Joseph William "Joe" Calzaghe, CBE, (/kælˈzæɡi/ kal-ZAG-ee; born 23 March 1972) is a retired Welsh professional boxer. He is a former WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA & The Ring Super Middleweight Champion and The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion.
Calzaghe is the longest-reigning world champion in recent years, having held the WBO Super Middleweight title for over ten years and made 21 successful defenses. He relinquished the title to move up to light heavyweight. As his super middleweight and light heavyweight reigns overlapped, he retired with the longest continual time as world champion of any active fighter. He is part of the Team Calzaghe based at the Newbridge boxing club.
Between 2006 to 2008, he was rated by The Ring magazine as a top ten pound for pound boxer. On January 2009, Calzaghe was ranked #3 in the world by The Ring. He retired in February 2009 with an undefeated record and as a reigning World Champion. Calzaghe is rated by Boxrec as the 11th pound-for-pound best British boxer of all time.
Calzaghe is sometimes referred to as the "Pride of Wales," or the "Italian Dragon" in reference to his mixed heritage (the dragon being both a Welsh emblem and a Sardinian myth).
In 2007, Calzaghe became BBC Sports Personality of the Year, by gaining 28.19% of the public vote. This made Calzaghe the first Welsh winner of this award since show jumper David Broome in 1960. He was also awarded the Young Boxer of the Year Award in 1995.
Famous quotes containing the word joe:
“While we were thus engaged in the twilight, we heard faintly, from far down the stream, what sounded like two strokes of a woodchoppers axe, echoing dully through the grim solitude.... When we told Joe of this, he exclaimed, By George, Ill bet that was a moose! They make a noise like that. These sounds affected us strangely, and by their very resemblance to a familiar one, where they probably had so different an origin, enhanced the impression of solitude and wildness.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)