Calzaghe sets the standard for Sportsmen of the Year

By Ian Cole

Joe Calzaghe thinks his Dad is a pain in the arse. He told us so.

Father Enzo and his boy Joe have been our guests at the last two Sports Awards and Joe was Sportsman of the Year in 2006, pictured right, long before his achievements were recognised by other sports awards.

Joe also credits his father and thanks him for the training discipline which made him world super-middleweight boxing champion for the last 10 years, a period in which the Welshman with the Italian name has remained unbeaten over 45 fights.

We – meaning the media – took a long time to get in tune with Joe Calzaghe and to recognise his achievements. But now he is here we acknowledge his contribution to his sport and his country.

Calzaghe fights for the last time (he says) on November 8 in New York against Roy Jones Jnr, who in a professional career that stretches back 20 years was long reckoned to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It will decide the world light-heavyweight championship, which Calzaghe took from Bernard Hopkins earlier this year.

If you like, you can send him into retirement with our award as maybe the best British boxer in recent times.

Click here for a full shortlist of likely contenders for the 60th annual SJA Sports Awards

If you are an SJA member and want to cast your vote for the 2008 Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, click here and complete the easy-to-follow form.

Book your ticket for the 2008 SJA British Sports Awards – click here for the form, including the members’ price discount