LEGENDARY trainer Enzo Calzaghe wants to work with Wales’ amateur stars and has blasted Welsh boxing chiefs and coaches for their performance in the Commonwealth Games.
Despite a successful time for Team Wales in Glasgow where they exceeded expectation and ended with 36 medals, only five came in boxing.
And thanks to a horror day last Friday, none of Wales’ boxing medals were gold or silver, the fighters losing five out of five semi-final showdowns in Glasgow in a miserable 12 hours.
Wales’ boxing talent is currently nurtured by Colin Jones, who has been national coach since 2011 and who boxed for Team GB at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
And while Calzaghe insists his criticism of Jones isn’t personal, he’s adamant that the name Calzaghe can help to lift Welsh amateur boxing to new heights.
The father and trainer of legendary world champion Joe Calzaghe who also helped Gavin Rees and Enzo Maccarinelli to world title glory and who was named BBC Sports Personality coach of the year, hasn’t been involved in boxing in a full time capacity for six years.
However, he insists he’d happily end his exile from boxing to improve Wales’ next generation of fighters and would even look to bring son Joe on board with him.
“Welsh amateur boxing needs a shot in the arm, big time, it is just ticking along and what we saw in Glasgow, it wasn’t very impressive,” Calzaghe said.
“No one was looking at the Welsh fighters and thinking ‘wow, they are to be feared’ and none of the Welsh boxers dazzled us, there was no X Factor and it isn’t the first time we’ve said something like that.
“I have been banging this drum a long time and frankly I should have been asked long before now to be involved in the set-up and the new Welsh coach.
“I am letting them know I am available and want to do it and it’s high time they looked in my direction because I have done it all in boxing.
“I want to revamp Welsh amateur boxing, to make it exciting and to make our talent respected around the world.
“I am the man who can do that.”
And Calzaghe believes a dream team pairing of himself and son Joe would inspire Wales’ top amateur prospects.
“I want to bring the A team together and Joe would love to help out and offer the boys and girls advice and help to inspire them,” he said.
“I believe some of the corner work we saw in Glasgow wasn’t good enough and nothing is going to change with the same staff in charge.
“It is time for Welsh amateur boxing to be brave and to make a change and they should look to the Calzaghes.”