This ia a very good question and also a good read, i was just wondering what you guys think.
By Dan Ambrose:
Joe Calzaghe (46-0, 32 KOs) faithfully defended his WBO super middleweight belt for 10 years, beating every mandatory challenger that was set in front of him and doing his part in creating a lasting legacy that you would think would put him in the boxing Hall of Fame. Yet while defending the WBO, which arguably wasnâ€™t thought as highly by fans as the other belts, he fought few fighters that could be considered quality opponents - at least until the past two years of his career.
His wins over Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Omar Sheika, Richie Woodhall, Charles Brewer, Jeff Lacy, Sakio Bika, Mikkel Kessler, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. would qualify as his best victories of his career. Yet the fights against Eubank, Hopkins and Jones can almost immediately be disqualified due to the age of the fighters at the time that Calzaghe fought them.
This effectively leaves Bika, Woodhall, Sheika, Brewer, Lacy and Kessler as Calzagheâ€™s best wins of his career. Lacy, however, hadnâ€™t fought a lot of quality opponents up until his fight with Calzaghe and because of that, he was pretty much unproven as a fighter.
Calzaghe beat him badly, but since that time the victory has been made less special as Lacy has struggled in beating lower quality opposition and was recently soundly beaten by Jermain Taylor. As such, the win over Lacy can probably be removed as well from the list of Calzagheâ€™s accomplishments.
It doesnâ€™t mean as much when one sees Lacy struggling against marginal opposition and getting beaten to a pulp by other fighters. That leaves Kessler and the other four fighters as Calzagheâ€™s best opponents during his career.
At this point in his career, itâ€™s probably too early to tell how good Kessler is as a fighter, because heâ€™s mostly fought European fodder and has yet to face quality fighters from elsewhere around the world. Calzagheâ€™s win, a close 12-round decision, is solid victory but itâ€™s not clear how impressive it is because we donâ€™t know how good Kessler is as of yet.
Letâ€™s just say that weâ€™ll have to wait and see on that fight. But as far as the other fighters go, I donâ€™t see them as being the type of fighters that would win my vote for putting Calzaghe into the Hall of Fame. I mean, theyâ€™re certainly capable fighters and had decent careers, but not the kind of fighters that I would put on the level of other top fighters in this day and age like Carl Froch, Chad Dawson, Taylor, and Lucian Bute.
Those are the kind of victories Iâ€™m looking for on Calzagheâ€™s record if I were to give him my vote, and unfortunately, I donâ€™t see them on his record. The other wins are fine, but more for an average fighter than a truly exceptional fighter like a Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, fighters that proved themselves against the best throughout their careers. Calzaghe still has time to fight or all of those fighters if he wanted to, because heâ€™s still young enough to do it.
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