Calzaghe's title defense vs. Jones postponed by injury

Updated: July 23, 2008, 5:56 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

[+] EnlargeJoe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins
AP Photo/Isaac BrekkenJoe Calzaghe, right, seen here fighting Bernard Hopkins, will have to wait to defend the title he won from Hopkins against Roy Jones Jr.
Light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe injured his right wrist while training, forcing postponement of his Sept. 20 defense against former champion Roy Jones Jr. at New York's Madison Square Garden.

John Wirt, the CEO of Jones' promotional company Square Ring, which is promoting the fight, said Tuesday that Calzaghe's attorney, Gareth Williams, informed him of the injury.

"He told me it's an injured right wrist," Wirt said. "I was told that he hurt it on Sunday punching a heavy bag. We're trying to reschedule [the fight] for November, and that works for them, so the injury must be something they feel will heal sufficiently by then."

In a press release Jones said: "It sounds to me as though Joe has a normal and usual injury. He had shown some concern recently about his hand not being ready. I still wanted to move forward with the September date, since HBO had already laid out the red carpet for a pay-per-view success when we took the De La Hoya-Mayweather date. But I don't want him to be no less that his best -- so if this is what it takes for that, then so be it."

Wirt said he is talking to officials from Madison Square Garden about an alternate date in November.

Jones said in a statement that it will likely take place Nov. 8 at Madison Square Garden and be televised on HBO pay-per-view.

Jones (52-4, 38 KOs) had his last fight at the Garden, soundly outpointing Felix Trinidad in January to give him the marquee victory he needed to help set up the fight with Calzaghe.

Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs), who claimed the title on April 19 by winning a decision against Bernard Hopkins in his first fight in the United States, has a history of injuries that have forced him out of past fights. However, Calzaghe, a southpaw, usually has injured his left hand.

A media tour to promote the HBO PPV fight was scheduled to kick off next week in New York.

"Roy is disappointed, but he's looking forward to the fight being rescheduled," Wirt said. "We're all disappointed because we were looking forward to going on the press tour next week. 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."

Since HBO is planning a "24/7" reality series to follow the buildup to the fight, like it did last year for Floyd Mayweather's fights with Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, the network also will have more time to prepare for the show.

Jones said that the delay could actually help the event in the long run.

"I had originally proposed something kind of different for this fight. And that is that Joe and I would first weigh in for the fight at 168 and fight for Joe's super middleweight titles," he said in the statement. "Then we would step off the scales, drink some water and weigh in again at more than 168 so that we could also fight for Joe's Ring Magazine light heavyweight title. I only recall this happening once before, in the Leonard/Lalonde fight and I think it would really add something unique to the promotion. Joe initially expressed concern about his ability to make 168 by September 19, but now that we have another seven weeks, I hope that he will go for it and that the WBA, WBO and the WBC will sanction it."

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.