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Boxing coach Enzo Calzaghe 'taking a break'

I've lost appetite for boxing - Enzo Calzaghe

By Steffan Garrero and Peter Shuttleworth

Boxing trainer Enzo Calzaghe admits he is considering retirement.

The 60-year-old, who coached unbeaten Joe to be two-weight world champion, may follow his son into retirement after the Welsh boxer quit last year.

"I'm not really enjoying it anymore. I've been a trainer 24/7 for the best part of 30 years and I need a break and a rest," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm not quitting altogether as retirement is a big decision that should not be made likely."

Calzaghe Sr won The Ring Magazine Coach of the Year in 2007 when Joe unified the super-middleweight division.

Enzo Calzaghe with son and two-weight world champion Joe
Enzo Calzaghe with son and two-weight world champion Joe

The renowned coach completed a Calzaghe double when he won the 2008 BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year crown when Joe scooped the main award.

Calzaghe, who revealed he almost quit when Joe retired in 2009, is set to bring down the curtain on a great British sporting dynasty.

The Calzaghe fight club, near Newbridge in the Gwent Valleys, was at the centre of the boxing world three years ago when it housed three world champions.

Joe Calzaghe reigned as the undisputed king of the super-middleweight division, Enzo Maccarinelli held the WBO cruiserweight crown while Rees held the WBA light-welterweight title.

Gary Lockett was also WBU middleweight champion, Pryce held the Commonwealth light middleweight belt and Nathan Cleverly - a fighter hailed the 'new Joe Calzaghe' - was then a British light-heavyweight title challenger.

Calzaghe once boasted a 40-fight unbeaten record with his boxers during his hey day between October 2005 and March 2008.

Now Calzaghe and Lockett have quit, Maccarinelli lost his title in a unification showdown with David Haye then left the Calzaghe gym, Cleverly also quit Newbridge Boxing Club while Rees and Pryce also lost their belts.


But Calzaghe did coach the resurgent Rees to the Prizefighter light-welterweight in December before training Pryce for the light-middleweight equivalent in February.

Pryce lost in the Prizefighter semi-finals and now he and his stable-mates - including Rees and Welsh welterweight title-holder Tony Doherty - have joined fighter-turned-trainer Lockett at his stable in a gym just outside Cardiff.

Calzaghe had coached for 20 years since helping Joe as a youngster but he admitted last year that his "heart is going."

Now he has decided to take a break to consider his future and has admits he advised his stable his fighters to leave.

"I need to give myself a little space to make the decision with a clear head and see what else is there for me outside of boxing training," said Calzaghe.

"I had to be fair to them as continuing as normal would be letting them down.

Enzo Calzaghe
Enzo Calzaghe's Welsh stable once housed three world champions boxers

"I questioned myself and I felt I wasn't really enjoying it that much because I have been training for 30 years and that is a long time without many breaks.

"All the fighters around me have rests or holidays after fights but I always had another fighter to train, I did not have any time to mentally recover.

"Now I need some time to myself as I can't go on this way because I'm not happy.

"Something is draining out of me and I can't find an answer why. I just don't have the appetite I had before although, deep down, boxing is still in my heart.

"I've competed at world-class level with Joe and the boys for so long, I'm used to operating in the Premier League but being in the corner for four to six-rounders has made me less enthusiastic - it's like I'm in the third division."

Calzaghe had helped set up Calzaghe Promotions when Joe retired but after just two shows, the future of that company is now uncertain.

see also
A boxing dynasty dies
13 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Rees storms to Prizefighter crown
04 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Life with the Calzaghe Clan
28 Sep 09 |  TV and Radio
Calzaghe's second coming
20 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Slimmed down Rees eyes redemption
30 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Maccarinelli leaves Calzaghe camp
08 May 09 |  Boxing
Warren firm court appeal refused
17 Jun 09 |  Wales
Warren company in administration
30 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Calzaghe wins case against Warren
17 Mar 09 |  Wales
Calzaghe postpones second event
29 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Rees joins up Calzaghe Promotions
07 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Undefeated Calzaghe quits boxing
05 Feb 09 |  Boxing
Coach of the Year: Enzo Calzaghe
09 Dec 07 |  Sports Personality
Classy Calzaghe demolishes Jones
09 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe rallies to beat Hopkins
20 Apr 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe wins Sports Personality
10 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage


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