Thursday, June 09, 2005

Gloves off in Cardiff?

According to the BBC:
WBC and WBO lightweight champion Diego Corrales is ready to step up a weight and fight Ricky Hatton in an amazing double-bill involving Joe Calzaghe.

Corrales wants to face Hatton on the same card as Welshman Calzaghe's projected super middleweight unification with Jeff Lacy in November.

Gary Shaw, who promotes both Corrales and Lacy, says he is already in talks to hold the fight in Cardiff.

That proposal would see 60,000 fans packed into the Millennium Stadium.

I hope that is works out. I've long thought that Joe Calzaghe deserved a much higher profile. He never lost the WBO title after taking it from Chris Eubank in 1997. I can't think of a longer reigning British world champion. (I'm no expert though.)

Can it really be nearly twelve years since Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno in the last big promotion in Cardiff's National Stadium? That was an extraordinary night, everyone you have ever heard of seemed to be there. I remember seeing Richard Branson walking down St. Mary's Street. At first - from a distance - with the teeth, the beard and the V-neck jumper I thought it was someone dressed up as him, but it turned out to be the genuine article.

The day after the fight, we were driving by Queen Street railway station a white stretch limo pulled out immediately in front of us, and Lennox Lewis himself opened the sun roof, poked his head through it, and stood up to wave at kids who were chasing after the car.

I had been surprised to read before the fight that he had a bigger chest and biceps than the extravagantly muscled Bruno, but he is the most gigantic man I have ever seen in the flesh. Just the action of him rising through the roof seemed to go on for ever. I can clearly remember that he was wearing a while polo neck sweater and the muscles in his shoulder writhed like pythons as he raised his arms aloft.

I would not want him to punch me under any circumstances.

No comments: