Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

'Nervous' Calzaghe picks up CBE

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Boxing champion Joe Calzaghe has received a CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. (Pictures courtesy of British Ceremonial Arts)

Undefeated world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe admitted to being nervous as he received his CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Calzaghe was recognised for services to sport and voluntary services in Wales, in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

"I think she said I was undefeated. I blabbered something out," he said after the ceremony.

Earlier this month, he recorded his 46th unbeaten fight by defeating American Roy Jones Jr in New York.

Trained by his father Enzo - who joined him at the Palace - Calzaghe, from Newbridge, has dominated the super-middleweight division for 10 years.

Calzaghe said he could barely remember what the Queen had said to him as he was so nervous.

"I was pretty relaxed until I got to the front then I started to get nervous. It's nerve-wracking talking to the Queen.

"It's a lot easier talking about boxing," he said.

Proud as punch - Joe Calzaghe with his CBE outside Buckingham Palace

"She said I do a lot of charity work and I said I do a lot of work with children."

The boxer, who is also an MBE, said he was still undecided whether to retire.

"It'll have to be something really special to make me want to fight again but I'll decide in the new year," he said.

"There'll always be another up-and-coming fighter. It depends how long you want to go on. It depends if I want to push it a bit or stop."

Calzaghe was accompanied to Buckingham Palace by his parents Enzo and Jackie and his girlfriend Jo-Emma Lavin.

Enzo added: "It's been a fantastic year for him".

In November 2007, Calzaghe beat Mikel Kessler to unify the WBO, WBA and WBC titles for the first time.

He then stepped up to light-heavyweight and defeated Bernard Hopkins in April to claim the championship belt.

He outclassed Jones Jr in their Madison Square Garden bout despite being knocked down in the first round, earning himself plaudits as the UK's greatest boxer yet.

Also receiving honours at the palace ceremony was actor Don Warrington, best known for playing Philip Smith in the 70s sitcom Rising Damp, and a contestant in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Architect Lord Rogers was made a Companion of Honour, while Sir Alan Beith, the Liberal Democrats' longest-serving MP and a former deputy leader of the party, was knighted.

Joe Calzaghe outside Buckingham Palace with mother Jackie (left), girlfriend Jo-Emma and father Enzo
Joe Calzaghe with his parents and girlfriend outside Buckingham Palace



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