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Joe Public's champion

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The public gets what the public wants.

And Joe Public ensured boxer Joe Calzaghe was a runaway winner of the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

You can see how far ahead he was of runner-up Lewis Hamilton by looking at the voting figures at the bottom of this piece on him winning the award:

Sports Personality comes in for a fair amount of stick for all sorts of reasons, but as the stars let their hair down at the after-show party, most agreed: "It was a good result."

With Northern Ireland's record-breaking football striker David Healy and Scot James McFadden missing out on the shortlist of 10 contenders, there were some complaints of an English bias.

Calzaghe, world champion for 10 years, even said there was not a chance he would win - because he is Welsh.

He wasn't that bothered about the trophy and didn't even wear a shirt, never mind a tie, as he opted for a casual V-neck to watch the show from Vegas.

But the super-middleweight champion admitted after a surprise success, that he lied about not caring.

Hamilton was a long odds-on shot to win the award, while Calzaghe could be backed at 11-1 immediately before the show.

Young F1 ace Hamilton was gracious in defeat and looks destined to be a future champion. His praise of Calzaghe and the third-placed Ricky Hatton appeared utterly genuine:

Hatton, bruised after his defeat by Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, said he felt like he had let the British public down.

But he has helped propel boxing up the sporting agenda, and Calzaghe's triumph has sealed the noble art's resurgence.

Britain loves losers, we keep being told. But the public backed a winner this time.


PS. Was I the only one who had a tear in his eye as Sir Bobby Robson soaked up the cheers of thousands when he collected a Lifetime Achievement award from Sir Alex Ferguson?

Relive the night as it happened:

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posted Dec 10, 2007

So pleased that the British public finally saw sense and voted for Joe. For once, we didn't back a valiant loser or a frontpage celebrity. A little disappointed that the England Rugby Team won team OTY - the GB cycling team is truly world class and has done it without a hint of drug abuse. And why wasn't Victoria Pendleton one of the nominees? She wouldn't have won, but she's a treble world champion!

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posted Dec 10, 2007

Hello all - Enjoying the chat, so here's some more on Calzaghe and Sir Bobby.

After the awards, I ran into the former great middleweight Michael Watson, who is in remarkable spirits these days.

Watson confessed he would have preferred Hatton to Calzaghe as winner because he believes the Hitman is a better fighter. He also suggested Chris Eubank was not at 100 per cent fitness when Calzaghe beat him in 1997.

Sir Bobby was also in reflective mood, but I felt obliged to ask him about his thoughts on the new England manager and how his old mucker Jose Mourinho might get on in the role.

"He's obviously a very strong candidate. Jose knows English football, he speaks the language well and knows many of the players," he said.

Question: So is he your number one candidate?

Answer: "Good try" and a wily chuckle

The old fella's still got panache.

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posted Dec 10, 2007

In response to Frank Keogh's comments re Hatton/Calzaghe and Watson believing the first named to be the better fighter because Eubank wasn't 100% fit. Most of the experts seemed to feel it was Chris' best fight, including the one where he beat Watson (great to hear he is in fine form),
it certainly raised his popularity with the British fight fans.

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posted Dec 10, 2007

Never mind the anecdote about Sir Bobby. Why not take the time to explain England's rugby team as "Team of the Year". How can you (BBC) expect the rest of the UK to take it seriouly with an award that truly sucks. Yes, yes a Welsh boxer won it but the English rugby team! Get real.

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comment by Jet747 (U2825945)

posted Dec 10, 2007

Come on. Hatton is nothing more than a fighter who was cruelly exposed by an excellent boxer. Joe can fight, but more importantly can box. He has fought everyone in front of him, and after 10 years of being World Champion, undisputed and undefeated deserves every accolade he has got. It is a shame that he came after Benn, Hagler hearns etc - then we could see how he would fair against legends.

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posted Dec 10, 2007


On the team of the year, this was decided by a public vote in 2006 and some people were furious that the European Ryder Cup team did not win.

There's more answers and detail around some of these issues in the Editors' Blog.

As for the debate about great boxing middleweights, I thought this article from exactly five years go today was interesting:


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posted Dec 11, 2007

The sporting weekend started badly with Liverpool going down at Reading and then the Hitman getting a boxing masterclass in Vegas, but the Sports Personality awards was the best in years. Really enjoyed James Toseland tinkling the ivories and for once we had a worthy winner of the main award. It was funny too when the young lad who won the best newcomer award videoed his speech in instead of collecting his award in person, that's dedication for you. But the moment of the night had to be Sir Bobby receiving the lifetime achievement award. It was richly deserved and his standing ovation and speech were genuinely moving. Can't help thinking back to his time as England manager when he was vilified by the press and subject to outrageous personal abuse. We should remember he got England to a World Cup quarter final in Mexico only to be denied by Maradona's 'hand of god' and then by Maradona's genius. Then the semi finals at Italia 90.. oh so close. Suddenly his record as England manager looks fantastic when compared to what has followed. Most of all he seems to be a nice bloke who has dedicated his life to football. It was only fitting that he has been given the recognition for a wonderful career.

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posted Dec 12, 2007

Its kinda a farce that Joe Calzaghe didn't win it last year.

He's been at it for 10 years now, why didn't they give it to him at 9 years last night

Why was every one just waiting for the big 10 to come up. Its ridiculous. He should have won it last year instead of Zara Philips, and this year should have gone to Lewis Hamilton.

Just because Lewis Hamilton does a sport that is on ITV means he doesn't deserve it, eh Frank Keogh. It was up against the determination and skill of a true sportsman who drives a fast car in searing conditions, up against a guy who hits people.

That pretty much sums it all up. Once again, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is the wrong winner.

What next? Prince William just because he won the Tiddlywinks World Championship?

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posted Dec 12, 2007

Interesting that Jermaine Taylors promoter rates Calzaghe as second only to Mayweather in the pound for pound stakes.

I completly agree - in fact it's a shame there's such a weight difference because that would be a really great match-up.

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posted Dec 20, 2007

as you can see by my comment the brains of the team has not written the reply to my post

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