Boxing: Calzaghe postpones Garden party

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The Independent Online

Joe Calzaghe looks set to face American legend Roy Jones Jr in November after a hand injury suffered by the Welshman scuppered plans to stage the bout in two months' time.

The pair were due to face off in a light-heavyweight fight at New York's Madison Square Garden on 20 September but the Briton injured his right hand in training and has been forced to postpone.

A source close to Calzaghe has insisted the problem is "not career-threatening" and he has seen a consultant today in an attempt to ascertain its exact nature.

Talks began almost immediately with Jones Jr's representatives, American pay-per-view channel HBO and officials from the venue in order to set a new date for the contest.

And it appears Calzaghe, who last month split with long-time promoter Frank Warren, will finally get to face the four-weight world champion in November.

"We're trying to reschedule for November, and that works for them, so the injury must be something they feel will heal sufficiently by then," John Wirt, chief executive of Jones Jr's promotional company Square Ring, told

"Roy is disappointed but he's looking forward to the fight being rescheduled.

"But this may be a blessing in disguise because it gives us more time to promote the fight. We were under the gun putting everything together quickly."

The original date of the bout was not confirmed until 12 July.

Calzaghe has suffered a string of hand injuries in the past - although the majority were to his left.

The fight with Jones Jr was widely expected to be Calzaghe's last before retirement, but he has refused to relinquish his WBO super-middleweight title ahead of the contest and last week suggested he could take on Kelly Pavlik at 12 stone next year.

The 36-year-old Welshman is the longest reigning champion in his sport, having defended the WBO belt 21 times, four short of the all-time record for consecutive defences held by heavyweight great Joe Louis.

Calzaghe is unbeaten in 45 fights and last took to the ring against American veteran Bernard Hopkins in a light-heavyweight fight in Las Vegas in April.

The Ring Magazine belt he claimed by beating Hopkins on points was to have been on the line against four-weight champion Jones Jr, with both fighters taking a 50 per cent cut of the purse.