Former two-weight king Joe Calzaghe, who never lost a single fight, is to re-open his late father’s boxing gym in Wales. Enzo Calzaghe passed away at the age of 69 last September and even now, as he told BBC Sport, Joe has a tough time even talking about the death of his father. But Calzaghe, who exited the sport at the top of his game with a 46-0 record just over ten years ago, says he and his two sons will re-open the gym and train fighters.
Joe says that he has not yet made up his mind whether or not he will train a fighter full-time, that for now he will take a back-seat and allow his two sons, Joe Jr. and Connor to take the reigns.
“Everyone who knew dad would know he would have loved to see my boys running the gym,” Calzaghe said. “We have just started renovating. The boys love the gym, it continues dad’s legacy to have it up and running. The boys are going to be front and centre, my job is to give guidance to them. It is for dad, he had so much passion for that gym. Dad was like my best friend, it’s still very hard for all the family, we miss him terribly.”
Enzo, inside the famous tin-roofed, no thrills boxing gym, trained not only his son but other world champions in Nathan Cleverly, Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Rees. Joe says the work required to train a man to world title level is “tremendous” and that he may or may not take on the task.
“At the moment I have no plans to train a fighter full-time,” Joe said. “For now I am happier being in the background and letting the boys do the training. But I suppose you never say never. If I had the chance to train a two-weight world champion then I might be tempted. I don’t know.”
If Calzaghe and his two sons can come up with a fighter who is half as good, half as special as the former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight ruler was, the famed Newbridge Boxing Gym will again be a celebrated and envied venue.