News October 2007

07.10.07 Calzaghe - our boys can rule the world

By Steve Royce 07/10/2007 daily mirror

Joe Calzaghe has been a world champion for 10 years and during that time British boxing has slowly come to dominate the world scene.

Calzaghe to defend next month

Calzaghe won the WBO super-middleweight title in 1997 when he beat Chris Eubank and now the Welsh idol is one of the world's top fighters.

Joining him at the top of a Brit pack of great fighters is Ricky Hatton - and Calzaghe now believes the sport in Britain is stronger than it has ever been.

He said: "I grew up watching all the great American fighters but right now a lot of American fans are looking this way.

"There have always been one or two top British fighters in big fights, but fights involving us now are as big as anything that has ever gone on before.

"It's great for me, great for British boxing - and great for British boxing fans."

The unbeaten Welshman defends his WBO title when he meets Denmark's brilliant Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on November 3. Kessler holds both the WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles and is unbeaten in 39 fights. a crowd in excess of 60,000 and that will raise the profile of British boxing even higher.

"My fight with Kessler is enormous," added Calzaghe. "I'm unbeaten and Kessler's unbeaten and it's the type of fight the sport needs right now."

A few weeks after Calzaghe and Kessler fight for the right to be called the best super-middleweight in the world, Manchester favourite Hatton takes on Floyd May-weather in Las Vegas.

Hatton against Mayweather will generate as much as 150 million dollars and could be watched live by 10,000 travelling British fans.

"The reception I will get in America, and not just from my British fans, shows just how big British boxing is at the moment," said Hatton. "It will be my third fight in Vegas in a year and I can feel the fan base growing each time I go there."

There is a third big world title fight involving a British boxer right in the middle of the Hatton and Calzaghe nights. On November 10 in Paris, South London's David Haye will challenge double world cruiser-weight champion Jean Marc Mormeck.

Combined with Hatton and Calzaghe, it will mean 2007 could be remembered as the year of the Brit in the world of boxing.

Haye said: "I know I'm part of a big tradition but I'm also part of this current generation of fighters and that is what I like.

"Calzaghe is in a massive fight, Hatton is in one of the biggest fights of the year and then I have to go into a great champion's back yard.

"I'm predicting hard nights for everybody but we can all do it and show the world just how good we are - and how good British boxing is at the moment."

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