Enzo No Shrinking Violet

By Robert Ecksel on May 30, 2013
Enzo No Shrinking Violet
Enzo Calzaghe, and his son’s legacy, would have been better served had he said nothing.

Carl Froch is riding high after defeating Mikkel Kessler Saturday night. He put on a great performance, a winning performance, and has been calling out everyone under the sun.

But not everyone is as impressed with Froch as Froch seems impressed with himself. One dissenting voice is that of Enzo Calzaghe, father and trainer of Joe Calzaghe, who ruled the 168-pound roost before retiring undefeated in 2009.

“I’ve had enough of Carl Froch mouthing off every fighter on this planet except himself and his buddy [Lennox Lewis],” Calzaghe wrote (and which yours truly judiciously edited). “He keeps boasting how great he is!

“So let’s put the record straight right now! Carl Froch is an [average boxer] when it comes to skills but he is a great [brawler], a style that we see outside my local pub in Newbridge on a Saturday night!”

Enzo’s appraisal is harsh. It may be sour grapes. It definitely is unsightly. But his boxer/brawler comparison, however dismissive, is not that far off the mark.

“The only thing that Froch didn’t do in that fight was to head butt Kessler!! Maybe he might do that on his next fight!”

Winning isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing, and Calzaghe knows that as well as anyone. Granted, Joe Calzaghe never resorted to illegal tactics, he didn’t need to, but it’s a bridge too far to suggest that Carl Froch is nothing more than a dirty fighter.

“And as far as Froch’s boxing record is concerned?” continued Calzaghe. “Let me tell you all: (1) [Jermain Taylor] was a middleweight and nearly beat him; (2) [Arthur Abraham] was another middleweight that couldn’t throw more than three punches a round. What a fighter he was! Ha ha!; (3) the Canadian rabbit (Lucian Bute) that froze when he got in the ring; and of course (4) an old version of Kessler and I can’t remember the rest!

“So to call himself one of the best two fighters that Britain has ever had makes me believe that maybe he’s not all there? And needs a shrink! Ciao Enzo.”

Some things are better left unsaid. Enzo Calzaghe, no less than his son’s legacy, would have been better served had he said nothing. Not to pick on Enzo, who can defend himself just fine, but medically speaking, Froch no more needs a psychiatrist than does he does. The Cobra earned his moment of glory and is entitled to bask in the adulation. If he chooses to boast about his achievements, that doesn’t in any way diminish Joe Calzaghe’s greatness.

Boxing is testosterone-driven at its very core and fosters belligerence in the mildest of men. And in the least mild men, belligerence is sometimes squared to the point of irrelevance.

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  1. Leigh 11:21am, 06/02/2013

    I’ve got to agree with Mike Schmidt here. But you can’t blame Froch for wanting to be the best after all it’s what it’s all about but it’s sad the way Froch will not admit he lost badly to Ward when it was clear it was a one-handed beat down. Okay he said some good things about Ward after the Kessler fight but be a man and give ‘the man’ who beat you his props. For me it’s the old cliche about levels and Froch is not on Ward’s. I would love to see Ward sit down on his punches a bit like he did against Dawson if he did fight Froch again, and he could be the first man to knock Froch out. As for Enzo I love the guy you think this article is good check out his book “A Fighting Life”

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:07pm, 06/01/2013


  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:02pm, 06/01/2013

    Now Marty Feldman’s illegitimate son says he wants to fight Ward in the bright lights of “neutral” Las Vegas….probably an idea that came up (along with something else) while abed with his much better half.  Memo to Marty Junior: You couldn’t have said it any plainer if you came right out and said,“‘I can’t beat Ward so I might as well make some money and have some while I’m getting my ass greased in the “Bright Light City”!

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:13am, 06/01/2013

    Raxman-Simply great analysis of Ward’s “head work” which no doubt required hours and hours and hours of hard work, practice, and effort for him to perfect. When a young guy comes home from the Olympics with that Gold Medal around his neck and his dream is to be a champion of the world in the Pro ranks but he doesn’t possess anything close to world class punching power….what’s a guy to do… this is what a guy does…..and the rest as they say is history. Forget Nottingham…I say his fight is in Copenhagen with a referee who will foul his ass out on the first “unintentional ” head butt” which in actuality would be the umpteenth time he fouled Kessler.

  5. raxman 09:24pm, 05/31/2013

    Watching froch v ward live i thought the same as you that it was a schooling to rival jc over lacy - but last week i rewatched froch ward and although he was beaten it was that one sided, froch had some moments but over all it was the worst froch we’ve seen; froch was bad as ward was good. now one could argue ward made him look thus but i’m not sure that is entirely correct. froch has said that watching the first fight it is obvious what he needs to do and i agree.  froch made mistakes - some basic, others not so.  the question is will he be able to change them firstly, and secondly will it matter as ward like mayweather has the ability to not only bring out plan B but also has a plan C and although we are yet to see it i’m assuming D, E and maybe even F.
    what froch has to do is get his jab working. in #1 he didn’t find range and he didn’t have snap to it. Ok, 99% of fighters need to find their jab early but for froch, given his unique style and balance its more important for him. once he finds the jab he has to throw with ward. there is no point in counter punching and less point in trying to get off first as ward is too quick and too defensively brilliant. On the inside he has to tie up, and if not tie up he has to get low - there is no doubt ward used his head in a terrible and deliberate manner vs kessler (you don’t have to mean to head butt to intentionally butt - if you lead with your head as ward did in that fight you have to expect to make contact with it, even if that isn’t the intent) but even if ward isn’t launching head first as he did with kessler, he artfully uses his head in his opponent’s chest and shoulder to aid his inside work. it gave him the leverage to muscle froch around too.
    Froch must work non stop. he has to connect with every punch even if its just to the shoulders and arms. he has put some hurt on ward and he has to make him work.
    however just because ward tired in their first fight doesn’t mean he will a second time, the fact is ward was exhausted from beating on the cobra for 24minutes.
    reality is ward will win, but by having and sticking too the right fight plan, froch will make him earn it more than the first time around.
    The fact that andre SOG ward is one boring SOB is another story. the fact is as good as he is ward needs froch more than froch needs him from a ticket sale perspective. Ward, to date, has been fighting in oakland for low 6 figures and selling 5000 tickets (at a venue that can take 3 times that amount - compare that to the sell out crowds in nottingham at a 10k venue that froch could probably sell out 3 times over. 20k watch froch kessler live on a little over 7k watch ward dawson - both venues hold 20k do they not

  6. Pete The Sneak 11:35am, 05/31/2013

    Irish, totally agree. Not only is B-Hop a ‘Fisitc Genius’, but an ‘Elbowing Mastermind,’ a ‘Back climbing, waist clutching virtuoso’ and my favorite, a ‘Sore Losing, how many times can they rob me, wunderkind.’ I believe it was Mike Casey (Mike, if it wasn’t you my apolgies, but I think it was) who once said on this site “I’d rather watch Paint dry than see a Hopkins fight.” Well Mike, get the brushes out if B-hop goes after Froch, cause I’m bringing the paint. Peace.

  7. Mike Schmidt 10:42am, 05/31/2013

    “Pugilistic Specialist” ala Lennox Lewis.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:35am, 05/31/2013

    Pete the Sneak-I guess you didn’t get the memo…..Hopkins is a ” fisting genius”....oopsie daisie!....“fistic genius” that is!

  9. Mike Schmidt 10:21am, 05/31/2013

    Okay Sneak—I submit by chokehold because I can’t stop laughing—ya got me—I give up. Can I at least have Kessler, at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, against Champ Shumenov—Why? Because A) it will be exciting B) Pascal ain’t gonna fight Shumenov never ever never C) Shumenov is a great guy out of ring D) I am totally impartial—he is a buddy.

  10. Pete The Sneak 10:16am, 05/31/2013

    Schmiddy/Robert, please, no B-Hop polls here. He may actually read this site and if he gets enough votes, he may think he can actually beat Froch. Not that it’s far fetched for him to think so, just that the thought of another of the ‘Execlutchinors’ grab, maul and clutch fests would occur is enough to have me commit a Sacrilegious act such as watching an MMA fight instead. Please, don’t force me. Peace.

  11. Ted 08:43am, 05/31/2013

    I’d love to see Kessler fight Hopkins in Germany or London

  12. Ted 08:42am, 05/31/2013

    Geez, some troubling—maybe astonishing—worship here for Hopkins. I mean what is he, the second coming? So he beat a clueless Cloud. Big deal. Also, I thought he had to get by the carefully cherry-picked Murat before he could move forward. Sure, everyone would like to see him reach 50 and still be a champion, but he will only get there by cherry picking of which he is a master.

    Yes, Froch is a complainer, but so is Hopkins. He is still moaning about his two losses to Taylor and his one to JC. All he does is bitch and moan and give the HBO Team a hard look after one of his less-than-thrilling wins.

  13. Mike Schmidt 08:35am, 05/31/2013

    On a more or less serious note—Fearless Editor set up a poll—I actually would be interested in knowing how many people think B-Hop smacks Froch.

  14. Mike Schmidt 08:32am, 05/31/2013

    “regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention…....for what is a man, what has he got, if not himself then he has naught to say, the things he truly feels….” B-HOP go on over to Robin Hood’s forest and do the job MY WAY!!!!!! Regret is turning down dinner with B-Hop, a few lads from Golden Boy, Nonito, and company to stay up late after a fight and write an article on Amir Khan—now that is a regret—a regret on a posting, zeeeee, zeeeee, wake me up when it’s over!  On the other hand maybe B-HOP should not take that fight—he can’t win—Carl will complain about the ref, the venue, the weather, the lighting….....

  15. Ted 08:20am, 05/31/2013

    “Quite frankly I think B-Hop kicks the shit out of and completely schools Froch ...” I suspect you will regret posting this. If anyone thinks Hopkins can beat Froch, I know a guy named Bernie who would like to meet them.

  16. Ted 08:18am, 05/31/2013

    Irish, I’m working on John Coiley’s story but Robert’s on Vinnie Curto kind of put it on hold for a while because the stories are similar. It will be done soon within a few months. It’s a very difficult story to write. John is a very close friend of mine.

  17. Mike Schmidt 08:15am, 05/31/2013

    Agreed Irish. Quite frankly I think B-Hop kicks the shit out of and completely schools Froch just as Ward did—and that will be another Fighter comparison that Froch fails in comparison to Calzaghe.

  18. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:13am, 05/31/2013

    Still waiting for a write up and some film on John Coiley who visits this site (not often enough)...when I read that he went hammer and tong with Tony Licata…..ouch!....it bothered me as an old time fan that I wasn’t paying attention because at the time my focus was on all things West Coast.

  19. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:00am, 05/31/2013

    In fact Kovelev reminds me of Bob Foster in that regard.

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:54am, 05/31/2013

    How’s this for some fun and excitement…Ward goes to Copenhagen….Hopkins goes to Nottingham….either way and whatever…at some point if he gets the chance,  Sergey Kovalev will KO one and all because like Matthysse he not only throws bricks but he lands them!

  21. Mike Schmidt 07:23am, 05/31/2013

    Should that be dear or deer fearless Editor. Leave it as the pun it is

  22. Mike Schmidt 07:20am, 05/31/2013

    I don’t really put much value to Froch’s two wins 1) Kessler is a shell of what he was and I fully agree with B. Hunter on that one 2) Bute looked like a dear caught in large head lamps and we clearly got a big better idea that Bute is not even remotely on the same level as these guys.

  23. Ted 07:09am, 05/31/2013

    That was then, this is now—and now Ward is coming back after surgery while Froch is coming back after a KO over Bute and a UD over Kessler.

    Ward has become a fighter who does not fight enough to suit me.

  24. Mike Schmidt 07:06am, 05/31/2013

    Froch can yap all he wants but Calzaghe beat an in his prime Kessler—Froch LOST TO KESSLER. Now on Ward the simple truth is CARL GOT THE SHIT KICKED OUT OF HIM BY ANDRE. Blaming the ref, the site, and God only knows what else is only diminishing Carl—the guy has a great record, he is a great fighting Champion but he is doing himself a real shot in the foot most importantly on the Ward fight—ya got a beatdown in that fight lad—pure and simple—These guys could fight on Pluto and Andre will kick the shit out of him again. On Calzaghe—well ya can’t prove it either way—but Ward—come come now.That was a beating not even deserving of a rematch.

  25. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:00am, 05/31/2013

    Neutral site?....Got it! Dublin!..oops….then again Mikkel would probably be quickly adopted as Erin’s very own….so that wouldn’t work!

  26. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:44am, 05/31/2013

    Robert Ecksel-When oh when is this ungodly strong (physically and mentally), heavy handed, iron jawed world champion going to break that amateurish habit of smothering his own power laden punches when he gets inside? Which reminds me…..Pacman comes to mind when Carl charges in with his chin high and both guns blazing!  Just wondering…what would be considered a neutral site for the rubber match….Paris? Germany?

  27. raxman 06:10pm, 05/30/2013

    yes but at the time froch was calling out calzaghe, jc had just fought Kessler and was moving on to his retirement fights of hop and jones. he had no more interest in fighting a young fight of any type - just as steve Collins wanted only jones and wasn’t interested in a young calzaghe. so no I make my case. which is at the time neither froch or margarito were worthy of, or ready for, a fight the magnitude of who they were calling out. after winning the lineal and ring magazine title against baldomir, Floyd took the 2 mega fights of Oscar and hatton - had he not needed time off to heal his hands I have no doubt margarito would’ve got a look in after he beat cotto, and have no doubt Floyd would’ve schooled him as easily as joe would’ve schooled (my fav) froch

  28. Ted 05:54pm, 05/30/2013

    But you make my case because JC fought guys who were far less worthy than Froch.

    As for Margo, everyone wanted that fight to be made, but Mayweather wanted no part of that monster (at the time at least).

    Curiously, Froch ko’s Taylor who in turn beat Hopkins twice.

    Hopkins draws with Pascal, but Froch beats Pascal.

    Boxing logic is terrible, but my point is that Hopkins better stay away from a vastly improved Froch.

  29. raxman 05:44pm, 05/30/2013

    that’s true and joe’s reason for that was that froch hadn’t fought anyone. I remember interviews where he stated it. and it was true at that time - froch has just beaten pascal for wbc title that calzaghe had vacated. but no one saw him being the fighter he has become
    interesting that you mention the Floyd-Margarito thing - coz it was the same. margarito was padding his wbo title resume (and his gloves) fighting a whole load of nobodies and beating Citron made him no more worthy of a shot at Floyd than froch was at joe.

  30. Ted 05:27pm, 05/30/2013

    Back in the day, Froch was calling out Joe as much as Margo was calling out Mayweather. JC ignored him and so did Mayweather.

  31. raxman 04:14pm, 05/30/2013

    ‘let me expand on my old mate ted’s first post by placing some facts here.
    froch last 10 opponents pascal, taylor, dirrell, Kessler, Abraham, Johnson, Ward, bute, mack and Kessler. 8-2
    calzaghe’s last 10 - mykrtchan (who?), salem, veit, ashira, lacy, bika, manfredo, Kessler, Hopkins, and jones
    froch’s ten with the exception of mack and dirrell were all past, present or future title holders.
    and joe c’s - please. I wont even bother. the fact is as great a fighter as joe clearly was, his only win of note was against Kessler. jones was a shell and the Hopkins win (was it a win?) was against an old man who, although can still win fights, cannot do it (as proven with dawson) against slick hard working boxers. Hopkins needs walk up bangers to out box
    the fact that calzaghe would almost certainly beat froch is irrelevant. froch has proved himself multiple times against the worlds best. calzaghe beat Kessler.

  32. Ted 02:44pm, 05/30/2013

    The Tache, I need all the friends I can get, mate.

  33. The Tache 02:37pm, 05/30/2013

    I’m with Ted on this one. Froch may well not be the boxer that Calzaghe was, but his CV is better.
    Looking at Calzaghe’s career, who were his best victories over? An old Eubank at the start and 2 old legends, one of whom was shot to bits, at the end. Oh, and Kessler of course.
    When I saw the headline for the article my initial thought was “Christ, don’t tell me Enzo Macarrenelli is calling out Froch”

  34. Pete The Sneak 11:43am, 05/30/2013

    Hmm..Interesting. How about Froch just come back to the states to fight Ward and just bring the ‘non-clinching, Punch allowing’ referee with him? Delusional is an understatement. As it is, Ol’ Enzo sure comes off sounding like Muhammad Ali there dosen’t he? Bute ‘The Rabbit’, Old man Kessler and the ‘What a Fighter Abraham.’..lol..Good stuff man. Peace.

  35. Mike Schmidt 11:26am, 05/30/2013

    Froch who was defroched by Andre is delusional. His latest is that he is a harder puncher than Ward and if Ward comes to England where he is allowed to punch with a referee that does not allow all the clinching…..Well it sure looks to me like it was the Cobra backing up and Andre for the most part coming forward.

  36. Mike Schmidt 11:14am, 05/30/2013

    I stand by my article back in May 2011, “Froch in Calzaghe’s Shadow” and always will be. This is one of those wonderful and unique occasions when we can do a direct comparison based on one specific opponent. Calzaghe kicked the shit out of an in-his-prime Kessler. Froch on the other hand lost one and hardly steamrolled a reduced Kessler in the rematch AND got the shit kicked out of him by Ward. Enzo was a Trainer of the Year winner for justification and I love the corner instructions he gives his fighters. As for Froch he must have selective memory syndrome or simply does not include any fighters pre 2000 and back. An insult to some great fighters down thru the years.

  37. Ted 10:34am, 05/30/2013

    Froch fights anyone and everyone. Not washed up legends. Err maybe Hopkins was not washed up, but you get my drift.

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