Joe ‘The Pride of Wales’ Calzaghe retired with what most professional fighters can only dream of: an undefeated record.
Calzaghe is right up there with any of the British greats and is to be held in the highest esteem. With an outstanding record of 46 fights, 46 wins with 32 knock-outs, he is has to be regarded as one of the elite fighters.
Standing at 5ft 11in and having a reach of 73 inches and an awkward southpaw style he was able to dominate the super-middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions. He is a former WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA and The Ring Super Middleweight Champion as well as The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion.
Calzaghe was technically brilliant and was able to completely outclass other world champions, as shown with his almost embarrassingly easy win against Jeff Lacy in 2006.
Some boxing pundits had Calzaghe as the underdog going into this fight, claiming that he may be past his prime. Writing off Calzaghe was a massive mistake. You just don’t see many fighters near the technical ability that Calzaghe had and even less often do you see one world champion destroy another world champion round after round for the whole fight.
It was just incredible and symbolic of Calzaghe’s career and how great he was.
Calzaghe holds victories over some brilliant fighters including recent Carl Froch's opponent Mikkel Kessler, Roy Jones Jr, Chris Eubank and Bernard Hopkins.
Kessler, as shown by his recent fight, is a true warrior and great boxer. Roy Jones Jr is a phenomenon in holding world titles at middleweight, super-middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. This is truly remarkable so for Calzaghe to hold a win over the guy shows the level of fighter we are talking about.
Hopkins is also a history maker in being the oldest ever world champion aged 48 and is still an elite fighter. These are superb, iconic fighters and Calzaghe has beat them all.
He continually created history and became only the 10th world champion to retire undefeated after Rocky Marciano, Edwin Valero, Ji Won Kim, Terry Marsh, Michael Loewe, Ricardo Lopez, Pichit Sitbangprachan, Sven Ottke and Harry Simon. This truly highlights the class of Calzaghe to be one of only a few top-level fighters to retire with a clean slate.
There is currently much debate as to who would win between Calzaghe and current dominant British super-middleweight champion Carl Froch. This would have been an immense fight and would truly have captured the imagination of not only the British public but boxing fans around the world.
There are arguments for either fighter to claim that they would win. Calzaghe with his superior boxing ability and flair and Froch with his granite chin and determination. It would have been a real fight of the year contender and sadly will never happen, so it is in my opinion unfair to speculate on who would have won as both are supreme boxers at their time.
Calzaghe has also been described as ”the best British fighter we’ve ever had” by former world champion and hugely popular guy Ricky Hatton. This is truly an incredible compliment and shows just how lucky Britain was to have such an incredible boxer represent us immaculately for so many years.
Summing up Calzaghe is a complete one-off and has to be ranked up there with the greats of British boxing like Lennox Lewis, Carl Froch and a few others.
He was a special talent with supreme natural boxing ability that others could only stand and admire and longevity in an undefeated career lasting 46 fights. He is a talisman for British boxing and is to be truly admired.
We should all adore a boxer who provided us with such entertainment with his symbolic show-boating and realise just how lucky we were to watch this man box.
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