BOXING trainer Enzo Calzaghe has passed away aged 69, his family have announced.
Last week it was revealed Calzaghe – father of legendary boxer Joe – was « very poorly », with his family even forced to quash rumours he had died.
But the Italian-born trainer has now passed on, with the Calzaghe family releasing a statement, saying: « 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. »
Enzo led his son to win super-middleweight and light-heavyweight honours during a 46-fight career.
He also helped the pro retire as Britain’s only undefeated world champion in 2012 with the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF super-middleweight world titles.
The father and son duo were unbeaten in their 18-year partnership as amateur and professional.
During his long career as a corner man he also coached big names including Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Rees.
Enzo was raised in Sardinia and played the bass guitar in his uncle’s band before travelling Europe as a busker.
He worked at his aunt’s restaurant in Bournemouth and when heading back to Sardinia, opted instead to get the next train, which was going to Cardiff.
Enzo met future wife Jackie and after periods living in Sardinia and London, the couple had Joe and moved to Wales, where he worked as a bus conductor and window salesman.
The Welsh-Italian got involved in the local boxing club, took Joe along and started assisting Paul Williams.
But Williams retired when Joe was 18 and Enzo took the reigns, also coaching Welsh group Enzo Maccarinelli, Gavin Rees, Nathan Cleverly, Bradley Pryce and Gary Lockett.
He was named Coach of the Year at the 2007 BBC Sports Personality awards and received an MBE in 2010.