"This is what I've always dreamed about. Now I'm finally where I wanted to be five, 10 years ago. I'm so determined to get in that ring and fight my best fight. You know, put on a performance to show what I'm all about."
I've watched him about three times. I saw his fight against Andrade. I've seen most of the fight against (Anthony) Mundine and I saw the Beyer fight, which was pretty useless. I'm not a person to sit down for hours and hours and hours and go concise into an opponent. What he does and this and that. I just look through a few tapes, watch him once or twice and put them away.
"I go on a general idea what his style is and that's it. Same with Lacy. Same with other fighters. At the end of the day, they've got to make plans for me. I'm not going to alter my style or go in with too many plans. I fight the way I fight and I do my thing. I let him make a plan. At the end of the day he's going to have to deal with what I've got for him.
"This fight is all about movement. This guy likes to fight in straight lines. He's more of a straight puncher. So when I throw my combinations it's important for me to stand off to the side and throw from different angles, hitting him so fast he thinks he's surrounded, you know?
"I know his style. He's an upright fighter, a straight puncher. He likes to come out in the center of the ring. He doesn't fight good going back and he doesn't like to fight inside. Those are two things I like to do. He likes to go forward on a straight line so that's why I have to use my speed and my angles and my fast punching combinations.
"Obviously he's a very good fighter. You can't not be impressed with him. He's the second best super middleweight in the world. But I say second best. Obviously a lot of people are making out that he's the power puncher in this fight but at the end of the day he couldn't knock out Mundine. He couldn't knock out Andrade. He threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and couldn't do it.
"You're only as good as your opponent allows you to be. We'll see if he can get those punches off as he did against Andrade. I don't think he will and he's going to get caught a hell of a lot more with me than he did against a clumsy Mexican guy."
There was no need to ask who Joe Calzaghe felt is the one man superior to Mikkel Kessler. It is the man who hasn't lost a fight since 1990, when he was an amateur losing a decision to a Romanian fighter in Prague on only the second occasion he'd ever worn head gear. It's the man who was already world champion when Kessler made his professional debut in 1998. The man Mikkel Kessler feels he's been chasing all his life.
"Joe was already the champion when I made my debut," Kessler said. "I've always felt his presence. He's the guy I wanted to fight always. That's why we pursued this fight so hard."
That pursuit was a lengthy one Kessler's promoters, Mogens and Betinna Palle, at times doubted would ever lead to what is coming on Nov. 3.
"He never wanted Kessler," Bettina Palle claimed. "Our first meeting after Mikkel won the WBA title we thought we had a deal but nothing was really ever there." Kessler's people still believe Calzaghe wanted no part of Kessler but was forced into it by HBO and the reality that he was the only fighter he could make money with at 168 pounds now that Bernard Hopkins has moved up to the light heavyweight division and Jermain Taylor reduced his selling power when he was knocked cold by Kelly Pavlik in what he said was to be his final fight as a middleweight.
What they seem not to understand is that in fact it was Calzaghe who pushed Warren to make the fight by refusing several lesser opponents Warren was hoping to convince him to face first. Those are the actions of a man intent at 35 on only one thing â€" convincing the larger boxing world that he is who he says he is. To do that he knows he cannot stumble now.
"At the end of the day it would have been a lot easier for me to pick some easy fights and keep going along unbeaten Joe with easy fights but the way I look at it I'm better off going out and fighting the big fights," Calzaghe said. "I picked the biggest fight at super middleweight with Kessler. Then I want to fight the biggest fighter at light heavyweight. This is a great platform.
"This is what I've always dreamed about. Now I'm finally where I wanted to be five, 10 years ago. I'm so determined to get in that ring and fight my best fight. You know, put on a performance to show what I'm all about.
"I've always had this hunger to remain undefeated. I think it's the fear of losing. I think I lost nine or 10 amateur fights. I remember every single one of them defeats. So the fear of losing drives me on. That fear motivates me to keep on winning. This fight with Kessler in prime time viewing on HBO is an excellent opportunity to showcase my skills. I think it's got the ingredients to be maybe the fight of the year and I think I'll have a platform to go on from there and finally get a massive fight, possibly in the States, with somebody like Hopkins. This is a massive fight for me and there's not one ounce of doubt in my mind who will win."
Whatever his reasons, Calzaghe is now ready to do what Mikkel Kessler felt he would not. He's ready to put a string of title defenses on the line against a younger, stronger man who no one doubts is, at his worst, exactly what Joe Calzaghe says he is. At the worst one of these two fighters is the second best super middleweight in the world. Now all they have to do is prove which one isn't.