Calzaghe is the longest-reigning world champion in recent years, having held the WBO Super Middleweight title for over ten years and made 21 successful defenses. He relinquished the title to move up to light heavyweight. As his super middleweight and light heavyweight reigns overlapped, he retired with the longest continual time as world champion of any active fighter. He is part of the Team Calzaghe based at the Newbridge boxing club.
Between 2006 to 2008, he was rated by The Ring magazine as a top ten pound for pound boxer. On January 2009, Calzaghe was ranked #3 in the world by The Ring. He retired in February 2009 with an undefeated record and as a reigning World Champion. Calzaghe is rated by Boxrec as the 11th pound-for-pound best British boxer of all time.
Calzaghe is sometimes referred to as the "Pride of Wales," or the "Italian Dragon" in reference to his mixed heritage.
In 2007, Calzaghe became BBC Sports Personality of the Year, by gaining 28.19% of the public vote. This made Calzaghe the first Welsh winner of this award since show jumper David Broome in 1960. He was awarded the Young Boxer of the Year Award in 1995. Calzaghe is to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2014.
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