Hopkins urged to ignore Calzaghe for Jones rematch swansong

BERNARD Hopkins should dismiss the mighty challenge of Joe Calzaghe and instead head into retirement after settling a long-standing score with American rival Roy Jones.

That is the opinion of Hopkins’ trainer Nazim Richardson, who believes a rematch with the fading Jones would mean more to the fighter and the US public than a major clash with the Welshman.

Hopkins lost a middleweight title fight to Jones in 1993 before embarking on an extraordinary 12-year unbeaten run which underlined his status as one of the greatest fighters of his generation.

Richardson, who took over from Hopkins’ long-time trainer Bouie Fisher two years ago and has been involved with the fighter for a decade, insists he has urged the 43-year-old to quit the ring.

Richardson said: “Bernard has accomplished everything he needs to accomplish in this sport and I have been telling him for a long time that he should stop fighting.

“But I can see why a fight against Roy Jones would mean so much to him. It is all about settling the score after their fight in 1993 and I believe it is the fight between two great veterans which the US would prefer to see.”

Notoriously tough negotiator Hopkins has indicated he could be interested in a clash with Calzaghe, now rated one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world after his win over Mikkel Kessler.

And Calzaghe’s promoter Frank Warren has already opened talks with Hopkins’ representatives, Golden Boy Promotions, over a possible super-fight across the Atlantic in the spring.

Hopkins will demand the fight is made on his own terms. He has already categorically ruled out the prospect of fighting in Britain, and cited New York’s Yankee Stadium as his venue of choice.

“Bernard does not see any reason why he should travel to Calzaghe’s back yard,” Richardson added.

“He is the great fighter and he has earned the right to make his choice.

“Calzaghe is a good fighter but there is a big difference between the two of them. Everyone built up Kessler but who had he really beaten? Where are the living legends on Calzaghe’s record?

“The mark of an all-time great fighter is the fights he has had against other living legends. Bernard has fought Jones and beaten Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya. He is a class apart.”

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