Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Undefeated champ Joe Calzaghe to hang up his gloves

AFP , LONDON

Joe Calzaghe, right, lands a punch on Roy Jones Jr during the fourth round of their boxing match at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 9.

PHOTO: AP

Joe Calzaghe, the undefeated light-heavyweight and super-middleweight world champion, has retired from boxing, British media reported on Thursday.

The 36-year-old Welshman won all of his 46 professional fights in a glittering career.

Other undefeated champions include heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano, with 49 wins in 49 fights, plus light-flyweight and straw-weight Ricardo Lopez of Mexico, who won all 51 of his bouts.

“It was a difficult decision, but I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve in boxing,” he told BBC Sport. “I’ve been world champion for 11 years. I’ve got no other goals to go for. That’s why I am calling it a day.”

Calzaghe beat Roy Jones Jr in New York in November, after climbing off the canvas to win a points decision and maintain his unblemished record in his last bout.

The decision saw him retain the light heavyweight title he won by beating Bernard Hopkins on a split decision last April.

Calzaghe had already confirmed his dominance of the super-middleweight division with victory over Mikkel Kessler the previous November that allowed him to unify the WBO, WBA and WBC belts.

“I had a long think with my family,” Calzaghe said, explaining the reasons behind his retirement. “My children wanted me to give up, plus my mum. That’s why I called it a day and will go on to do something else.”

The fighter did not rule out completely a return to boxing at some point in the future, but admitted it was unlikely.

“My decision is to retire. I’ve been boxing for 25 years and, like I said, I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve,” he said. “You can never say never in this game, but I can’t see myself boxing again. There’s loads of things I want to do. I’m proud to be one of only a few fighters in history to retire undefeated.”

Divorced Calzaghe, who has sons Connor and Joe from his marriage to Mandy, is intending to put more time into his charity work and the promoting side of the sport. Some kind of TV career also looks likely for Calzaghe, who lives with Jo-Emma, his model girlfriend.

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