By Rick Reeno
In a fight where Joe Calzaghe (38-0-30K) was booked by most to win in devestating fashion, he failed to impress even the most loyal Calzaghe fans. Little known Karbary Salem (23-4-12K) put Joe through the toughest fight of his career. Given the fact that Salem lost his last fight by decision to Mario Veit and had prior losses to Antwun Echols and future light heavyweight Eric Harding, no expert really gave him a shot to do much in this fight.
The only man to believe that Salem had a shot to win the fight was probably Karbary Salem. Salem came out throwing powr shots in this and was apparent from the first round that he was not going to back down from Joe. There was a clash of heads in round two that opened up a serious cut on the head of Joe Calzaghe. Calzaghe was dropped to the canvas for the second time in his career in the fourth round when he was tagged by a Salem right hand.
Joe beat the count and the fight was an all out test of wills from that point on. There were plenty of rough house tactics by Salem as he used every trick in the book to try and win this fight. Calzaghe was using plenty of rough house tactics of his own.
Calzaghe appeared to be stunned once again in the eleventh round, but was in no serious trouble. Joe needed a big round, so he thought, and came back to knock down Salem in the twelfth and final round by way of a hard left hand. Salem beat the count and finished up the round.
The scores were very lopsided, even if Joe would not have scored a knock down, he would have won the fight by several points. The scores were 117-109, 118-107 and 116-109. Most in the crowd thought it was a very close fight. Calzaghe was very upset with his performance tonight.
“OK, it wasn’t a great performance but I got myself out of trouble. Now I know I have got to keep more active and, believe me, that was the worst you will ever see me. I will be much better next time.”