By Mark Vester
After nearly eleven-years and a record 21 title defenses, Joe Calzaghe has vacated the WBO super-middleweight and is fully focused on his light heavyweight bout with Roy Jones Jr. on November 8 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Calzaghe says his body can no longer get down to the weight limit of 168.
"It was a tough decision to make, relinquishing the belt, I can tell you that without hesitation," Calzaghe told South Wales Argus. "It's just too hard to get down to the 12 stone super-middleweight limit."
Calzaghe won the title from Chris Eubank on October, 11 1997. He was the longest reigning current champion in boxing. He won every major title at the super middleweight limit, including the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC.
"I did my best to unify the division, I held all the titles at one time or another, but I owed it to the WBO to be totally honest with them," Calzaghe added. "The 10-year anniversary was a wonderful marker for me and I feel it's an appropriate time to end any doubt about me fighting at that weight again.
"I received my promoter's license this week, Calzaghe Promotions is up and running and I feel like I am entering a new phase, not just in my career, but in my life. I had a great relationship with the WBO and although it was painful to give up the title, I know I have made the right decision."
"If I do say so myself, there is going to be quite a void now in super-middleweight boxing and I can't wait to see who will step up and fill it."
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