Joe Calzaghe – Britain’s Greatest

JoeCalzaghe-July2007

JOE CALZAGHE – Britain’s Greatest

By Abbas Dadhiwala

When Joe Calzaghe hung up his gloves, in November 2008 after handing Roy Jones Jnr a loss in New York at the Garden. He would have looked back at his career and thought 46 wins no defeats and no real beatings taken. I will take that.

Joe was trained by his father in South Wales who took over the reins quite early into the Welshman’s career. And together with Frank Warren (who this week was honoured as best European promoter by WBO) went out about formulating a plan, which leaves Joe Calzaghe as Britain’s greatest boxer.

Calzaghe started his career in 1993 at places like the Watford Town hall and the Newport Centre and then to finish his career in Vegas against Hopkins and at the Garden shows just how good Calzaghe was.

calzaghe roy jones jr

Not only is Joe Calzaghe one of the greatest southpaws (left handed fighters) to ever lace up a pair of boxing gloves, he stands as the best fighter to come from these shores and one of the greatest super middleweights in the history of boxing. 32 KO’s show Joe had punching power.

Calzaghe would always be called a slapper but as many boxers found out he slaps hard. His greatest performance against left hook Lacy was the perfect way of Joe answering his critics, when America was asking when will Joe Calzaghe fight any real fighters. A deal was agreed with Jeff Lacy and Calzaghe destroyed world champion Jeff Lacy in 12 rounds. He knocked him down once, Lacy had a bloodied nose by round 3 and wasn’t the same boxer again. Joe Calzaghe completely finished him.

Kessler was beaten when Joe showed amazing boxing know how to change tactics mid fight, and not to engage from long range but get up close and personal and use his speed to spoil Kessler and beat him. 50,000 fans in Cardiff saw a Joe Calzaghe that night, they had never seen before.

Joe was down a few times in his career but had a great chin and would get up and win. The Byron Mitchell victory was Calzaghe showing his chin and recovery powers, and then to deliver a knockout blow with devastating effect.

Compared to those other great British super middleweights, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank, the Welshman’s status has been overshadowed, despite the fact that Calzaghe defeated Eubank in 1997 and thereafter fought whoever was put in front of him.

Perhaps, if anything, Calzaghe’s career suffered due the lack of a domestic rival. He arrived at the end of the great British super middleweight era of the early to mid 1990s and retired just before Carl Froch emerged as another great British super middleweight champion. But regardless, Calzaghe’s name belongs among the very best the sport of boxing has ever produced.