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Boxing: Weighting game is almost over for Joe; SPORTS ROUND-UP.

Byline: Simon Lewis in New York

JOE Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr both crept in under the limit when they made weight for tonight's light-heavyweightfight at Madison Square Garden.

Both fighters had to strip to their underwear to each weigh in at 174 1/2 pounds, just under the 175lb limit for their eagerly-anticipated showdown, which will put the unbeaten Calzaghe's Ring Magazine Championship light-heavyweight belt on the line.

Having tipped the scales, Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs) and Jones (52-4, 38 KOs) each briefly addressed the crowd gathered inside the main Madison Square Garden arena.

"This is going to be the best fight this year, cheer your man on but Roy Jones is back," Jones said, while 'Pride of Wales' Calzaghe promised to extend his undefeated record to a 46th fight "I'm excited," Calzaghe said. "It's going to be a great fight, Madison Square Garden is a great place and you're going to see one awesome show and I will be still undefeated, 46 and 0."

Calzaghe, 36, has promised to retire after the fight and his father and trainer Enzo Calzaghe said this week that a last victory was the only option.

"The road has been long and we're getting to the final hurdle," Enzo Calzaghe said. "He will not, under any circumstances, fail on the last hurdle.

"As long as Joe turns up as Joe Calzaghe at the top of his game, I've got no problems."

Calzaghe has been criticised by some American critics as having no power behind his fast hands but even Jones' trainer Alton Merkerson refuted the suggestion their opponent is a slapper.

"People say Joe Calzaghe slaps a lot," Merkerson said. "Well, he slapped out a lot of people, so that's a bunch of bull.

"If you've knocked out 32 people you can't say he slapped them out, you say he knocked them out.

"He might slap sometimes but Joe can punch."

Merkerson, though, predictably backed his man to prevail against Calzaghe.

"Joe has good ring generalship but Roy has more ring generalship than Joe. Both have the ability to make a guy miss and make a guy pay.

"Roy has radar. He doesn't waste that many punches and Joe's punch count might be up a little more than Roy's but Roy is going to make his punches count."


Joe Calzaghe comes face to face with Roy Jones Jnr.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 8, 2008
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