Joe Calzaghe dominates Roy Jones Jr. to go out a winne

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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NEW YORK _ If this was indeed his final fight, Joe Calzaghe left his fans on their feet begging for more.

The popular undefeated Welshman overcame a first-round knockdown to beat Roy Jones Jr. in a bloody unanimous decision Saturday night, delighting a raucous crowd at Madison Square Garden in what Calzaghe claims will be his final bout.

There is little left for him to prove after reigning as super middleweight champion for more than a decade, unifying the division, defeating Bernard Hopkins and now felling Jones _ possibly pounding him right into retirement as well.

``I loved his style, loved the way he fights,' Calzaghe said, ``but I knew I could deal with his speed and combinations.'

With blazing hand speed of his own and a constant push forward, Calzaghe (46-0) opened a deep gash over Jones' left eye in the seventh round, forcing the ringside doctor to take a close look at it. The bout was allowed to continue, blood flowing down Jones' face, but it hardly mattered after that.

``Super' Joe indeed looked super.

All three judges scored the fight 118-109 for Calzaghe, as did The Associated Press, every round going to him after the first.

``The pitter-pats were harder than I thought,' Jones said. ``I don't know, I don't know. He won the fight. He definitely won the fight.'

The bout figured to hinge on Calzaghe's ability to pressure Jones, who works well against the ropes, without getting caught by his speedy left hook.

It landed right off the bat, knocking Calzaghe to the floor midway through the first round, not unlike the flash knockdown that Hopkins scored against him in their April bout.

``Yeah, it was a good shot,' Calzaghe said, ``but I came back stronger.'

Jones (52-5) stood defiantly in the centre of the ring when the first-round bell sounded, chants of ``USA, USA' filling the arena, the crowd undoubtedly pleased that the 39-year-old Jones was proving early that he still possessed at least some of the hand speed that once made him so dangerous.

But just like the Hopkins fight, Calzaghe began to outwork his opponent.

The taller Welshman often backed Jones against the ropes and into corners, pounding him with relentless body shots. When Calzaghe circled back to the middle of the ring, Jones walked directly into another barrage of hands that seemed to come at all angles.

By the fifth round it was Calzaghe dancing and strutting around the ring, the same flamboyant antics that Jones once employed against lesser opponents at his height in the 1990s.

When Jones would put his gloves to his face in defence, Calzaghe would drop his own and lean in close, peering in as if looking right into Jones' eyes. Then another flurry of punches would spring forward, most of them catching flush.

Organizations: Madison Square Garden, The Associated Press

Geographic location: NEW YORK, USA

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