Leading article: Art of departure

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The Independent Online

The boxer Joe Calzaghe's impressive victory over Roy Jones at Madison Square Garden, his 46th win in as many fights, was justly hailed as the culmination of a remarkable career. He had stated loud and clear beforehand that this fight would be his last. Now he seems a bit less sure.

"Just one more" has been the theme song of all too many outstanding individuals in all too many walks of life. Think Zinedine Zidane, just minutes away from honourable retirement at the top of his game; with one head-butt his reputation was ruined. Think of all those excruciating rock reunions: the once "with it" already past it. Broaden the canvas, and think Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher and oh so many, many more.

Knowing when to bow out is the last greatest challenge. Michael Schumacher got it right, as did Nelson Mandela – naturally. In boxing, Lennox Lewis showed how to leave the ring in style. Joe Calzaghe, too, should quit while he is ahead.