Calzaghe was a superb boxer and 'may have' spanked many of the top 12st fighters of the current era. He was very talented, tough to beat and his schooling of jeff lacy was nigh on punch perfect and his performance to turn around the kessler fight was gutsy and truly world class. I believe he did beat hopkins because although hopkins landed the nicer punches, b-hop simply didn't work hard enough to dictate any tactics and simply tried to nick it. He got swallowed up by the workrate and punch vairety of the welshman. I don't personally class the Jones fight as a real fight but more of a setanta-sponsored paycheque/spar.
Carl Froch is not as naturally talented but is not only willing, but desperate to work his way through tough opposition in order to be as good as he can be. I think carl is great for british boxing and I wish him all the best against andre ward. I personally hold froch as being on the verge of trumping joe's achievements because of this unbelieveable run of fights he has had and his eagerness to consistently be in these fights. It is my opinion that these fights have made him a better more rounded fighter and I think, win or lose, he can improve again for the ward fight and his home coming.
I first saw froch fight rybacki and then pascal. I was disappointed with carl and the way he insisted in going toe to toe when you could see he had the reach, jab and skills to win the fight in a more comfortable fashion. I regarded him as someone who was going to repeatedly make tough fights difficult for himself. The closing rounds against pascal showed just how well he could box as he listened to his corner, lengthened his punching and consolidated a narrow, but strong lead in a close fight.
Against taylor he got comfortably outboxed (not to mention a constant ear bashing between rounds from mccracken) before taylor dramatically succumbed in the closing stages.
Didn't see the dirrel fight so can't comment there.
Against kessler I think the desire to trump calzaghe and stop kessler blinded him from any form of gameplan. He thought with his conkers that night and pitched a war against a fighter we all thought was on his way out. But kessler used the jab, footwork and a great body attack to slow down carl.
I think this loss was the best thing that ever happened to him because in the performances since then he looks like a fighter who is fighting with plan a, b and c and listening to his corner. When he boxes behind the jab, takes a step back or to the side and then follows up with a quick flurry he looks truly world class. It is a style that maximises his best assets of reach, jab and power. I do not believe carl has the reflexes to slip, trade and counter against another quick fighter, I think he is to easy to hit in all honesty. But I think with this style (which rob has been trying to impose all along) he has the best style for him because he upsets the opponents rhythm and gives himself the chance to dictate the action and counter effectively. The way he rubbed out all johnsons good work was impressive and stopped the jamaican getting a second sniff at anything (scored that fight wider second time I watched it).
I think what I'm trying to get at is that carl has been through the action and has come out with only one loss and looks a much better fighter than when he started his journey. If he beats ward then he will cap a stunning run. If he loses so be it, he took his shot. I think with the right tactics ward is beatable, carl has to move his head work behind the jab, work the body and progressively put take the american out of his comfort zone. It won't be easy and if he strays from the plan in favour of trying to test wards whiskers then I can see him getting cut up and stopped but it's a 50-50 fight in my eyes because ward hasn't had to fight anyone with froch's style or durability. If he follows it up with a revenge win over kessler, the pascal rematch and another top class win then I think he trumps calzaghe quite considerably overrall.
Unbeaten records are overrated and are a cancer of boxing. I stopped boxing some time ago, disheartened at losing spars and losing fights. I was really hard on myself every time I got beat in sparring and it stopped me progressing. When I look back now I realise that I was learning so much. Now as a coach I am gutted at the amount of talented boxers I see walk away because they think that being a good fighter means never getting beat or getting hit. That pressure is perpetuated by this obessession with an 0 in the pro game.
Imo, there are only two ways to become a good, or eventually great, fighter: one part of it is great sparring and the other is great fights. Anything else is just potential and could've, would've and should've's. I think carl is a great example of this and should be commended for his record not chastised for not having a 1 instead of an 0.
different class mate, IQ