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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 10:31 GMT
Maccarinelli's guide to Team Calzaghe
Joe CalzagheEnzo MaccarinelliGavin ReesGary Lockett

By Nabil Hassan

The tiny Welsh town of Newbridge is not only home to 7,000 people - it is also home to some of the world's best boxers.

While not many gyms can boast even one world champion, the Newbridge boxing stable, in south Wales, has three.

It also houses some of the brightest up-and-coming talents in world boxing and over the next few weeks, several face career-defining fights.

And while their styles may all be very different, they have one thing in common: all are coached by Enzo Calzaghe.

TEAM CALZAGHE
Enzo Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe W-44 L-0 D-0
Enzo Maccarinelli 28-1-0
Gavin Rees 27-0-0
Gary Lockett 30-1-0
Bradley Pryce 26-6-0
Nathan Cleverley 11-0-0
Tony Doherty 20-1-0
Kerry Hope 11-0-0

Enzo Maccarinelli, Gary Lockett, Gavin Rees, Joe Calzaghe, Tony Doherty, Bradley Pryce, Kerry Hope, and Nathan Cleverly are all in action at home and abroad.

Maccarinelli kicks things off against David Haye at the O2 Arena on 8 March and, fittingly, Calzaghe rounds off a stunning six weeks of boxing for the Newbridge stable when he takes on Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in April.

But what is it like training, day-in, day-out, at the tiny Newbridge gym that houses so much world-class talent?

Maccarinelli gives BBC Sport the inside view of 'Team Calzaghe'.

UNDISPUTED SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION JOE CALZAGHE

He's the master of the gym and Joe is the boxer that every young fighter should aspire to be. His work ethic is amazing and he has only got where he is through the hard work he has put in.

Away from the gym Joe is a very quiet, laid-back guy and nothing seems to bother him. He loves his sport and is a family man at heart and those things are really important to him.

606: DEBATE
JOHNK496
He loves what he does and takes everything in his stride and, considering his success, he is a really chilled guy. If I ever need any advice he is the guy I turn to.

Like anyone he can be wound up, especially by his dad, they can be going hammer and tong one minute and then two minutes later they are hugging and kissing, their bond is really special.

In my mind he is the best British boxer of all time and he deserves all the plaudits.

Calzaghe fights Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas on 19 April.

WBO CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION ENZO MACCARINELLI

I'm laid back, I like a bit of banter and I give as good as I get. I work hard in the gym and I pride myself on that, and even if I wanted to take it easy Enzo wouldn't let me.

Boxing is all I've known. I started when I was 10, but first went to a gym at the age of three. It is my life, always has been, and hopefully always will be.

606: DEBATE
STT

Outside of the ring I'm lucky to have a lovely family, but I also know that I've got a very close family in the ring and that is all the boys in the gym.

I'm doing something that I genuinely love. I'm a huge boxing fan and I try to do everything with a smile on my face as I couldn't think of a better sport to be involved in.

Maccarinelli fights David Haye at the O2 Arena, London on 8 March.

WBA LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION GAVIN REES

Him and Bradley Pryce are the wind-up merchants of the gym, they are a real classic comedy double act.

Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais
Famous double acts: Merchant and Gervais, Rees and Pryce
They always finish training early and before you know it, your windscreen wipers are up on your car, there are medicine balls in your bag, your sleeves are tied up on your jumper, you name it, they do it.

He's like a little comedian but his training regime is second to none. He is fearless and doesn't care who he's in the ring with, he loves fighting and I'm sure he's going to hold that belt for a very long time.

It would be great to see him get a really big fight because he's one of those fighters who revels in the big occasion.

Rees fights Andreas Kotelnik at the Cardiff International Arena on 22 March.

WBU MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION GARY LOCKETT

He came to us last year, and we like to call him the moody one of the gym.
Gary Lockett and Matt Damon
Separated at birth: Gary Lockett and Matt Damon

Enzo Calzaghe says he looks like Matt Damon, which I think Gary quite likes secretly.

He is a good fighter, he's made a couple of mistakes along the way and it has been a long road back, but he's worked hard and is not far off getting his big chance.

When he does he'll grab it with both hands because he wants it bad.

Out of the ring he is probably the quietest man of the gym and is known to have the odd bad mood, he keeps himself to himself.

Lockett fights on 22 March at the Cardiff International Arena. His opponent is not yet named.

COMMONWEALTH LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMP BRADLEY PRYCE

He's the other half of the double act and is a real comedian, he's constantly looking to wind people up with his pranks.

Like Gavin, he just loves fighting. He pushes hard in sparring, and he comes in full steam. He loves to spar against the heavier fighters in the gym and gives as good as he gets.

The way he has turned himself around is amazing, he's made mistakes in the past and he's determined to make up for it. There are big things ahead for Bradley. He just needs the chance and when he does get it, he'll be world champion without any shadow of doubt.

Pryce fights on 19 April in Las Vegas. His opponent is not yet named.

SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT NATHAN CLEVERLY

He's very slick and probably the most well-groomed member of the gym. He's the only boy I know who does his hair to go training.

He's definitely a future star, is a really fast puncher and a very stylish boxer. People are comparing him to a young Joe Calzaghe, but it is too soon to start putting that pressure on him.

Cleverly fights on 19 April in Las Vegas. His opponent has yet to be named.

WELTERWEIGHT TONY DOHERTY

He's the new boy of the gym so he has been trying to make his mark by playing a few pranks on Bradley and Gavin, which can only spell trouble.

I've boxed with Tony since I was a kid and I know his family quite well. They are all very close and he gets a big following turning up to his fights which is always entertaining.

Doherty fights Barrie Jones at the Cardiff International Arena 22 March.

MIDDLEWEIGHT KERRY HOPE

I think Kerry is the most improved fighter in the gym. He punches a lot harder then his record suggests. He only has one knockout and the boys give him a bit of stick for it, I think he's just trying a bit too hard and once he gets more experienced they'll starting dropping.

He's very quiet and laid back, he's not from the same area as the rest of the boys so he doesn't really get the banter and because of that he takes a lot of stick.

Hope fights at the Cardiff International Arena on 22 March. His opponent is not yet named.

THE GUVNOR - ENZO CALZAGHE

He is barely 4ft tall but we are all absolutely petrified of him. He is an intimidating guy for such a small fella.

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His record speaks for itself. When I first went to Enzo I thought he was primarily a fitness trainer, and I thought he was going to get me supremely fit.

But he's got such a marvellous boxing brain and he's turned me into a two-fisted fighter and he is the guvnor of the gym and everyone has the upmost respect for him.



SEE ALSO
Macca welcomes Haye's challenge
17 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe wins Sports Personality
09 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
Inside Team Calzaghe
29 Oct 07 |  Boxing
The Enzo Maccarinelli record
30 May 03 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
05 Nov 07 |  Wales


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