Joe Calzaghe is one of the most successful boxers of all time. The Welshman has a record of 46 wins, 0 losses, and 32 knockouts. He held world titles in two different weight classes and is regarded by many as one of the greatest southpaw fighters of all time.
Joseph William Calzaghe was born on February 23, 1972, in Hammersmith, London. His father, Enzo Calzaghe, was a musician and part-time boxer. His mother, Jackie Powell, was a ballet dancer. Calzaghe grew up in Newbridge, South Wales, and attended Caerleon Comprehensive School.
Calzaghe took up boxing at the age of nine, alongside his father, who was his trainer for his entire career. Calzaghe had a successful amateur career, winning three British ABA titles, three Welsh titles, and a European title. He also represented Wales in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand, where he won a bronze medal in the lightweight division.
Calzaghe turned professional in October 1993, at the age of 21. He made his debut against Paul Hanlon, winning by a points decision. In his early fights, Calzaghe was known for quick feet and fast hands, and he quickly established himself as a fighter to watch.
In March 1997, Calzaghe won his first world title, defeating Chris Eubank to become the WBO super-middleweight champion. Calzaghe won the fight by a unanimous decision, showcasing his speed, technique, and impressive work rate.
Calzaghe would go on to defend his title 22 times, retaining it for over a decade. In this time, he fought some of the best fighters in the division, including Byron Mitchell, Charles Brewer, and Robin Reid. He also defeated the legendary Roy Jones Jr. in November 2008 when Jones had moved up to light heavyweight.
Calzaghe's Career Highlights
The highlight of Calzaghe's career came in November 2007, when he fought Mikkel Kessler to become the undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world. The fight was held in front of 50,000 fans at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, and Calzaghe won by unanimous decision.
Kessler was considered one of the best super-middleweight fighters in the world at the time, and many regarded the fight as Calzaghe's toughest test. However, Calzaghe put on a masterclass, landing over 1,000 punches and dominating the fight from start to finish.
Calzaghe's retirement speech
Calzaghe retired from boxing in February 2009, at the age of 36. He ended his career with a perfect record of 46 wins, 0 losses, and 32 knockouts. He is one of the few boxers to retire undefeated and is widely regarded as one of the greatest British boxers of all time.
After retiring, Calzaghe became a commentator for Sky Sports and a pundit for the BBC. He also appeared on Dancing with the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing in the UK), where he finished in fifth place.
In 2014, Calzaghe was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, joining boxing legends such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Mike Tyson.
Calzaghe's legacy as one of the best boxers of all time is undisputed. He was a technically gifted fighter with exceptional ring craft and a fierce work rate. He took on the best fighters in his weight class and emerged victorious every time. The knock on Calzaghe is that he fought the biggest names on his ledger when they were all past their primes.
Calzaghe's success inspired a new generation of boxers in the UK and Wales, including fellow world champions Nathan Cleverly and Lee Selby. He also put Welsh boxing on the map, becoming one of the most famous sportsmen in Wales history.
Calzaghe's story is also one of resilience and determination. He overcame personal setbacks, such as a hand injury that threatened to end his career, to become a champion.
Joe Calzaghe is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He had a remarkable career, winning world titles in two weight classes and retiring undefeated. Calzaghe's legacy continues to inspire future generations of boxers, both in the UK and around the world. He is a true great of the sport, and his place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame is a testament to his achievements.