and has held the world super middleweight title since he defeated Chris Eubank in 1997 for the World Boxing Organization Championship. Twenty-one consecutive title defenses followed that victory -- fourth-best on boxing's all-time list -- and after big wins over undefeated champions Jeff Lacy in 2006 and Mikkel Kessler in 2007 in which he added the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) championship belts to his collection, he now seek a bigger challenge at 175 pounds where Hopkins awaits.

Article posted on 20.03.2008



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