1. David Haye

Having weathered an early storm, Thompson rallied to drop, outlast and ultimately stop Haye in the fifth round of their 2004 fight at Wembley Arena. Going in, Thompson was considered damaged goods, and Haye a future star, yet Thompson made a mockery of all pre-fight predictions to win when he claimed to still be warming up.

2. Sebastiaan Rothmann

In the early going of this 2004 classic Thompson was thoroughly outboxed and hurt on countless occasions by Rothman. But then, in the ninth round, with Thompson wounded against the ropes, he somehow exploded with an almighty right hand to finish the South African.

3. Ralf Rocchigiani

Thompson was stopped in the 11th round of a 1995 fight against Rocchigiani due to a dislocated shoulder but two years later took the WBO cruiserweight title from the German in Germany on a split-decision. Thompson became a world champion at the second attempt.

4. Chris Eubank 1

As WBO cruiserweight champion Thompson was given the immediate task of defending his belt against former super-middleweight champion Eubank. He was floored in the fourth round but was too big and strong for Eubank and eventually prevailed on the cards.

5. Chris Eubank 2

In the pair’s second meeting Thompson picked up where he left off and continued to prove to Eubank that speed and ring savvy is no substitute for determination and strength. This time Eubank, with eyes swollen shut, was prevented from coming out for round ten.

Thompson and Rothmann go to war

6. Akim Tafer

In the first defence of his European title Thompson was forced to go to France to fight Frenchman Akim Tafer, with whom he waged a back-and-forth war before prevailing in typical dramatic fashion in round six.  

7. Ezra Sellers

In what was undoubtedly one of the best short fights of the modern era, Thompson and Sellers traded big punches and knockdowns – Thompson was down four times, Sellers twice – before the American finished Thompson halfway through the fourth round.

8. Terry Dunstan

Seven years after first winning the British cruiserweight title, Thompson repeated the trick in 1999, stopping Terry Dunstan in the 12th round of a fight in Peterborough.

9. Massimiliano Duran

In 1994, Thompson showed he had more than just domestic potential when he ventured to Ferrara, Italy to finish hometown favourite Duran inside eight rounds.

10. Steve Lewsam

Despite being stopped in his 1989 attempt to win the Central Area title against Crawford Ashley, Thompson managed to halt Lewsam inside eight rounds in 1992 to become British cruiserweight champion at the first time of asking.