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Boxing: Hawkins: To be Frank..you are full of bull!

Byline: DARREN FULLERTON

BELFAST trainer Harry Hawkins has accused Frank Maloney of talking "bull" after the English promoter accused the Brian Magee camp of being "amateurish."

Maloney made his claim during the recent fall-out from the shock cancellation of the Joe Calzaghe and Magee title bout at the King's Hall just under three weeks ago.

Hawkins, who trains Magee and is currently preparing the Belfast fighter for his European title bid next month, said he was unsurprised by Maloney's comments in a Sunday tabloid.

"I read the newspaper piece and it didn't annoy me because Frank has always been full of bull," said Hawkins. "He really is. Frank has never done anything himself and maybe it's sour grapes on his part because he used to be Brian's manager for a short while when he turned professional.

"Nobody can argue with Brian's record. He won a world title belt after 15 fights, defended it seven times and was about to fight Calzaghe and then they turn round and call us amateurs. I think the facts speak for themselves."

Hawkins also insisted the Magee camp had held the moral high ground after the eagerly-awaited showdown with Calzaghe was called off just 36 hours before both fighters were due to enter the ring.

"It's been put about that we were offered a good deal, but it was absolute rubbish," said Hawkins. "If we had gone to the King's Hall and knocked Jim Rock out in one or two rounds, people would also have turned round and said we knew the Calzaghe fight was never happening.

"We had to think of Brian's supporters, so we said 'no, we aren't fighting'. We didn't want to look as if we part of some con. We also didn't want to sign up to the last-minute deal because we would have been tied to five fights with Frank Warren."

Hawkins said he also had his doubts that Welshman Calzaghe "was ever down to fight in Belfast".

"I do have my doubts," he said. "At the press conference the Wednesday before the show, Calzaghe didn't look like a fighter who was making weight.

"He was also going through a messy divorce , so mentally he couldn't have been ready. We were very confident going into that fight, especially because it was at the King's Hall."

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FRANK Baloney
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2005
Words:389
Previous Article:Boxing: I was gutted by the Calzaghe episode but those who think it was my last shot at big time are nuts; MIRRORSPORT EXCLUSIVE: Brian Magee keeps...
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