The Newbridge boxer takes on Roy Jones Jnr at Madison Square Garden this Saturday (8 November) in what is being billed as the Welshman’s final fight.
The First Minister said:
It will be such a great occasion for all sports fans. I would love to be there in person but I will definitely be there in spirit. I saw a world title fight at Madison Square Garden myself 45 years ago. The atmosphere at the Garden is incredible.
Joe will need to be at his best to beat Roy Jones Jnr. Roy Jones is a legend – so is Joe. That is why this is being billed as a superfight. It is a contest between two sporting legends. It is Wales versus America and I believe Wales will come out on top because Joe will be on top form, as he was against Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler.
The Madison Square Garden fight is set to bring the curtain down on Joe Calzaghe’s 25 year career in amateur and professional boxing.
The First Minister added:
What is special about Joe is that he is such a fantastic ambassador for Wales and Welsh sport.
When you watch Joe at work, you can see that boxing is an art and a science and Joe is a true artist. He has lasted this long because of his amazing skill and because of his exceptional behaviour both inside and outside the ring.
He is a great role model for young boxers and indeed young sportsmen and women in any branch of sport. It is hard to imagine Welsh sport without Joe Calzaghe as World Champion but his decision to go out at the top is undoubtedly a wise one.
The Sports Minister, Alun Ffred Jones said:
Over the course of his career, Joe has been a splendid ambassador for Wales. His record compares favourably, not only with other boxers from Wales, but with the best boxers of all time. He has written an historic chapter in Wales's sporting history and his last fight on Saturday will give him a deserved final headline. I wish him every success.
6 November 2008