ENZO CALZAGHE, who steered son Joe to an unbeaten 46-fight career crowned with world titles at two different weights, has died at the age of 69, his family have announced.
Calzaghe, who had no prior experience in the sport, masterminded his son’s rise to the top and also experienced world-title success with Welsh fighters Gavin Rees and Enzo Maccarinelli.
His family said in a statement: “The family are devastated to have to announce the death of our beloved Enzo.
“Joe and all of the Calzaghe family would like to thank the public for their well wishes and kind thoughts, especially the outpouring of support from within the boxing community.
“Enzo led an incredible life both inside and outside of the boxing gym and his loss is a devastating one for the entire Calzaghe family.
“We please ask that people respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Born in Sardinia in 1949, Calzaghe set up a training camp in a shed in Newbridge, south Wales, from which the family’s extraordinary boxing odyssey began.
Calzaghe’s success was recognised when he won the prestigious ‘Ring’ Magazine trainer of the year award in 2007, and three years later he received the MBE.
Calzaghe was in his son’s corner throughout his 10-year reign as world middleweight champion, and when he successfully moved up in weight to dethrone light-heavyweight king Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in 2008.
Tony Bellew was among the first current champions to pay tribute to Calzaghe, tweeting: “What a man! My thoughts are with @RealJoeCalzaghe and his family right now, Your Dad was a master coach who created a style that you both made unbeatable. Salute the legendary Enzo.”