Ringside panel talk super-middleweights, including Joe Calzaghe

Last Updated: 12/04/13 3:20pm

Carl Froch will be hoping to destroy Mikkel Kessler when the pair meet in a titanic tussle at the 02 Arena on May 25.

But boxing reporter Colin Hart feels the Cobra will have to go some to put in the best-ever display by a British super-middleweight on home soil.

Hart gives that accolade to Joe Calzaghe for his points win over Jeff Lacy in April 2006, which saw the Welshman retain his WBA title and snare the American's IBF equivalent and the vacant Ring Championship.

And the journalist told Ringside that Calzaghe, who won each of his 46 bouts, 32 by way of knockout, goes down as the finest super-middleweight Britain has ever produced.

"I thought Lacy was going to win but Joe delivered a masterclass. It was near perfection."

Colin Hart

"On Calzaghe's record alone you would have to pick him as the best super-middleweight we have ever had - but I'm sure Froch, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank would say otherwise," said Hart.

"Joe put in the greatest performance I've ever seen at super-middleweight in this country when he fought Jeff Lacy (at the Manchester Evening News Arena).

"I thought Lacy was going to win but Joe delivered a masterclass. It was 12 rounds of outstanding boxing and Joe was just dazzling; it was near perfection.


Commentator Ian Darke also reflected on the 1990-2000s super-middleweight scene when he joined Hart, Adam Smith and Boxing News editor Tris Dixon on the Ringside set, and he says the division was full of garish characters.

"Benn gave us great quotes and was just volcanic, while Eubank had that heat and electricity and made must-see television," said Darke. "They were guys who could sell tickets if they were fighting the cleaners!

"But we also mustn't forget Glen Catley, who went to Germany and beat Markus Beyer to win the WBC super-middleweight title (in 2000), and made the absolute maximum of himself, while Robin Reid probably gave Calzaghe his toughest fight."

Andre Ward is the current super-middleweight master at world level; the 29-year-old has racked up 26 victories from as many bouts and defeated both Froch and Kessler, whose clash you will be able to see on Sky Box Office HD.

Dixon says he is intrigued to discover where the 2004 Olympic gold medallist's career takes him next, but Hart says he has yet to be convinced that Ward has enough of an x-factor.

"Ward is a superstar; has cleaned up arguably the most competitive division in boxing and he has already beaten Chad Dawson, who came down from light-heavyweight," said Dixon. "It is very difficult to see where he goes, unless he entertains the winner of Froch-Kessler."

Hart added: "Ward reminds me of Bernard Hopkins; technically he is a brilliant boxer but would you fall over somebody to get to see him? He really is not that exciting."