Although Joe Calzaghe's opponent for his upcoming title defense on July 8 has yet to be announced, the "Pride of Wales" wastes no time in declaring just who he wants to face in the ring later this year. "Antonio Tarver is my main objective," said the WBO and IBF Super Middleweight Champion. "I'd also love to fight the winner of Winky Wright and Jermain Taylor. Those would be two massive opportunities out there for me, but obviously, they're all fighting in June so we're looking at the autumn as a possibility."
Riding the peak of his powers at age 33, Calzaghe has no concerns about going up in weight to face hard punching light heavyweights like Tarver, who must first get past Bernard Hopkins next month. "Tarver got himself on the pound for pound list when he's lost three fights," exclaimed the undefeated Welshman. "He hasn't fought any great fighters and as far as I'm concerned, he's overrated. He's beaten an old man in Roy Jones, who Tarver wouldn't have touched five years ago, struggled against another old man, Glen Johnson, in two fights and as far as I'm concerned, I'll knock him out. I don't really rate Tarver and I think that he's a boring fighter to watch."
With the ability to continue as a super middle or campaign at light heavyweight, Calzaghe finds himself in a unique and potentially lucrative position. "When Markus Beyer first won the WBC title from Richie Woodhall in 1999, we tried to make a fight with him and it was impossible," recalled the sharp southpaw. "It may be easier to make now, Beyer's getting older and probably looking for a big payday, but there's bigger fish out there.
"Mikkel Kessler is a good fighter, he's undefeated and probably a better fighter than Beyer but then again, does Kessler mean that much outside of Denmark? These are the things that have to be looked at. Obviously, come November, if the fights can't be made with Tarver or one of the top middleweights, then maybe we'll go that route."
Such choices are the spoils of war for Calzaghe, currently the longest reigning world champion at over eight years, but the party will come crashing down if he doesn't prove victorious at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on July 8. "To be honest, I could stay at super middle the rest of my career if I wanted to but as I always said, I'd love to be a two weight world champion," he said. "I'm finally getting real recognition and the fight in Cardiff this July is going to be a great occasion."
To learn more about Joe Calzaghe's upcoming bout on July 8 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales goto www.joecalzaghe.com