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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 15:45 GMT
Inside Team Calzaghe

By Nabil Hassan

Joe Calzaghe and Enzo Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe with father and trainer Enzo
As Joe Calzaghe prepares for the biggest fight of his career against Mikkel Kessler, BBC Sport takes a look inside the Calzaghe stable.

His father Enzo Calzaghe is establishing himself as one of the great trainers of our generation.

While Brendan Ingle and his Sheffield gym previously dominated with talent such as Prince Naseem Hamed, Johnny Nelson and Herol 'Bomber' Graham, Calzaghe senior is taking things to the next level.

His gym in Newbridge, a small valleys town in south Wales, can already boast three world champions with many more set to follow.

While Joe Calzaghe will grab all the headlines with Saturday's unification bout at the Millennium Stadium, there will be several other boxers on the undercard who train under Enzo's stewardship.

ENZO MACCARINELLI

One man who can also boast world champion status is WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo 'Big Macc' Maccarinelli.

Enzo Maccarinelli
Enzo Maccarinelli holds the WBO cruiserweight belt

The big-punching west Walian joined the Calzaghe gym last year and is being tipped to dominate his division over the next few years.

The 27-year-old has impressive stats and has 27 careers fights, winning 20 by knockout and losing just once, to Lee Swaby eight years ago.

Maccarinelli is famed for his big left hook and faces Mohamed Azzaoui at the Millennium Stadium on the undercard of the Calzaghe/Kessler bill.

GAVIN REES

The third world champion at the gym is WBA light welterweight champion Gavin 'The Rock' Rees.

Gavin Rees
Gavin Rees is the WBA light welterweight champion

The 27-year-old has had an indifferent career, and was banned for a year by the boxing commission after being involved in a fight at a funeral.

But under no-nonsense trainer Enzo, Rees has turned his career and his life around.

After an impressive points victory over Billy Smith at the Millennium Stadium earlier in the year, Rees was given a crack at the WBA light welterweight title.

And the Newbridge man took his chance with both hands defeating Souleymane M'baye to claim the title.

Rees is now undefeated in 27 fights, winning 13 of those by way of knockout and is now starting to show why he was rated so highly as a youngster.

GARY LOCKETT

WBU middleweight champion Gary 'The Rocket' Lockett is another who joined the Calzaghe gym late in his career, teaming up with Enzo in 2006.

Gary Lockett
Gary Lockett is the WBU middleweight champion

The 30-year-old claimed the WBU title after knocking out Gilbert Eastman at the Newport centre last year and has only lost once in a 29-fight career.

With Lockett approaching the sunset of his career the Welshman is keen to add to his WBU title by adding one of the more recognised WBC, WBA or WBO titles.

And if he continues to show the sort of form which saw him knock out Lee Blundell in three rounds then a shot at the big time may not be that far off.

BRADLEY PRYCE

Bradley 'Sugar Sweet' Pryce is another man due a shot at a world title.

The Commonwealth light middleweight champion has been in sparkling form after turning his career around in the last two years.

Bradley Pryce
Bradley Pryce is the Commonwealth light middleweight champion

In 2003 Pryce received 200 hours community service and was ordered to pay 500 compensation for attacking his girlfriend, and that incident proved to be changing point in his life.

Again under the guidance of Enzo Calzaghe, Pryce has dedicated his life to his boxing and his two children and is on course for a crack at a world title.

Since winning his title in 2006 against Ossie Duran he has made five defences, recently beating Martin Concepcion inside three rounds, and ending the fight with a brutal left hook.

Pryce is due to defend his title again on the Calzaghe/Kessler bill and an equally impressive performance will surely see him just one fight away from the world-title shot he craves.

NATHAN CLEVERLEY

With Joe Calzaghe only a few fights away from retirement, the man being tipped to replace him and dominate the super middleweight division is Nathan Cleverley.

Cleverly's record is quite simple. Ten fights, 10 wins.

Nathan Cleverley
Nathan Cleverley is tipped for super middleweight success

His record may not take a mathematician to work out, but if it did Cleverley is well qualified to do so.

The 20-year-old is currently studying for a maths degree at Cardiff University and has claimed he wants to be "a breath of fresh air" to the sport.

And while his work outside the ring is important to the Welshman, it is his work inside it that is making people sit up and take note.

So much so that Joe Calzaghe has already described him as his protegee.

He trains and spars with Calzaghe and under the guidance of Enzo is in line for big things.

KERRY HOPE

Merthyr Tydfil's Kerry Hope is another young boxer from the Calzaghe stable tipped for big things.

Kerry Hope
Middleweight Kerry Hope is unbeaten in 10 fights

Hope has a similar record to Cleverley. Ten fights and 10 wins in the middleweight division tells its own story.

He was a top amateur boxer as a youngster and looks to be carrying his ability into the professional arena.

Hope is also expected to appear on the Calzaghe/Kessler undercard as he continues his progress under the stewardship of Enzo.

JOE CALZAGHE

And finally... Joe 'The Italian Dragon' Calzaghe.

Calzaghe, the WBO super middleweight champion, faces Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium on 3 November in a unification fight of titanic proportions.

The fights is set to be Calzaghe's hardest and probably one of his last as he looks to secure his legacy as an undefeated world champion.

Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe is the longest reigning world champion

His record speaks for itself, 43 fights, 43 wins and his record is well documented.

No-one who saw his demolition of Jeff Lacy will ever forget that night, a fight which turned out to be career defining for the 'Pride of Wales.'

Joe is probably only a couple of fights away from retirement and the Welshman is desperate to secure his legacy as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

Equally as important to Calzaghe will be remaining undefeated throughout his career.

Mikkel Kessler provides the latest test for Calzaghe, a unification fight of titanic proportions.

Victory on Saturday will surely secure Calzaghe's legacy and ensure he takes his place among the very greatest boxers of all time.

ENZO CALZAGHE

While the reason for Calzaghe junior's success may well be his extraordinary natural talent, that ability would not have reached anywhere near its potential had it not been for coaching skills of his father Enzo... just ask Maccarinelli, Rees, Lockett, Pryce, Cleverley and Hope.

Joe Calzaghe and father Enzo
Joe Calzaghe with father and trainer Enzo

Not many trainers can boast of training three world champions and one Commonwealth champion - Enzo Calzaghe can.

Joe Calzaghe often talks about how his father has guided him throughout his career and even talked him out of withdrawing from the Lacy fight because of an injured hand.

Calzaghe decided to fight, and the rest is history.

The emergence of Maccarinelli, Pryce, Rees and co, is finally seeing people sit up and take notice of the small gym in Newbridge that Enzo Calzaghe runs.

Many people saw his success with son Joe as a fluke, a one-off. But you can only be lucky so many times.

It is no coincidence that some of the most exciting and promising boxers are all fighting out of the same gym in south Wales.

It is down to one man, and one man only... Enzo Calzaghe.



SEE ALSO
Calzaghe hungry for twin titles
25 Oct 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe promises stunning show
10 Sep 07 |  Boxing


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