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Britain's only unbeaten World Champion

The best of British... Joe Calzaghe

Posted Aug 12, 2010 by John Casson

Joe Calzaghe

Great Britain has produced man good fighters over the years but one stands out head and shoulders above the rest and that’s the only unbeaten World Champion we’ve ever had from these shores….Joe Calzaghe.

The Welshman was the longest reigning world champion in boxing of the modern era and he boasted an impressive record of 46 fights, 46 wins and no losses with 32 coming by the way of knockout.

It’s an impressive stat for a boxer who had to contend with the likes Chris Eubank, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr, proving his talent, longevity and ability against the experienced campaigners of the sport.

However, when Calzaghe retired in 2009 he vacated the WBO, WBA, WBF, IBF, The Ring Magazine and the British Super Middleweight titles. He had also been a two-weight world champion after stepping up to the light-heavyweight division.

The ‘Italian Dragon’ – referring to his mixed heritage – was an outspoken, charismatic fighter and the sport has been missing something since his retirement. He could talk as well as he could box. His persona along with his 'dropped hands' and cocky attitude in the ring was often the downfall of his opponents and they got sucked into the fight he wanted. He was always in control. And on the odd occasion where he wasn’t – he was knocked down by Byron Mitchell in the second round of their fight in 2003 – he always found a way out and even in that fight won in the same round via a TKO. He suffered a broken hand in the third round of a fight against Evans Ashira but went on to a unanimous points victory after completing the fight one-handed!

It was this durable chin and courageous spirit, coupled with lightning quick hands and ferocious power that enabled Calzaghe to dominate a competitive weight class.

In 2003 Calzaghe, a devoted father of two, was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and since his retirement he was been rewarded with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2007 and has taken part in charity work including Soccer Aid and Strictly Come Dancing.

He is continuing his involvement in professional boxing as a promoter with his own company, Calzaghe Promotions.

All in all, Calzaghe was an incredible fighter whose record will take some beating.

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