BOXING legend Joe Calzaghe says 2020 could be the year that sees him finally follow in the footsteps of late father Enzo and pass on his expertise as a trainer.

Gwent’s Calzaghe, 47, who retired with a perfect record of 46-0 more than a decade ago, insists his appetite to get back into the sport, particularly coaching, is growing.

Calzaghe’s dad trained him throughout a glittering career, and many thought coaching would be the star southpaw’s next venture after fighting for the final time in November 2008.

The former world champion briefly dipped his toe into promoting after signing off with a defeat of Roy Jones Jnr in New York, but he has largely kept boxing at arm’s length since.

And while he is keen to get involved again, Calzaghe isn’t going to commit himself to training fighters unless he is “100%” ready.

“My sons, Connor and Joe Jnr, run the gym now,” he said. “It’s continuing the legacy from my dad to me and on to them.

“Things there are picking up, and I’m starting to get a bit more of an appetite to be involved with boxing again.

“We’ve got loads of amateur boxers in the gym, and I think I will eventually start bringing in some pros. I know I’ve said that before.

“I won’t mention any names, but I’ve had pros showing an interest in me coaching them for the last five years.

“The thing is, I’m not going to commit myself to getting back into boxing unless I’m 100%.

“Everybody is going to be looking at me to see how I perform, whether it’s as a manager, promoter or trainer.

“There’s going to be a lot of expectation. I’m Joe Calzaghe at the end of the day so people will take notice.

“It’s all about having the hunger and enjoying it as well.

“I’m hoping 2020 is going to be a big year when I come back on the scene.

“I’m looking forward to next year, hopefully it will be a positive and productive one.

He added: “When I finished boxing, I was happy to take a break.

“When you’re involved in a sport for close to 27 years and you fight at the highest level, which is fantastic, it takes a lot out of you, physically and mentally.

“To be able to finish undefeated and on my own terms was great. I wanted to retire from boxing, not boxing to retire me.

“I wanted to take time out, but it’s 10 years now, so maybe it’s been too long.”

It may be 11 years since he hung up his gloves but Calzaghe continues to receive plaudits for the way he dominated the super-middleweight division before going on to claim honours at light-heavyweight.

Last week he picked up the Lifetime Achievement award at the Wales Sport Awards in Newport, an accolade he dedicated to his dad who passed away in September 2018.

“It was nice to get the award,” he said. “It’s not just an award for me, it’s also for my late father. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. He would be immensely proud.

“When I started boxing and set out to follow my dream he gave me belief and confidence that I could do it.

“He believed in me and made me believe that I could not just be a somebody but a world champion, so the award is for me but also for my dad and my family.”

He added: “I was really proud to be awarded it with my sons there.

“What an underdog story. A boy from Pentwynmawr with a Sardinian father and Welsh mother who conquered the world. It’s amazing.

“I always wanted to entertain in the ring, sometimes it wasn’t always pretty, but winning is all that matters, and that was instilled in me at a young age."