Joe Calzaghe claims ‘he would have beaten’ Andre Ward

Joe Calzaghe would have quickly learned that Andre Ward is not a man to be trifled with.

Former undefeated super middleweight titlist Joe “The Pride of Wales” Calzaghe told Sky Sports he would have handled WBA, WBC and The Ring super middleweight champion Andre Ward had they ever fought.

A southpaw who Ring Magazine rated as a top ten pound-for-pounder from 2006 through 2008, Calzaghe (46-0, 32 KOs) retired after earning a unanimous decision victory over a shopworn Roy Jones in November 2008.

“I would have beaten Ward,” said Calzaghe, 41, a Welshman considered by some analysts the preeminent super middleweight ever. “Like I say, people can judge styles, but I can adapt to every style and mine was harder to hit. I think Ward is good in his comfort zone, but I would have got him out of that and [he] wouldn’t have fancied it. It would have been a good fight. There’s no ego. It’s belief. I think it would have been a chess match.”

Meanwhile, recovering from a January 4 surgery to fix a small tear in his right shoulder capsule, the 29-year-old Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) plans to return as a 168-pounder in September.

A gold medal winner as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Ward was voted the 2011 “Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Ready to become a national superstar and household name like fellow American gold medalists Muhammad Ali, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya, the East Bay native has unbelievably not vacated the squared circle on the losing end of a bout since he was a 12-year-old amateur.

Fast, powerful and cunning, Calzaghe was a truly superior pugilist.

Nevertheless, Ward is a budding legend on the road to becoming a prizefighter for the ages.

In what “would have been a good fight,” Andre Ward would have decisively outscored Joe Calzaghe over 12 rounds.

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