LONDON: World boxing champion Joe Calzaghe (pic) said he was knocked out after his unbeaten run as a professional was recognised with the award of a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Birthday Honours List of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
A CBE is just one rank below a knighthood.
For Calzaghe, unbeaten in 45 professional fights and already the holder of the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) medal, this latest award came as a complete surprise.
For the first time in my life I was knocked out, said Calzaghe, unbeaten in 45 professional fights.
It's unbelievable when I think back to when I was a kid that one day I would have achieved so much through boxing, and my teachers laughed at me when I said I was going to be a boxer, added the 36-year-old Welshman, whose split decision win over Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in April saw him recognised as the world number one in two weight divisions.
Also receiving a CBE was former England rugby union captain Bill Beaumont. Back in 1980 he led England to a Grand Slam in the then Five Nations tournament and has since gone on to become a leading rugby administrator.
World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio, another ex-England captain, was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). AFP