2004-02-21 Joe Calzaghe w rsc 7 Mger Mkrtchyan, Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales - WBO
2004-02-21 Joe Calzaghe w rsc 7 Mger Mkrtchyan, Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales - WBO. Referee: Paul Thomas. Defending for the 14th time Calzaghe (167¾) took his time to deal with the tough Mkrtchyan (167), who was not overawed in the least, but by the fifth it was clear that the challenger was gradually being worn down. Although the brave Armenian was still willing to trade, the seventh saw him hit with a barrage of punches, the last two being heavy lefts which sent him down. Up before being counted out, he did not look like a man who could last much longer and the referee called it off on the 1.05 mark.
On 8 May at the Westphalia Hall, Dortmund, Germany, Mario Veit outpointed Kabary Salem over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title. However, it was Salem who got first crack at Calzaghe not the winner, who would have to wait.