Boxing: Calzaghe furious as fight is delayed
Saturday 03 May 2003
Joe Calzaghe is furious that his fight with the American Byron Mitchell has been delayed for three weeks.
The 31-year-old World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight champion, who was scheduled to tackle Mitchell in Newcastle on 24 May, will instead meet him in Cardiff on 14 June.
Calzaghe is angry that he was not told earlier that Mitchell, a former World Boxing Association champion, was struggling to make the 12-stone weight limit for the fight and that the American television company Showtime had refused to sanction a replacement opponent for the 13th defence of his title.
"The way I have been treated is disgusting," Calzaghe said yesterday. "Where's the respect for the champion? Mitchell said he wanted another three weeks before he fights me because he was struggling to make the weight – what a joke!
"What's made me even angrier is that Showtime refused to screen me fighting any other opponent.
"They've said it's Mitchell or nothing which really frustrates me, I can tell you. I'm even more determined to smash Mitchell into ground when he eventually meets me in the ring."
Calzaghe's promoter, Frank Warren, said: "It's very frustrating for everyone who has tried to get this fight on this month. I can understand where Joe is coming from but unfortunately these things happen.
"Byron Mitchell is the best fight out there for him [Calzaghe] at the moment and he was lucky to get it. It's not ideal that Joe's training schedule has been interrupted like this but he's a professional boxer and has to accept it."
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