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[Boxing] Calzaghe calls it quits


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Undefeated world super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe has announced his retirement from boxing.

The Welshman won all 46 of his professional bouts, the last being an emphatic points victory over Roy Jones Jnr last November.

Admitting the decision to hang up his gloves was one of the toughest of his life, the 36-year-old insisted he had "no more mountains to climb".

Calzaghe retires as Britain's only ever unbeaten world champion and finishes just short of Rocky Marciano's record of 49 straight wins.

Special thanks

"I've been lucky to have had the most fantastic career and I owe my thanks to all the many people who have been at my side and helped me to achieve everything," he said.

"Of course my special thanks go to my family and, especially to my dad Enzo who first encouraged me to put on the gloves and who was at my side and in my corner for every one of my fights.

"Deciding to call it a day has been one of the toughest decisions of my life. There's always the temptation to fight on, especially if you are the champ and no-one has ever beaten you.

"But I've now come to a point where the satisfaction of retiring undefeated has to outweigh the thrill of another fight.

"I've also achieved every goal I've ever set myself in the ring - there are no more mountains left to climb."

Calzaghe's decision brings to an end a stellar career that started back in 1993 with a first-round knockout of Paul Hanlon at Cardiff Arms Park.

Dominant

The southpaw defeated Chris Eubank in 1997 to win the WBO super-middleweight belt, one he retained for over a decade.

He also claimed the IBF version with a career-defining performance against American Jeff Lacy before unifying the WBO, WBA and WBC belts in November 2007 by out-pointing Mikkel Kessler.

After confirming himself as the dominant force in the division Calzaghe stepped up to light heavyweight to take on Bernard Hopkins, getting the better of 'The Executioner' on a split decision last April.

His final hurrah came against Jones Jnr when he recovered from being knocked down in the opening round to maintain his unblemished record.

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