Calzaghe calls it quits

Welshman ends stellar career with perfect 46-fight record

Last updated: 6th February 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Calzaghe calls it quits

Calzaghe: Unbeaten career

Joe Calzaghe factfile
1972: Born March 23, Acton
1993: Makes his professional debut at Cardiff Arms Park, stopping Paul Hanlon in round one
1995: Wins the British super-middleweight title in his 14th fight
1997: Beats Chris Eubank to claim the vacant WBO super-middleweight title
2006:March - Beats IBF champion Jeff Lacy on points in their rearranged clash having broken his hand in win over Evans Ashira
November - Forced to relinquish the IBF title after agreeing a defence against Peter Manfredo
2007:April - Stops Manfredo in front of 35,000 fans at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
November - Wins by unanimous decision against Mikel Kessler to become the first unified super-middleweight champion, bringing together the WBO, WBA and WBC titles
2008:April - Earns a split decision victory over Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas
June - Awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List
November - Beats Roy Jones Jnr via unanimous decision at light-heavyweight fight in New York
2009:February - Announces his retirement from boxing, having won all 46 of his professional fights.

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Undefeated world super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe has announced his retirement from boxing.

The Welshman won all 46 of his professional bouts, the last being an emphatic points victory over Roy Jones Jnr last November.

Admitting the decision to hang up his gloves was one of the toughest of his life, the 36-year-old insisted he had "no more mountains to climb".

Calzaghe retires as Britain's only ever unbeaten world champion and finishes just short of Rocky Marciano's record of 49 straight wins.

Special thanks

"I've been lucky to have had the most fantastic career and I owe my thanks to all the many people who have been at my side and helped me to achieve everything," he said.

"Of course my special thanks go to my family and, especially to my dad Enzo who first encouraged me to put on the gloves and who was at my side and in my corner for every one of my fights.

"Deciding to call it a day has been one of the toughest decisions of my life. There's always the temptation to fight on, especially if you are the champ and no-one has ever beaten you.

"But I've now come to a point where the satisfaction of retiring undefeated has to outweigh the thrill of another fight.

"I've also achieved every goal I've ever set myself in the ring - there are no more mountains left to climb."

Calzaghe's decision brings to an end a stellar career that started back in 1993 with a first-round knockout of Paul Hanlon at Cardiff Arms Park.


The southpaw defeated Chris Eubank in 1997 to win the WBO super-middleweight belt, one he retained for over a decade.

He also claimed the IBF version with a career-defining performance against American Jeff Lacy before unifying the WBO, WBA and WBC belts in November 2007 by out-pointing Mikkel Kessler.

After confirming himself as the dominant force in the division Calzaghe stepped up to light heavyweight to take on Bernard Hopkins, getting the better of 'The Executioner' on a split decision last April.

His final hurrah came against Jones Jnr when he recovered from being knocked down in the opening round to maintain his unblemished record.

Has Calzaghe made the right decision? Where does he stand amongst boxing's greats? Let us have your thoughts using the form below.

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Comments (25)

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Ross John says...

Firstly, Joe Calzaghe is, without a doubt the greatest boxer Britain will ever see. And those who commented that Joe will not be recognised as a true great because of the lack of knockout power, have you actually seen his records? obviously not, 46 fights, 46 wins, 32 knockouts. Lack of knockout power? are you serious? the guy is the best pound for pound fighter in the world and it will be a very long time before any fighter will even come close to his record. Carl Froch does not deserve a chance at Joe, and is nowhere near good enough to fight such a decorated champion! Dream on Carl!

Posted 07:05 8th February 2009

James King says...

I just want to say that Joe is a legend, however, he is not the only british world champion to retire undefeated. Anyone remember Terry Marsh? I know he did draw one contest, but he was still unbeaten.

Posted 18:56 7th February 2009

Greg Wilde says...

Right first things first, Joe Calzaghe is a Legend!! but it is debatable if he can be considered the greatest of all time, even the greatest from Britain! Yes he fought some good people, but not one person has mentioned a fighter of note he faced between winning the WBO and fighting Lacy, not one. That was 11 years!! why has he not fought more people of note??? why?? I like Joe, he's a great boxer, but i think he had a lot more to offer than we've seen. Anyway, good career, great record, although even if that record was blemished with the odd loss, i think Joe would have stood more chance of being considered the greatest had he fought more notable names in that 11 year period, and shifted weights earlier, coz lets not forget that there were alot of good fighters during that time. Fighters for some reason Joe wasn't fighting, despite holding one of the most respected belts. If anyone can give me a good explanation as to why, then im all ears!! Anyway i dont want it to seem like im give Joe stick, coz im not, im just gutted we're not guna see some more fights of his and the fact we didn't see some possible great fights back in the day. Also Ricky to take out Pacman!!!

Posted 15:29 6th February 2009

Nick Lynch says...

Why do people constantly say Joe fought people passed there prime. Look, how old was Joe when he fought Roy Jones, Hopkins, Kessler and Lacy. I think you'll find Joe was past his prime, but still maintained the high level of boxing he is known for. Please, no more of these comments about Joe fighting people past there prime, idiots!! Joe Calzaghe will be remembered in Britain for the legend he is, if America cannot face the fact that we had a greater boxer than most of theres, then hey, wipe your eye's mate!!

Posted 13:51 6th February 2009

Matt Naylor says...

FYI Daniel Jacobs Calzaghe IS a legend. You can only beat the opponent that's stood in front of you, Hopkins & Jones Jnr had ample opportunity to fight Calzaghe during their respective careers when they were in your so called "prime" but they chose the fights with the bigger purses and ignored Calzaghe. It is only in recent years when Calzaghe has been given the World Wide recognition he deserves that America has stood up and took notice - hence it was worth Jones Jnr while to come out of retirement to fight Calzaghe and the same could be said for Hopkins. He's beaten the best and even moved up a weight to earn further respect by beating the best it had to offer, he's got to retire at some point as there will always be "one more" up and comer who thinks they've got what it takes to defeat him. Calzaghe retires a Legend and can do so with his head held high.

Posted 13:19 6th February 2009

Rich Field says...

First of well, there are some very harsh things said about Joe. He was a great boxer! He beat over ten world champions! Knocked out 32 of 46 opponents and reigned at the top of the game for 11 years. To say he didn't fight anyone of note is stupid beyond belief. Richie Woodhall at his best, Kessler, Reid, Lacy, Hopkins is still very good, to name but a few. He is NOT the best British boxer of all time, Jimmy Wilde holds that honour and Joe would be the first to admit it. No one will ever surpass what Jimmy Wilde did in the ring from the country. BUT Joe is certainly the best modern day fighter the UK has seen. A legend, yes, in time he will be thought of that way as the years pass by, only the fools and those who don't like the man will disagree and they usually are American! You were and are a credit to boxing Joe.

Posted 13:18 6th February 2009

Rick Langston says...

Im gutted mate.Heart broken.I have been following boxing since I was a nipper.I have seen some good fighters and some really exciting fighters such as nigel benn,but never have i seen any one who could perform and be technically great at the same time as being really exciting as you were.You have never been given the recognition or respect that you have deserved.I am afraid to say that I believe that people won't realise just how great you were untill you left.I don't believe that I will see another boxer as good as you for many a year to come if ever again.You appear to be a real gentleman and have 2 lovely lads and a cracking girlfriend and i hope that you and your family get everything you want from life because you deserve it. Take some time out and enjoy life but please,please,please don't disappear completly as you are a gentleman, and i believe that you are already a role model for thousands of youngsters out there .I know that I would rather my son look up to you than a Amir khan who quite frankly is plain ignorant from my point of view and will never be as gracious as yourself.Well done mate..your a legend in my house hold and always will be.Missing you already

Posted 13:13 6th February 2009

Iain Main says...

I agree with Paul Smith, i tink that he has a similar story to Lennox Lewis, he and Lennox got all of the great past there best. Lennox would not have lasted 4 rounds with Tyson in his prime and i think the same of JC against Jones and Hopkins. When i think that these guys are of a similar age, why didnt JC call out Hopkins and Jones 6 or 7 years ago? I think he knows like any realist what the outcome would have been a blemished record.

Posted 13:12 6th February 2009

Andy Alcock says...

I do not think there is a right or wrong decison for Joe he has had a great career and is our only retired undefeated world champion. His record in retiring undefeated will stand the test of time and it will be many years, if ever, before anyone matches it. But for injuries he would have surely have beat the Marciano record. For those that say he never fought so and so he has fought all the best around at present he cannot do any more than that. He has been a great ambassador for Wales the UK and the sport. I would just say thanks for the entertainment over the years and all the best in whatever you do.

Posted 13:09 6th February 2009

Stuart Crumpen says...

i cant believe people are still saying he is not a legend. you dont go 46 professional fights with most them defending a title without defeat if there is nothing special about you!!!! i would love to see joe and i still think he has two big fights left in him, a re-match with Hopkins should happen so he can prove a lot of doubters wouldnt suprise me if hopkins keeps calling him out of retirement as hopkins knows there would be a massive pay cheque if he gets his re-match in america or in britain. Calzaghi will always be a legend in the real world of boxing.

Posted 12:41 6th February 2009

Jonny Boy says...

chris birtwistle, what are you talking about, it JC was english I've no doubt he would have been caste as being better than any other boxer, it makes me sick. Bottom line is he beat everone that was put in front of him. Jeff lacy was supposed to be the best and JC battered him. He would have beaten Benn and Eubank in their hay day, i'd have loved to seen him go toe to toe with Collins. Comments about beating boxers like hopkins and Jones may be valid, but if those 2 are sad enough to continue when they should retire is up to them, bear in mind they took on JC when he was at the end of his career. well done JC, nice to see a boxer using his head and good luck to the new talent, frotch and co.

Posted 12:37 6th February 2009

Marcus Shephard says...

Oh my god...some unbelievably uneducated comments from people on here...Joe Calzaghe in my opinion is one of the all-time-greats...46-0 is an outstanding record which few can match...saying hes not a legend for not beating Hopkins and Jones in their prime is ignorant because those two fighters were still exceptional fighters even today and Calzaghe is no spring chicken himself...his performances against Kessler and Lacy were outstanding and showed that his boxing ability is pure class and noone can take that away from him! To Mr Calzaghe, you are an epic champion and the greatest Boxing champion to come out of Great Britain...Im very proud to have witnessed your fight with Jeff Lacy, you are an inspiration and i wish you all the best in your retirement...all the best...a massive fan!!!

Posted 12:27 6th February 2009

Pete Thompson says...

Here we go, all the idiots who know nothing about boxing trying to diminish Joes achievements. As Rick Hatton said, people who do don't know what they are talking about. Hopkins spent most of his career fighting bums and blown up welterwieghts, and when he fought RJJ he was taken apart. RJJ never wanted to fight Joe and niether did BH hence they always priced themselves out. Joe's record speaks for itself period. And to compare L Lewis to him is a joke !!! he got knocked out by Rachman and beat a past it Tyson. Not to mention getting saved against Klitschko by cuts. Good on you Joe, a classy fighter who has retired in a classy way.

Posted 12:03 6th February 2009

Kabir Sohal says...

Stop running, and give Hopkins that rematch in the UK !!!!

Posted 11:12 6th February 2009

Paul Smith says...

Very good boxer and unfortunate (or fortunate) to not have been around during the 90's when I think he would have struggled to stay undefeated with Eubank, Benn, Watson and Collins around - he would have won a few and lost a few if pitted against those 4 at their best - but what fights!!!

Posted 10:56 6th February 2009

David Hallmark says...

Thanks for the Memories Joe, its been a fantastic rollercoaster of a journey! Not only are you the best British Boxer in History but your a Gentlemen that has been a credit to boxing! Enjoy a fantastic Retirment you deserve it! The fighting Pride Of Newbridge Wales " Joe Calzaghe"

Posted 10:41 6th February 2009

Matt Kyprianou says...

For anybody who has read his book, Joe is a true boxing purist, he isn't flashy, he doesn't lap up the lime light, he keeps himself in shape, and never failed to go through an opponent he faced. I think this is a classy decision from a classy man, like mentioned from Bo Zaine, there are many up and coming boxers who could of tempted Joe into carrying on needlessly. I think for me the victory over bernard hopkins was when in my heart of hearts i knew his retirement was closing in fast. He has fully deserved his retirement and has done everything in his career to match is outstanding ability. What's most pleasing is that joe doesn't want to ruin his legacy or his name by carrying on as an old washed out fighter, like holyfield, who is deluded and is really just there for the pay check. The fact he has retired in his prime just shows that Joe is one of the greatest ever

Posted 10:33 6th February 2009

Chris Birtwistle says...

Here we go again.He may have a couple of good wins under his belt but basically he did not fight anyone of note until the boys(hopkins,jones even ewbank)had past there best.There hearts not even in it.He could have stepped up weight long ago instead of hanging around super mid with no fighters.Good ok Great dont even go there.Remember two old boys with 5lives of boxing in them knocked him down.

Posted 10:21 6th February 2009

Dave Parker says...

Well done Joe you will be missed greatly in my household the excitement my wife and kids experienced waiting for you fights we never be forgotten, a true warrior, i think the only fight left that i would have liked to see would be tarver but hey ho you deserve your retirement oh and my wife thinks your gorgeous thanx for that.

Posted 10:00 6th February 2009

Aaron Cooper says...

Well what can i say? Good decision Joe and the right one. Definately the best british export in boxing bar none. I agree he had nothing left to prove undefeated and a world champion for 12 years. He tied up the Super Middleweight division and then showed the light heavies a thing or two. Thanks for the memories Joe Calzaghe you will not be forgotten.

Posted 09:01 6th February 2009

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