The Pride of Wales is one of the most reputed fighters in the game, having won all 46 of his professional fights. He is a former WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA & The Ring champion, and is the longest serving Super Middleweight champion in the entire history of the sport. He held 21 defences in a row, and was champion for over a decade. He only let the title go as he changed weights! However, as his time as champion of both belts overlapped one another he owns the record of being the longest continual boxing champion of all-time.
His immense power and unbeatable determination made him one of the most well respected men within the boxing world very quickly. His retirement in 2009 came as a blow to the boxing world, as the big Welshman is one of the most highly quoted boxers in the game. Despite only being rated 11th on the all-time list of British boxers by Boxrec, you can be sure that he name Joe Calzaghe is synonymous with boxing wherever you go.
He was the BBX Sports Personality of the Year, having won a huge 28% of the votes. He was also inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014. Born to a Sardinian father and a Welsh mother, Calzaghe has a mixed heritage that gives him an extremely diverse following. He was the first person to be given The Freedom of Caerphilly, which is his home county; such is the pride that he bestows on the local area with his hard work, determination and brilliant character.
His career began at age 9, when he held an incredible amateur record of 110-10! He eventually moved up from the Amateur world in 1993, and too on Paul Hanlon on the undercard for Bruno V Lewis in Cardiff. The young Welshman put a stop to the 23-fight run of Paul Hanlon, finishing the fight in the first. By 1995 he was a name, having won 13 out of 13 fights. Only one of those fighters went the distance with Calzaghe, Bobbie Joe Edwards.
By October 1995 he was the British Super Middleweight champion, beating Stephen Wilson to take the unclaimed belt. His career continued its upward trajectory with victories all over the camp, including wins over Pat Lawlor and Mark Delaney. His first “real” test came in 1997, when he took on Chris Eubank for the vacant WBO title. Calzaghe shook the odds and beat Eubank, putting him down in the opening seconds and holding on to win. Calzaghe continued his winning ways throughout his entire career, beating name after name including Jeff Lacy, Bernard Hopkins, Joe Louis and Mikkel Kessler.
Retiring in 2009, big Joe won every fight he went into and was noted for his unstoppable determination and an ability to take on even the hardest, most difficult of foes and come out on top. His steely physique allowed Joe to win fights more comfortably than others his size, and his iron jaw held out throughout his whole career. A true legend of the sport, very few people can get close to matching the accolades of Joe Calzaghe.