The reason Calzaghe slaps, taken straight from his book
There was nobody left in Wales for me to fight but I had finished school the previous summer, so I began sparring early for the 1989 season and it was in a local boxing club in Cwmbran that I suffered the injury which threatened to end my career. I've had various problems and injuries with my hands over the years, but this was different. The sparring session itself was harmless until I threw a right hand in the second round and a sharp, searing pain suddenly developed in my wrist, as if a knife had been put through it. I was immediately in agony and had to be taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where my wrist was X-rayed before the doctor came back to tell me that I had suffered an injury which would leave me with a chronic, recurrent pain in my wrist. 'I don't think you'll ever be able to box again,' he said, which was the second knife to be suddenly plunged in.
I'm not familiar with all the medical jargon but what became clear from the X-ray was that there was extensive tissue damage in what is know as the interosseous membrane, which holds the bones in proper position. Once this happens, it fails to stabilise the position of the bones and this will recur when force is applied, leading to further pain and injury. I went home and told my dad and he was as devastated as I wasm but I refused to believe the doctor. I kept trying to put the pain out of my head and still went to the gym to train, strapping my wrist up heaving with bandages, but there was nothing I could do with it. I couldn't box. I couldn't even shadow-box. I would wince with the pain. Ultrasound and different treatments were carried out in the hospital over the following weeks and months but the problem wouldn't go away. Even now I can't press on my wrist or do press ups properly. I have to do them on my knuckles.