Calzaghe’s final fight: against his promoter

Boxer aims to keep his undefeated record by beating former friend

When Joe Calzaghe announced his retirement earlier this month, it was assumed by many that the undefeated world champion would never face another fight.

But yesterday, Calzaghe began perhaps his biggest bout to date. And, as in most of his others, the money at stake runs into the millions.

The surroundings were not New York’s Madison Square Gardens, the scene of Calzaghe’s final bout, but the rather more austere settings of the Royal Courts of Justice, in London.

His opponent is Frank Warren, one of British boxing’s most famous faces and Calzaghe’s friend, promoter and manager for the past 14 years.

The pair are locked in a dispute over money owed in the aftermath of an acrimonious fallout. Warren claims Calzaghe owes him a percentage of his winnings from his final fight, against Roy Jones Jr, because by not allowing him to promote the fight, Calzaghe was in breach of a verbal contract which promised Warren he would promote all of Calzaghe’s fights.

In the courtroom, as in the ring, Calzaghe was quick to counter. He has launched a counter-claim that says Warren owes him £2m in unpaid fees from a fight against Bernard Hopkins in April 2008.

Much of yesterday’s courtroom submission centred on a meeting that took place in a London office in January last year. There, Warren claims that a verbal agreement was made that he would promote all of Calzaghe’s future fights.

But, following the Hopkins fight Warren says he became concerned by press reports and rumours that Calzaghe was describing himself as a free agent and claiming he had severed his ties with Warren and was going to promote his fight with Roy Jones Jr alone.

Around that time, in a letter to Warren, Calzaghe denied the pair had made any agreement at the meeting.

Yesterday Ron Thwaites, counsel for Frank Warren, said Calzaghe will claim he ended his relationship with Warren because he felt he was “unfairly exploited”. He added that the boxer, who earned more than £16m in a 43-fight career that spanned 15 years, will claim he was “bullied and pressured into signing agreements … when he was mentally and physically tired as a result of heavy training … and that he signed under duress.”

But Mr Thwaites said his client will prove that is untrue. He added: “What we suggest happened is that instead of doing what he did best in the ring, Mr Calzaghe, rather unwisely, thought that promoting fights was simplicity itself, that there was nothing to it and he could do it without a promoter. That is how he came unstuck.”

The court heard how Calzaghe and Warren had previously enjoyed a good relationship. Details of contracts were read out in which it was revealed Warren had negotiated deals of £800,000, £1m and £1.2m for consecutive fights for the Welsh boxer, plus a £2.5m television deal for two fights. The court was told Warren took the smaller part of an 80/20 percentage split as opposed to the more customary 75/25. And Warren had given Calzaghe a £50,000 “knock-out bonus” that he wasn’t entitled to, as well as a £20,000 watch. Calzaghe’s legal team expressed their fear that, should Calzaghe win the counter-claim, Warren could simply close down his company, Sports Network, meaning Calzaghe will not receive his money since it is in the name of that company that Warren is suing the boxer.

The hearing continues.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments