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Home » Joe Calzaghe stands accused of avoiding Antonio Tarver at 45-0

Joe Calzaghe stands accused of avoiding Antonio Tarver at 45-0

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Joe Calzaghe stands accused of avoiding an agreement with Antonio Tarver despite being heralded as one of the UK’s best at 46-0.

American boxing legend Tarver has claimed Calzaghe backed out of an agreed bout and opted to fight Roy Jones Jr. for his final bout.

In 2008, Calzaghe finally made the long-awaited move across the Atlantic after amassing a 44-0 career campaign exclusively in Europe.

According to Tarver, Calzaghe was due to fight Bernard Hopkins the week before he battled the Welshman’s British compatriot Clinton Woods. The pair were then expected to meet if both won.

Tarver defeated Woods via a comprehensive and unanimous points tally. On the other hand, Calzaghe took a close split win against Hopkins.

But before negotiations could be completed, Calzaghe veered off toward Roy Jones Jr., whom the ‘Italian Dragon’ beat to secure his legacy.

Left out of the loop, Tarver faced Chad Dawson and lost his two world light-heavyweight belts.

Calzaghe had wanted to face Hopkins or Jones for a bonafide crown to leave the sport as a two-weight world champion. However, it was Tarver who was the biggest name holding the gold.

Joe Calzaghe vs Antonio Tarver

Unfortunately for the ‘Magic Man,’ Jones got the nod on his reputation. Tarver once again missed out on a considerable encounter.

Recalling the Woods fight on the twelfth anniversary – a fight that should have been Calzaghe’s warm-up. Tarver said: “Tarver vs Woods – April 12, 2008, Tampa, Florida.

“The build-up was crazy. I flew to England with the late great Jimmy Williams. They thought I was selling the fight!

“After I dismantled Woods, his countryman Joe Calzaghe was supposed to be next. Let’s say he decided to take the road with less resistance!

“I was the risk the greats were afraid to take,” he added.

After winning world titles at 175 and 200 pounds, Tarver had massive ambitions of moving up to heavyweight to challenge a champion.

Greatest Story Never Told

It never happened for him back ten despite his best efforts. Tarver since called it ‘The Greatest Story Never Told.’ Searching for a chance in the top division, Tarver spoke to WBN in 2016.

On his ambitions to compete with the top heavies, Tarver exclusively told World Boxing News: “I’m ready to fight. I’ve challenged some top fighters out there, even champions, and as always, all I hear are crickets.

“I guess they’re waiting for Father Time to knock on my door. But I’m going to stay true to the game.

“They are running out of names unless they plan on continuing to recycle all these safe opponents. I can be ready when we get an official date and the right opponent.

“As you know, I don’t have much time, so I don’t need a tune-up. I don’t need to prove anything. If I couldn’t fight, they wouldn’t be ducking.”

Tarver sadly never got another chance, even when an exhibition was announced in 2022.

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