Most celebrities do not become famous merely by chance. One can only reach celebrity status by a combination of hard work, dedication and heart with a little luck mixed in. Joe Calzaghe, like many others, started his boxing career with nothing but his two fists and a lot of drive, and he reached his goals through sweat, blood and tears.
Rags to riches stories are always encouraging and uplifting. In celebration of the release of the sports documentary, Mr. Calzaghe (in cinemas 20th November and Blu-ray & DVD 23rd November), we take a closer look at Joe Calzaghe’s transition from humble beginnings to becoming one of the world’s most well-known names in professional boxing.
Joe Calzaghe was born on March 23, 1972 to Sardinian father, Enzo Calzaghe and Welsh mother, Jackie Calzaghe. He grew up in Newbridge, Wales with his humble, working-class family.
One Christmas his father, Enzo, gave him a punching bag, and that’s where it all began. In 1980, at age nine, Joe entered his first boxing match and lost, but because of his passion for the sport he trained tirelessly and did not give up on succeeding. Joe only lost 9 out of 130 amateur fights. His father, Enzo, saw his son’s natural talent and dedicated his time to training Joe to become the best boxer possible.
Joe was verbally bullied in school and as a consequence struggled with low self-worth. He began to use boxing as an escape. He found boxing as a successful way to help him release his aggression and find confidence. From the beginning he had dreams of becoming the world champion in boxing.
By 1993, Joe became the first British boxer to hold titles in three different weight categories in the Amateur Boxing Association. This is the year he also turned professional with a win in his first professional match. In 1997, he became the World Super Middleweight Champion after defeating Sir Chris Eubank.
Joe won the International Boxing Federation title in 2006, and in April of 2007 defeated Peter Manfredo, Jr. in front of a record breaking crowd for an indoor boxing event with 35,000 spectators. In November 2007, Joe became the world champion when he defeated Danish boxer Mikkel Kessler.
He made a trip to America in April 2008 leaving with a win against Bernard Hopkins. In November of the same year, he fought and defeated American and former world champion in four weight classes, Roy Jones, Jr., in a unanimous decision after a gruelling 12 rounds.
Joe Calzaghe finally put his fists down in February 2009 when he retired. He left his profession with an amazing undefeated record of 46 wins and 32 by knockout, but this legend did not gain the title of greatest Welsh boxer of all time by pure luck. He proved to the world that hard work, dedication and passion can help you to succeed your wildest dreams.
In Cinemas and on-demand
Available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital Download
23rd November 2015