In an analysis informed by social identities research, this article critically assesses the importance of place and nation in professional boxing. Based on media accounts surrounding the fight between Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins, it examines how the nation is positioned and how
national identities are imagined. Calzaghe serves as a floating signifier of Wales, Britain and Europe in discourse positioning him as an outsider in the American boxing landscape. In examining the ‘othering’ of Calzaghe the article highlights how simplistic binaries are used to
perpetuate notions of difference.