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Revisiting in 2024: Joe Calzaghe Makes History Against Bernard Hopkins in Light Heavyweight Showdown

Redemption Quest: Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Junior Jones II Revisited

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Revisiting in 2024: Joe Calzaghe Makes History Against Bernard Hopkins in Light Heavyweight Showdown

Revisiting in 2024: Joe Calzaghe Makes History Against Bernard Hopkins in Light Heavyweight Showdown

On April 19, 2008, Joe Calzaghe moved up to light heavyweight to take on the legendary American pugilist Bernard Hopkins at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Calzaghe had defeated Mikel Kessler in his final fight at super middleweight, confirming his dominance. Before the fight “The Executioner” screamed in his opponent’s face in front of the world media: “You’re not even in my league! I would never let a white boy beat me. I would never lose to a white boy. I couldn’t go back to the projects if I let a white boy beat me.” 

The Welshman was not to be denied, and created more history, defeating Hopkins by a split decision with the judge’s scorecards reading 116-111 and 115-112 for Calzaghe, while the third card was given 114-113 for the American, awarding the Welshman The Ring light heavyweight title.

Joe Calzaghe Creates History at Light Heavyweight Against Bernard Hopkins

Joe Calzaghe vs. Bernard Hopkins Recap

The first round sprung into life when Hopkins caught Calzaghe with a short right hand, which inflicted a cut on the bridge of the Welshman’s nose and knocked him down. The rough start continued for the London-born fighter – who was warned by referee Joe Cortez in the second round for a low blow. The fight was turning into a rough and dirty contest, which was more suited to Hopkins.

Read More: Flashback: Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. II – Reliving the Rematch of Boxing Legends

The Welshman couldn’t showcase his scintillating hand speed, and impressive combination punching, due to Hopkins smothering his work at every opportunity. Calzaghe was the one who was undoubtedly producing the cleaner work despite the best efforts from “The Executioner.” Calzaghe showed his brilliant engine in the second half of the fight, which ensured he outpunched his American opponent. Hopkins tried to claim a low blow in round 11 which was ignored by Cortez. The American fighter tried to attack his opponent in the final round, but the Welshman fired back and seemed to be relishing this exchange. 

Read More: Roy Jones Jr Defeats Virgil Hill With One Punch

Following the reveal of the scorecards, awarding Calzaghe the win, he spoke on the pre-fight comments from Hopkins and told him that he “just got his arse kicked by a white boy.”

Joe Calzaghe Style

The Welshman was a southpaw fighter whose incredible will to win saw him navigate the toughest tests in his career, including defeating Kessler, Jeff Lacy and Roy Jones Jr. He was brilliant at slipping punches from his opponents and creating unique angles to launch his own attacks. His hand speed was exceptional, often bamboozling his opponents, making him one of the greatest fighters of his generation. 

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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