He was a very good all-rounder. He could box and fight, he was fit and durable. But above all he was intelligent and he had the ability to adapt to any style that was put in front of him. In that regard, he was brilliant, and unique.
Joe’s best performances reveal a fighter who could adapt at the highest level to whatever the situation demanded – and under extreme pressure. The Lacy performance was the best pure boxing display I’ve commentated on in a British ring, against Kessler he used his boxing brain to change tack and then he dug deep to win ugly against Hopkins.
He had a God-given talent. Certain fighters, like Calzaghe, Naseem Hamed and Floyd Mayweather have that and it can’t be replicated. He had fast hands, he could change tactics and styles. On top of all that, he was a very good footballer and was one of those blessed with natural athleticism.
Calzaghe had everything. I wasn’t with Chris Eubank when he fought him but we still spoke. I told Eubank, who was weight-drained, that fighting Calzaghe at that stage was silly. Joe was young, he had fast hands and that old fashioned Welsh training. Even then you knew he was special.