Boxing


Joe Calzaghe Talks About Benn, Eubank, Watson, Graham And Collins; Says Graham Would Have Been Toughest

Joe Calzaghe20.08.08 - by James Slater: Fight fans in the U.K have often debated how the unbeaten Joe Calzaghe would have done had he been born a few years earlier and been boxing in the hey day of British rivals such as Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins, Herol Graham and Michael Watson.

Some fans say "The Pride of Wales" would have been just as dominant as he has been throughout the late 90s to the present day had he met these fighters, others say he would not have been. Now, in speaking to Setanta Sports, Joe himself has commented on the five British middleweights/super-middleweights, and has given his thoughts on what the fights would have been like.

Joe began by speaking about Eubank, who, of course, he beat right at the end of Eubank's career.

"I honestly think I faced a lot more a dangerous Chris Eubank than the Eubank who fought Dan Sherry or Ray Close," Calzaghe told Setanta. "Why? Because Eubank wasn't motivated. Eubank was dangerous when he fought Watson and dangerous when he fought Benn. When he was the underdog, when his back was against the wall, he was a different animal. When I fought him, people talk about him having problems making super-middleweight but I've lost 14 pounds in a week to make the weight [ in the past]. We've all done that. He [Eubank] was a dangerous fighter, he gave me one hell of a fight, but people don't give me the credit, they give him the credit for coming back."

Calzaghe has often said that the fight with "Simply The Best," in which he won the WBO 168-pound title, was his hardest fight. But what does Joe think fights between Benn and Collins would have been like had he met them?

"If I fought Benn, " Joe continued. "obviously he was a dangerous puncher but I think he'd have had a nightmare with my style. The same with Collins. It would have been a difficult fight, but I'd have beat him. I'd have beat them all."

When it comes to who of his fellow Brits would have given him his hardest night, Joe admits clever southpaw Herol "Bomber" Graham would have done so.

"Herol Graham was awkward," Calzaghe stated. "He'd probably have been the most awkward of them all. At the end of the day, when push came to shove, he lost and that's the difference between a great champion, to have your back against the wall and find a way to win. Maybe I'd have had a difficult time but I would have found a way to win."

In this writer's opinion, a Calzaghe-Graham fight would very likely have been a quite messy and somewhat dull affair. The man who I believe would have brought out the very best in Joe was Nigel Benn. Whether or not "The Dark Destroyer" would have beaten Calzaghe, however, that's a difficult call to make.

Article posted on 20.08.2008



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