Joe Calzaghe may have finally moved closer to fulfilling his dream of unifying the world super-middleweight title.
Calzaghe is set for a showdown with America’s reigning IBF champion Jeff Lacy - provided the unbeaten Welshman successfully defends his WBO belt against Mario Veit in Braunschweig, Germany next month.
Calzaghe’s promoter Frank Warren has had talks with Lacy’s representative Gary Shaw and hopes to announce the summer contest after the Welshman’s rematch with Veit on May 7.
Warren said: “Providing Joe comes through against Veit, which I am confident he will do, he will be looking at a unification fight against the IBF champion Lacy in September,”
“Following positive discussions with [Showtime TV chief executive] Jay Larkin and Gary Shaw, we are confident of making the fight and will confirm details after the Veit fight.
“Joe has called for a unification fight for some time now and Lacy wants the fight so the ball is now in Joe’s court and he will have to do the business in the ring on May 7 to make it happen.”
Calzaghe’s impressive career has been dogged by ill-timed misfortune such as the back injury which ruled him out of a prospective IBF light-heavyweight title challenge to Glen Johnson last summer.
Johnson went on to unify the light-heavyweight crown over Antonio Tarver and became one of the hottest properties in world boxing.
And last month’s scheduled WBO super-middleweight title defence against Belfast’s Brian Magee was cancelled on the eve of the contest because of political problems concerning Calzaghe’s imminent mandatory defence against Veit.
Calzaghe hammered Veit to first-round defeat in their previous meeting in 2001 but he ought not to take the resurgent German lightly this time round.
He will appreciate the importance of fashioning another quick finish because of Germany’s notoriety for giving points decisions to home fighters.
Last week Southampton light-heavyweight Matthew Barney appeared to have gained a clear win over local favourite Thomas Ulrich, only to drop a unanimous decision in Riesa.