In the new issue of "THE RING" both the London Daily Telegraph and Ring writer and European correspondent Brian Doogan proclaim Joe Calzaghe to be one of the "top 3 British fighters ever". Furthermore Doogan states that this is "unchallengeable". A bit hyperbolic?
Even if Bob Fitzsimmons is taken out of the equation(he was born in England but was really a New Zealand export) you still have a formidable list of fighters to consider. Heck forget England, is Calzaghe even one of the top 3 ever produced by Wales? Not in my book.
A glance at the records of Jimmy Wilde, Jim Driscoll and Freddie Welsh shows that Calzaghe's ledger absolutely pales in comparison. Do victories over Chris Eubank, Jeff Lacy, Charles Brewer and Mikkel Kessler even compare to Welsh's victories over world champions like Battling Nelson, Johnny Dundee, Abe Attell, Ad Wolgast(several times) and Willie Ritchie(several times)? What about his victory over all-time great Jim Driscoll? Or top contenders like Joe Mandot, Pal Moore and Charley White? All of those contenders have as much or more credibility than Kessler, Lacy, Brewer et al.
Now that I think about it, do Calzaghe's victories even compare to Freddie dueling on even terms on several occasions with Benny Leonard and Packy McFarland?
And what about Driscoll(I won't even mention Wilde)? Compare his record with Calzaghe's and tell me what you think.
I'm not trying to knock Joe. He's an excellent fighter and I'm a fan. I hope he keeps going with his winning ways and continues to bring pride to his wonderful country. But why writers continue to knock old time greats off their pedestals in favor of the new generation long before it's earned is beyond me.
Calzaghe has a long way to go before he mentions merit in the same breath as Wilde, Welsh and Driscoll. It's debatable if he's even in Owen Moran's class. What do you folks think?