Posted 12:00 AM | Nov 9, 2008
|Weight Class:||Super Middleweight|
46 Wins | 0 Losses | 32 KOs
|Birthdate:||Feburary 23, 1972|
Undisputed world super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe faces Roy Jones in New York on September 20 as he continues to stamp his legacy as a "super power" in the sport of boxing.
Calzaghe's last fight was a victory over boxing legend Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas April 19, 2007 and as he aims to become the best boxer on the planet and the greatest fighter to ever come out of Britain, he must now face "Superman" Roy Jones to secure his place among the top. This will be his second fight in the United States against a long awaited opponent in Jones. Their careers and worlds collide on September 20 at Madison Square Garden and Calzaghe is looking forward to eliminating another super power threat.
"This opportunity is a long time coming and after I beat Hopkins in April, there was only one fight I wanted next and that was Roy Jones", said Calzaghe. "Once again I am willing to go to America and fight him in his own country. None of that matters to me as I have always believed in my abilities to fight and beat the best in the game."
"Super" Joe Calzaghe's road to the top has been fast and furious as he remains undefeated and is placed second, behind Joe Louis, on the all-time record list as consecutive victories in a single weight class. He has fought everyone he has been asked to fight and beating Jones after his victory over Hopkins is only the icing on the cake. Currently he is the longest reigning Champion in boxing.
"To fight two American legends back-to-back is right where I want my career to be at this stage," said Calzaghe. "I plan on remaining undefeated with a victory over Roy Jones just like the Hopkins fight."
Calzaghe's win over Hopkins was a testament to his strength and fortitude. The relentless Hopkins pursued him in the early rounds and was able to use his exemplary offensive and defensive skills to cause Calzaghe to figure out how he was going to fight his opponent for 12 rounds. However, "Super" Joe turned the tables on Hopkins in the later rounds and as Hopkins was feeling the effects of the fight, Calzaghe came on stronger and beat him to the punch. After a grueling battle and a hard fought pace, Calzaghe was the victory and remained undefeated.
The fight followed a stunning points victory over Mikkel Kessler to add the WBC and WBA super-middleweight titles to his WBO crown in a career-best display at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff in front of a record 50,000 fans in November 2008. Calzaghe took on Kessler after a previous appearance at the Millennium Stadium in April when he fought Peter Manfredo Jr in front of 35,000 people. Then he was simply too good for the his opponent, forcing referee Terry O'Connor to intervene and stop the fight. The win meant Calzaghe had equaled the world title defenses record of both Bernard Hopkins and Larry Holmes, who each made 20.
Calzaghe, 35, went into the fight having retained his WBO and IBF super-middleweight crowns against Sakio Bika in October 2006 in Manchester, England. In a fight screened on a delayed basis on HBO, Calzaghe had to contend with low blows, head-butts and numerous other infringements against the teak-tough Australian. Cut for the first time in his career in the fourth round by a stray head, Calzaghe refused to take a backward step as he ground out a 117-110, 117-110 and 116-111 decision. After the fight he vacated the IBF title. Six months earlier, in one of the most impressive displays ever by a British fighter, Calzaghe had won it by scalping Lacy in front of a packed out Manchester Evening News Arena.
The cavernous MEN was the scene of a master-class against highly touted and big-punching Lacy, who had been hailed as the saviour of boxing Stateside. Almost everyone thought he would beat Calzaghe, who started the fight as an underdog, and some feared for the Welshman's future career. But Joe peppered him with more than 1,000 shots, and hardly shipped a blow himself, as he romped home in one of the most one-sided world title fights ever seen. He almost stopped Lacy in the last, having spent the previous 11 rounds toying with him almost without mercy and won 119-105, 119-107 and 119-107. Had it not been for a harshly deducted point, it would have been a complete shut out.
It confirmed Calzaghe's status as the best man at 168 pounds, and delivered him a second world title nine years after winning his first.
After a sensational amateur career that included three consecutive ABA titles, each at different weights, Calzaghe looked a sure bet to rule the world when he first turned professional in 1993 - and four years later he fulfilled his dream.
On October 11, 1997, Joe faced his moment of truth on 'The Full Monty' card in Sheffield. That night he faced British boxing legend Chris Eubank for the vacant WBO super-middleweight championship. Taking part in his 22nd WBO world title fight, Eubank obviously had the experience over his untested southpaw rival. What Chris did not have, however, was the youth, speed and fitness of his opponent, and it showed. Eubank was unceremoniously dumped on the canvas in the first round and after 12 ferocious rounds Calzaghe was declared the new champion.
Calzaghe's concussive fists had ushered in a glorious new era in British boxing. Since that night in Sheffield Calzaghe has made a staggering 21 defenses and has extended his winning run to and incredible 45 fights with 32 early finishes.
He has been awarded an MBE by The Queen for his services to the sport. His ultimate target his Joe Louis' record 25 world title defenses, and he wouldn't mind equaling Rocky Marciano's 49-0 slate.
"Equaling Holmes and Hopkins means a lot to me and going for Joe Louis' record is a great incentive as well," said Calzaghe. "But to be honest, I don't know if I want to take his record because he's a legend."
With his lightning fast hand-speed and power punching, plus his awkward southpaw stance, Calzaghe has been avoided by the top Americans like Roy Jones Jr until now.
A family man, Calzaghe is proud of his Italian roots and regularly holidays in the country where his father/trainer Enzo was born. Calzage has trained with his dad since the day he turned professional.
In 2007, he also won the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, only the third boxer in the awards history to do so.