UNDEFEATED former two-weight world champion Joe Calzaghe has reacted furiously after Carl Froch declared himself as Britain’s best ever boxer.
The 35-year old Cobra beat former Calzaghe foe Mikkel Kessler at the weekend to claim the undisputed super middleweight champion tag.
However, Froch – who has recently been highly critical of Cefn Fforest fighter Nathan Cleverly – has irked Calzaghe with his latest comments.
“The recognition has been a long time coming, but I’m getting the recognition I deserve now,” Froch told the BBC yesterday.
“In Great Britain I’m number one. It’s between me and Lennox Lewis, depending on how far you are going back.”
Calzaghe, who won all 46 of his professional fights and was a super middleweight champion for over a decade, believes he’s only one of a number of fighters being disrespected by Froch.
“It’s an absolute joke of a comment, I’d like to just let it go, but that to me is an attack on myself and several other great British boxers,” Calzaghe told the Argus.
“The guy is highly, highly delusional if he believes that. After what? Beating Mikkel Kessler who has effectively been in semi-retirement for three years and is well short of his prime? And even that was only to level the scores after Kessler beat him.
“Carl is not even the best super middleweight in the world today. If he’s the best British fighter of all-time, does that mean Andre Ward is twice as good as any boxer we’ve ever produced?
“Where is Carl’s era of dominance? People have thought he was the real deal for about two years. Plus, I think it’s pathetic to be trying to write your own legacy. It’s not up to me to judge where I am, or for Carl to judge where he is. It’s for others to decide.”
Calzaghe insists he gets angry when critics state Froch has beaten a better calibre of fighters than he did.
“I beat six former world champions in my career, but that is often overlooked, and with Carl the opposite is true, the quality of his opponents is overstated massively,” he said.
“Are Jermain Taylor or Andre Dirrell world class fighters? He was fortunate to beat Taylor and many, many people don’t think he beat Dirrell.
“He also lost to Kessler, lost to Ward and got enormous credit for beating Lucien Bute. But Bute isn’t a lot better than a domestic level fighter, if at all.”
Calzaghe is also angry with Froch for dismissing WBO light heavyweight world champion and former Team Calzaghe stablemate Cleverly.
“I stepped up to fight at light heavyweight when I had nothing left to prove at super middleweight, why is it so ridiculous that Carl does the same?” he said.
“Nathan has the tools to win that fight and that is why Carl doesn’t want to know. But even so, why is he slagging off a 25-year old world champion from the UK?
“Carl tried to make a name for himself for years off my back and he can’t complain about people calling him out.”
And the former Ring Magazine two-weight world champion is in no doubt he’d have beaten the Cobra if the fight had happened.
“I would say that, of course, but I have no doubts whatsoever,” Calzaghe said.
“He’s a good fighter, but I was better and for him to call himself the best in Britain, it’s embarrassing.
“I also had Andre Ward’s people trying to get me out of retirement this week, four years gone and people are still talking about me, I suppose it’s nice really.”