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Byline: By Gareth Jones South Wales Echo

Two super-middleweights have recently expressed interest in fighting WBO champion Joe Calzaghe.

One, Jeff Lacy, has some justification. The other, Carl Froch, has none.

Lacy, who won the vacant IBF version of the world title when he stopped Canadian Syd Vanderpool (another who had been calling out Calzaghe for months) in eight rounds last weekend, wants a unification battle.

Calzaghe and promoter Frank Warren want it too, assuming Joe comes through his October 22 defence against Egyptian Kabary Salem in Edinburgh. The whole exercise has credibility.

Froch has also just won himself a new belt. He added the vacant British title to his Commonwealth crown when he blitzed Damon Hague, little more than a journeyman, last month.

In Carl's mind, that makes him a worthy foe for Calzaghe. OK, so he won a world amateur bronze and is 14-0 as a pro.

But he is still learning his trade.

Yet even before beating overmatched substitute Hague, the Nottingham man was claiming to be the most talented sportsman in Britain - sportsman, mind, not boxer - and named the likes of David Beckham, Jensen Button and Tim Henman among those who should bow the knee to him.

Muhammad Ali could get away with this sort of thing because he had a twinkle in his eye when he made his outrageous comments.

Froch, as exemplified in his post-fight BBC TV interviews, comes over as humourless and arrogant.

Pride inevitably comes before a fall. And for Froch, whose style has so many defensive defects, the fall is likely to come well before he gets anywhere near a fight with Calzaghe.

The latest Top 40 lists from the WBC - generally, for all its many faults, regarded as the top sanctioning body - include four Welshmen.

And that's without Joe Calzaghe, unranked because he holds the rival WBO super-middleweight title.

Swansea cruiser Enzo Maccarinelli is at No 23, with Cwmbran middle Gary Lockett at No 35, while at lightweight Maesteg's Jason Cook is 10th and Newbridge prospect Gavin Rees 35th.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 9, 2004
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