UK Boxing: Enzo Calzaghe series on BBC; Kell Brook; Coleman Barrett

Joe Calzaghe was Britain's most successful world champion boxer and remained undefeated over a glittering 16 year professional career. Over all those years there was one constant - his father and trainer Enzo Calzaghe. And a new four part series for BBC ONE Wales, Calzaghe Clan (Monday, October 5, 10.35pm), will tell Enzo's story. Programme makers had unprecedented access to Enzo, his family and friends over the past year to find out just what it's like to be part of the Calzaghe Clan. "In 1990 this crazy musician took over as my coach! Everybody was telling me to move on, get a professional, but I stuck with him because he taught me the basics and taught me how to box in the first place," says Joe..

Calzaghe Clan follows Enzo's story from the family first moving to the Italian community in Bedford and on to his eventual move to Newbridge in Gwent - where a man who had never boxed in his life coached his son to become the undefeated champion of the world and created the legendary Calzaghe boxing gym.

"Enzo never had a boxing bout ever," says his brother Uccio.

"The only boxing bout that Enzo ever had was with me. So it must have been within himself, instinct. He didn't read boxing books, he didn't do anything like that, but it was like this Lennon and McCartney team."

Before taking the boxing world by storm Enzo came to the UK as a rock n' roll musician, who along with his brothers Uccio and Sergio had dreams of stardom. Signed to the Barron Knight's management team, the Calzaghe's were on the edge of a major American tour, when Enzo pulled the plug. "If he didn't do it maybe Joe wouldn't have happened," says Uccio.

Brian Doogan, sports writer and Calzaghe family biographer has a few insights into Enzo's personality.

"He's just irrepressible I think that's one word you would definitely associate with Enzo," he says.

"I think he's lived his life how he's wanted to live his life and there's no compromise there. I think that's an essential part of his character. Everyone else has to yield to that essence of his character. If Mussolini had more of a dictatorial complex I'd be very surprised! Everybody yields to him."

"To me I've always been on adrenaline," says Enzo. "I think that's what keeps me alive. I don't know myself. I actually look in the mirror and I question myself. I mean I do and I say 'what have I done that for?' I've got a split personality probably, I donít know. But I fire, I don't hold back. I don't hold nothing back."

Kell Brook lands Boxing Writers' Young Boxer Award

Welterweight hotshot Kell Brook has landed the prestigious Boxing Writers' Young Boxer of the Award. The undefeated British champion pipped Welsh star Nathan Cleverly by just one vote in the closest ballot in the award's 57-year history. Sheffield talent Brook, who boxes out of the famous Brendan Ingle gym, makes the fourth defence of his Lonsdale belt against Michael Jennings in a British blockbuster showdown at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on October 30th. Previous winners include Ken Buchanan, John H Stracey, Barry McGuigan, Nigel Benn, Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe, Scott Harrison and Amir Khan.

Brook said, "It's a great honour that the boxing writers have nominated me as their choice of Young Boxer of the Year,"

"To have my name next to the greats of British boxing is fantastic and I aim to prove that the boxing writers were right in their choice by going on to win a world title.

The 23-year-old made the Lonsdale his property with three quick-fire defences of the title in only six rounds of boxing.

He added, "I'm looking forward to my fight against Jennings next month and training is going great, so it could be another quick night."

"Jennings is a quality fighter though and he may extend me further that my previous opponents, but I'm relishing the challenge."

Brook will be presented with the Geoffrey Simpson award at the Writers' Club's annual dinner next month in London.

Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and £200 (Ringside) are available from:

Liverpool Echo Arena
0844 8000 400


COLEMAN BARRETT believes he is in the best condition ever and ready to cause a massive upset by winning Fridayís Prizefighter Heavyweights III.

Barrett, 26, is one of eight heavyweights vying for £32,000 in Barry Hearnís latest Prizefighter event, which will be staged at the ExCel Arena in London.

The competition features current British Champion Danny Williams and former Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison, but Barrett insists he can take the glory.

ďThis is the biggest opportunity of my life but Iím going to make the most of it and win it,Ē said Barrett, undefeated from his eight professional contests.

ďIím certainly capable of winning it Ė I know Iíve got the tools Ė and this is the right time for me.

ďIím up against some of Britainís greatest heavyweights but Iím looking forward to meeting them.

ďItís only three rounds so you have to work really hard and fast so I think that will suit me well.

ďI have youth on my side and the training, sparring and preparation has been going perfectly.

ďIím in great condition and in absolutely brilliant shape physically and mentally. Iíve trained very hard for the last eight weeks for Prizefighter and Iím ready for this.Ē

Barrett is a 25/1 outsider to win the event and has a tough opening fight against former British Champion Scott Gammer.

If Barrett, who hails from Galway, Ireland but has been training recently in Leeds and Reading, defeats Gammer he could meet Williams in the semi-finals.

Despite the tough-looking fights, Barrett insists he relishes the challenge.

ďBoth sides of the draw are tough and itíll be a tough night of boxing no matter what side youíre on,Ē added Barrett. If youíre good enough youíre going to get through Ė and I know Iím good enough.

ďI won five Irish titles as an amateur, a bronze medal at the World Championships and two ABA titles and that amateur pedigree will help me.

ďThis is something I have to do and this will lift my career higher than ever. Hopefully if I win this it will take me to fighting for titles shortly after.

ďI donít want to lose my undefeated record and I donít expect to lose it.

ďEveryone in this is a good fighter and Iím not taking anything away from them but I know I can win it.Ē

Prizefighter tickets are going fast but some are still available at £40 or £80 from See Tickets on 0871 220 0260, or from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900. Every fight will be screened live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2 from 9pm on Friday.

The quarter-final draw is: 1. Scott Gammer (Pembroke Dock, Wales) v Coleman Barrett (Galway, Ireland), 2. Danny Williams (Brixton) v Carl Baker (Sheffield), 3. Audley Harrison (London / California) v Scott Belshaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland), 4. Neil Perkins (Birmingham) v Danny Hughes (Sunderland).

Article posted on 27.09.2009

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