Calzaghe: Boxing on the ropes

Updated: December 10, 2008, 6:28 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Joe Calzaghe believes boxing is on the ropes, with too many champions and few real stars.

Still weighing whether he'll retire after beating Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. this year to remain unbeaten in 46 fights, Calzaghe said Wednesday he was glad he was almost on the way out of the sport instead of just starting out.

"I think boxing is a dying sport. Globally -- in America for instance -- you've got UFC, which has taken a lot off boxing, business-wise," Calzaghe said, referring to the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Welshman who held the WBO super middleweight world title for more than 10 years before moving up to light heavyweight to fight Hopkins and Jones also said boxing has its own problems.

"There is too much politics in boxing, too many belts and too many champions, which dilutes real champions like myself," he said. "There are four world champions in each division and it's bad because there are no stars any more. It's a big problem."

Calzaghe also noted that the United States won only one medal at the Beijing Games -- a bronze by heavyweight Deontay Wilder -- which points to a grim future for American boxing.

"America only had one medalist in the Olympics this year," Calzaghe said. "In Britain, we did pretty good, but I'm glad I'm ending my career and not starting it because I don't think it's going to be that great in the future."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press