Monday, November 10, 2008

We need to quit all the hating... The facts speak for themselves.

I was and I guess I still am to a point not ready to give Calzaghe props as a really great fighter. My bud Alwyn Cosgrove laid down his wrath on the truth and facts about how good Joe is and who he has indeed beat.

I questioned Alwyn heavily and bitterly about it.

Really after reading this in depth email, I had to share it with you guys as I was impressed and reminded just what Joe has really done.

After rereading this I have to give Joe more credit, Just not that much credit that'll still make me talk about him ten years from now or even five.


I think Joe is good. A solid champion, who unified the belts and who I don't think has ducked anyone.
He's not great - but the idea that he didn't fight anyone in their prime is BS.
I just don't think he gets his props.

He absolutely fucking schooled Kessler, the WBA and WBC champ (who you picked to beat him).
He absolutely fucking schooled Lacy the IBF champ (who MANY picked to beat him).
So he was the unified, undisputed champ at 168 who completely dominated the other champs.

He then moved up in weight and beat Bernard Hopkins the Ring LHW champ(who many picked to beat him).
It was close - but he won.

So in two years he beat the WBC, WBC, IBF champs at 168, and the Ring LHW champ at 175.

Now what's happening is that people say that Lacy was over-rated, Kessler was too raw and Hopkins was washed up.
Hopkins next fight he schooled Pavlik! Kessler is #1 at 168 now! They were not raw, over-rated OR washed -up.

But let's say they were... who should he have fought instead? No one. They were clearly the top guys.

So I definitely don't think he's an all time great. But I don't think he ducked anyone.

He beat Robin Reid one fight after Reid had lost the WBC title.
He beat Richie Woodhall who was the WBC champ one fight after he lost the title.
He beat Byron Mitchell - who just got ROBBED in a decision with Sven Ottke for the IBF and WBA titles. (Mitchell was the WBA champ, won that fight - but lost a split decision). Joe KO'd him in the second.
He beat Sheika who was undefeated at the time and had just beat Simon Brown and Glen Johnson back to back (he was supposed to fight the winner of Sheika-Johnson so that's Johnson out of the picture there)

True he definitely faced some bums - but fuck so did Roy. So did Eubank/Benn/ Steve Collins. 168 isn't that deep.
Who did he duck? Even Hopkins fought some total bums at 160. Roy had moved up to 175.
Hopkins first defense at 175 was Winky Wright!!! Winky is agreat but he wasn't ranked in the top ten at 168 and he wasn't in the top five at 160!!!

Joe won the 168 title in October 97.
Roy was champ at 168 from 1994-1996 and moved up to 175 in Oct 96 - a year before Joe won the title.
So he wasn't ducking Roy either.

The only guy that none of them fought was Michalzeski. And maybe Sven Ottke but I think all of those guys blow Ottke out.
Ottke only fought for another year after the Mitchell robbery - and he fought Robin Reid and David Starie (guys who joe had already beat).

And I think the accusation (from some sources - not you) that he's ducking Chad is assinine. Chad wasn't in the top 5 earlier this year and Calzaghe has only had ONE fight at 175 (hopkins was at a catch weight of 170). No one was talking about Dawson - Calzaghe (or Dawson-anyone) until he beat Johnson a month ago.
And BTW - Dawson lost that fucking fight ANYWAY!!

I definitely don't think he's an all time great (yet - he could do more) but I don't think he ducked anyone at 168. And he's had one fight at 175, two if you count the Hopkins fight. So anyone he ducked is a 168 fighter -- who are we talking about?

Who are the "blue chip" fighters that Kim is talking about that Joe has avoided during their primes?

In the last two years he beat Lacy, Kessler, Hopkins and Jones. He also beat Bika (#1 contender for one of his belts - bullshit but what can you do - who is curently ranked at #7 by the Ring) and Manfredo (who only had lost to 2 people and was ranked top five by all organisations). That's six fights. Who did he duck at 168 during that time?
Kessler was the champ. Lacy was a champ. He unified the titles. He moved up to 175 where he fought the Ring Champ.
Jones is ranked #6 at LHW right now.

So again - which blue chip fighter in his prime has Joe avoided? I can't come up with a single one. 168 just isn't that strong a division. Lacy, Bika are still top ten. Kessler is #1.

And we're really only talking about Dawson right now. Joe beat Hopkins already - wasn't controversial to anyone but B-Hop so a rematch makes no sense.
He destroyed Kessler who is the number one at 168. So the top 5 at 175 are Dawson, Hopkins, Johnson, Tarver, Jones and Clinton fucking Woods.

So....Does he become a GREAT fighter if he beats Dawson? Fuck no. Dawson isn't a great fighter. Who the fuck did Dawson beat? A washed up Tarver, a shot Eric Harding and Glen Johnson (in a fight he lost)? Thats his entire career bro. Joe was the champ for five years before Dawson turned pro.

We both know Joe is too much for Dawson right now. So he beats his ass. Then what? Who is left?

He didn't avoid anyone during his reign at 168. And the only guy that's left at 175 is Dawson. So does Joe become a great fighter by beating Dawson because of Dawson's "legendary" career? Come on...

Give Joe his props. A unified, undefeated Champ at 168lbs.
Name your top ten ALL TIME fighters at 168?
Toney only made four title defenses at 68.
Jones only made six title defenses at 68.
Nigel Benn?Ten defenses.
Steve Collins? Eight defenses.
Chris Eubank? SEVENTEEN defenses.

Joe Calzaghe? TWENTY-TWO title defenses.

That's the top six guys at 168. Joe beat Eubank and Jones. Collins retired rather than face Joe.
Benn had retired (after losing twice to Collins). Toney was at Cruiserweight before Joe won the title.

I want to emphasize that Joe in no way AT ALL is an all time great but there are NO blue chip fighters that he didn't fight during their primes.
He just beat Hopkins who just schooled Pavlik. Is Pavlik a blue chip fighter in his prime? Fuck yes. Hopkins beat him - Joe beat him.

I don't think there's anyone who Joe ducked or avoided at 168. He's had one real fight at 175 so we can't criticize him there. He beat the champ and the #6 contender (jones).

It doesn't make him great for sure but he's done what he's supposed to do - unify the belts - and face the unified champ at the next weight up.
Beating Dawson doesn't change shit.

Fuck this is a long email.


Yes it was and I thank him for it! We can't argue much there other than I think Dawson beats Calzaghe if they fight. That's a debate he and I will continue to break down I'm sure.

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