Originally Posted by IntentionalButt
Would Calzaghe not "spoil Watson's boxing" much as he did to Kessler, if we're accepting that Watson does mainly the same things as Kessler only better?
He would still be swarming in and laying his gloves all over, in a manner that prioritized touches over torque far more than Benn did. (which foiled Benn to an extent)
Also, are we pitting them peak for peak? Are we rolling with the Watson of '91 (but without Eubank II having occurred)?
Then are we talking the Lacy version of Calzaghe? Or one with hands intact?
In answer to the first point, maybe he would, Kessler I think scored around 4 rounds on a fair card though, maybe only 3. Calzaghe could quite possibly do the same to Watson, although like I mentioned I consider Watson to be defensively better, quicker and more fluid than Kessler. Watson was also quite abidectrous, his jab almost being a straight left at times, yet he also has the excellent straight right. I don't have a problem with anyone picking Calzaghe, but Watson is a very stern test at least that of a Kessler level. However in terms of 'spoiling boxing' I could see Watson's straight counter punching spoiling Joe's rythm and combinations
Peak for peak I'd think so, it's quite hard to pick Calzaghe's peak. Physically his peak was probably '97-'02, although I think he became a little smarter after that. The problem with pinpointing his prime was he was so infrequently tested and he was considered something of a joke before the Lacy fight after pulling out of so many fights. Around '99 (without looking it up) he had a pretty close controversial fight with Reid (he won but only just), who wasn't really that good but couldn't miss him. His fights from 99-06 against Lacy were largely a waste of time, Mitchell was best win in this time but it was a terrible early stoppage, Mitchell was still punching when it was stopped
He was supposed to face Glen Johnson around '04 but pulled out 2-3 times, citing a back injury but in reality his divorce he was going through was probably the reason he wasn't quite up for it. He actually wanted to pull out against Lacy but his father wouldn't let him. Maybe it was the fear of losing that first fight I'm not sure
I think Calzaghe was at his best when he was a bit scared, his best performances are Eubank, Kessler and Lacy for me. Against Bika he was pretty poor
BTW it's a myth Calzaghe was a puncher and none slapper pre-hand injurys, he was called a slapper before his first title shot