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Boxing: Calzaghe seeks unification bout after brush with the law

THE Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe had a brush with the law on his recent trip to Rome. Calzaghe, of Sardinian background, took his wife Mandy on a break to the Eternal City after his first World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title defence against Branco Sobot.

However, the Welsh-raised, London-born Calzaghe was interrogated by police in Rome and had his passport confiscated for a few hours after police argued that, according to computer records, he could have qualified for Italian national service.

His father, Enzo, had registered his birth in Italy 26 years ago and had to put the matter straight by producing his son's birth certificate at the Italian embassy in London, otherwise the problem could crop up again if his son returns to Italy.

Joe and Enzo were yesterday camped in more familiar surroundings as the champion continued his preparations for his second defence against the durable Paraguayan Juan Carlos Gimenez at the Cardiff Ice Rink on April 25.

Calzaghe banged away on the pads worn by his father-trainer at the rundown gymnasium at Newbridge Rugby Club, which has become home to the Calzaghe dynasty.

Calzaghe, has his eyes firmly fixed on a lucrative unification bout with the WBC champion, Richie Woodhall. Perhaps three titles could be on the line if they meet, because either man will be favoured to beat the International Boxing Federation holder, Charles Brewer, who looked vulnerable last month against Herol Graham.

Calzaghe said: "I want unification bouts, the big money fights. I give myself another four years in boxing, so I want to make as much money as possible."

Joe Frazier, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, was arrested for drunken driving early on Tuesday morning after apparently driving erratically in Philadelphia.