It is our great honor to extend to you our warmest and most heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of your World Boxing Organization Super Middleweight Championship Title.
In your incredible 21 Championship Fight Career, you have defeated fifteen Challengers who have held or competed for multiple World Championships. You have defeated eight current or former World Champions. Twenty of your Challengers have held either World or Regional Championships Titles. The 43 professional fighters you have defeated in your perfect undefeated, untied 43 fight campaign have themselves won a total of 1,048 professional matches.
Your skill, talent, courage, character and accomplishments have brought great credit to you, your family, especially your trainer and father Enzo Calzaghe, Frank ****** Productions and the World Boxing Organization.
Francisco Valcárcel, Esq.
10 years ago the first Harry Potter novel had just been published and iPods and DVDs were not around.
Nigel Benn, former WBC supermiddle king:
"To be a world champion you have to be exceptionally good. To be a world champion for 10 years, you are talking legend.
"When some of the Yank lads (American fighters) have come to have a go (have a fight), it's pushed Joe to respond and show his stuff and that's what he needs.."
Joe Calzaghe today celebrates the 10th anniversary of his World Boxing Organisation world-title triumph over fellow British super-middleweight Chris Eubank, remarkably having dominated the crown for a decade.
Yet knowing Calzaghe, at times a diffident champion, he will leave the champagne on ice until after he has fought Mikkel Kessler, the Dane who holds the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association versions of the world title, in Cardiff on Nov 3. It is shaping up to be a thriller.
When Calzaghe beat Eubank on Oct 11, 1997 – Tony Blair had been elected Prime Minister just months before, Oasis dominated the music charts and The Full Monty was playing to full cinemas. Since then, the Welsh fighter has defended the belt 20 times, and added the International Boxing Federation crown to his record.
World champions might not defend with the alacrity and regularity that fighters did several decades ago, yet Calzaghe's achievement singles him out as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, British boxer in the post-war era. Some might argue that Ken Buchanan should hold that accolade, yet Calzaghe's career will stand the test of time.
Speaking yesterday from his training camp in Newbridge, Calzaghe said: "If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would still be champion today, I wouldn't have believed them. I didn't plan on being the longest reigning world champion, it just happened.
"It's been hard work holding on to my title and I don't plan on giving it up yet. Kessler is probably the best fighter I have ever faced, but like all the others, he'll be going home empty handed.
"I've still got plenty of ambition though and once I beat Kessler I want to step up to the light-heavyweight division. The Kessler fight is the biggest of my career and I want to stay focused on him for now, the celebrations can wait until after I have beaten Kessler."
Frank ******, who has promoted Calzaghe over the last decade he has been champion added: "Joe is the best super-middleweight I've ever worked with. Even Chris Eubank has since said that no one has ever hit him as hard as Joe did. To be world champion for 10 years in any sport is phenomenal."
"If Joe was around in the Eubank-Benn-Watson-Wharton era it would have been interesting, just more fireworks. He beats Wharton, Nigel and the Michael of our first fight and I know I couldn't have beaten him on points (due to 'his southpaw stance and my technique').
"He's a terrific fighter who proves his fitness and workrate over and again"
"To be a professional for 10 years is hard enough, but to be a world champion for 10 years is an incredible achievement. I send him my congratulations.
"To have the hunger, desire and determination to continue at the top, especially after his divorce, is a credit to Joe's professionalism.
"Joe has demolished everyone in his division and the only thing that stands between Joe ruling for another 10 years is whether he wants to keep going. He is one of the greats."