Boxing: Hamed's rare praise for opponent
Saturday 11 October 1997
Hamed has often belittled and derided anyone sitting alongside him at news conferences, but there seemed genuine appreciation for a man with one defeat in 21 contests.
Badillo had the International Boxing Federation featherweight champion, Tom Johnson, on the floor three times during a 1995 challenge for the American's title, but the judges went for Johnson.
"To do what he did to Tom Johnson, a champion who I have also boxed, demands respect," Hamed said. "He probably caught Johnson in a better state than me and yet he put him down three times. So I would definitely put him at the top."
Whether or not it was a blast of hot air was unclear, but Chris Eubank's hired helicopter was caught in a crosswind yesterday, meaning that he was unable to attend his head-to-head meeting with Joe Calzaghe before tonight's vacant World Boxing Council super-middleweight title.
"I expect to stop him," Calzaghe said as the press conference went ahead minus one of the combatants. "I think he will fight a cagey fight, biding his time and doing some posing. He may pose, but I will be pressing him for every minute of every round. When I catch him properly he will go definitely."
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