Wednesday, January 23 2008
By Craig Watt / Photo: Sports Network
At a press conference in London today, promoter Frank Warren confirmed that the eagerly anticipated match up between Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins has been signed for April 19th in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center. The bout will be at the light heavyweight limit of 175. The 35-year-old Calzaghe who has held the WBO 168 pound title for over ten years commented, "This is a dream come true for me. I won't be taking Hopkins lightly but I feel I have the tools to beat him." The unbeaten Calzaghe (44-0) recently added the WBC and WBA titles when he outpointed Mikkel Kessler in his last bout and this represents his first fight at 175 pounds. Both fighters publicly clashed at the weigh in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand before the Floyd Mayweather win over Ricky Hatton in December and Hopkins seemed to taunt Calzaghe. He told the Welsh champion, "I will never lose to a white boy." The Thomas & Mack Center was the scene of Ricky Hatton's win over Jose Luis Castillo in June 2006 which saw a crowd of 13,000 attend the fight. This venue has one of the largest capacities in Vegas and was key to Calzaghe in securing enough tickets for the travelling army of fans from the UK. Indeed, it is reported that 6,000 tickets have already been purchased by Sports Network to accommodate Calzaghe's fan base. Tickets will go on sale on February 6th in the USA and the fight will be televised by HBO although not on a PPV basis. The fight will be shown live in the UK on Setanta Sports.