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Page last updated at 06:20 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 07:20 UK

Calzaghe vows to beat cash crunch

By Sean Davies
BBC Sport at the Newport Centre

Joe Calzaghe signs an autograph at a Calzaghe Promotions event
The Calzaghes have promoted two shows, in Merthyr and Newport

Joe Calzaghe says his boxing promotion venture will succeed, despite the financial pressures in the sport.

"It's a difficult time for boxing in the recession and with what's happened to Setanta and other companies," he said after Friday's show in Newport.

"We've got to be patient. It [boxing] will get back to where it was."

Calzaghe was pleased with the event at Newport Centre, the second staged by him and his father Enzo and the first since the company was revamped.

The undefeated former world champion and his boxing trainer father put on their first show at Merthyr's Rhydycar Leisure Centre in February, but saw their next two planned events cancelled.

We want big-time boxing back on the calendar in Wales, but first of all we've got to go down to the grassroots

Sports agent Paul Stretford of Calzaghe Promotions

The Calzaghes then teamed up with sports agent Paul Stretford and former Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd of the Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group to form Calzaghe Promotions.

The company plan to hold another event at Newport Centre in October as they build a support base before looking to stage major title fights.

"In future we want big-time boxing back on the calendar in Wales, but first of all we've got to go down to the grassroots and get fans back with it," said Stretford after Friday's show.

"That's what we're looking to do by putting on as many of these monthly shows as we can.

"I was delighted with the way that the whole event went, there were some cracking fights, some well-matched fights, and we were delighted at the great turn-out.


"We have an option date [at the Newport Centre] in October, hopefully that will take it on another level again.

"I've been working with Joe for a number of years as business manager and this is the natural progression, we feel that we've got a real opportunity here.

"Calzaghe Promotions is going to stand for doing things right."

To date the promotional ventures have largely relied on fighters from the Calzaghe gym, Hari Miles, Gavin Rees and Bradley Pryce scoring good wins on Friday.

But Joe Calzaghe has vowed to also spread his net wider, suggesting that some major names could join his stable.

Bradley Pryce, Enzo Calzaghe, Hari Miles and Gavin Rees at the Calzaghe gym
The company has, to date, largely relied on the Calzaghe gym

"There are some good amateurs I'm keeping my eye on, we're bringing in fighters from the rest of Europe and maybe worldwide," said Calzaghe.

"I'm looking forward to getting the next show going, by then there will hopefully be a couple of new additions to the camp maybe a couple of champions and former world champions."

Having carried the flag for Welsh boxing for so long, Calzaghe says he is determined to see the country's great pugilist tradition continue.

"People need to realise that Welsh boxing is still alive," said the long-reigning super-middleweight king.

"It's not all finished because I finished and there have been a few defeats for people like Enzo [Maccarinelli].

I want to be there, to bring these guys through and get top fighting back in Wales

Joe Calzaghe

"There's Bradley [Pryce] and Gavin [Rees], Nathan Cleverly and plenty of others coming through.

"Sometimes I feel that there's not enough boxing in Wales and things have slumped a little bit.

"I want to be there, to bring these guys through and get top fighting back in Wales.

"[Friday was a] good night and a good show, considering it was only our second it was very professional.

"It was much better than our first and the next one will be even better - you learn by your mistakes.

"I enjoyed being on the other side of the ropes, not sweating and getting hit - but it might age me pretty quickly!"

see also
Wales' sporting weekend in photos
21 Aug 09 |  Wales
Calzaghe backs duo for world wins
23 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Pryce impresses on return to ring
22 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Rusty Rees targets British title
22 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Calzaghe's second coming
20 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Coach Calzaghe considered future
20 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Setanta goes into administration
23 Jun 09 |  Business
Maccarinelli leaves Calzaghe camp
08 May 09 |  Boxing
Rooney agent accepts lengthy ban
01 May 09 |  Football
Warren company in administration
30 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Calzaghe postpones second event
29 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Calzaghe rules out boxing return
24 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Rees joins up Calzaghe Promotions
07 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Calzaghe wins case against Warren
17 Mar 09 |  Wales
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page
13 Jul 07 |  Wales

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