1) Mikkel Kessler
In terms of both the quality of opponent and quality of the performance, there was arguably no better win for Calzaghe than the one he scored against Kessler in 2008. Unlike some of his others, this win saw him fight a rival in his prime and then produce a performance so good it was difficult for anyone, including Kessler, to argue the result.
2) Jeff Lacy
Not only a big win for Calzaghe at the time, especially given Lacy was unbeaten and viewed as his big super-middleweight rival, this 2006 drubbing remains one of the most near-perfect performances ever seen in a British ring. Calzaghe, despite everything at stake, hardly put a foot wrong that night in Manchester.
3) Bernard Hopkins
In what was an ugly fight some still believe Hopkins won, Calzaghe had to drag himself up off the floor in round one to then essentially outwork his American opponent with wave after wave of combinations, not all of which landed.
4) Chris Eubank
Famous for Eubank being knocked down inside the opening 15 seconds, the 1997 meeting of Eubank and Calzaghe was a true passing of the torch moment for the super-middleweight division in Britain. It ended with Calzaghe prevailing by decision, but that tells only half the story.
5) Byron Mitchell
Mitchell arrived in Cardiff in 2003 with a reputation for power and this was demonstrated in round two, when he dropped Calzaghe, heavily, for the first in his pro career. Rather than then become hesitant, though, Calzaghe fought fire with fire, tackling the threat of Mitchell head on and stopping him later in that same round.
6) Roy Jones Jnr
Had Calzaghe and Jones met back when the fight was first mooted, and when both were in their respective primes, this 12-round decision win for Calzaghe would of course sit much higher on the list. However, because Calzaghe waited until 2008 to fight Jones, by which point the American was a shadow of his former self, context is everything.
7) Charles Brewer
Certainly one of the more entertaining fights in Calzaghe’s career, this 12-round brawl in Cardiff in 2002 saw the hyperactive Welshman stand toe-to-toe with an equally tough Brewer and serve up round after round of frenetic action.
8) Richie Woodhall
Although they were great friends away from the ring, Calzaghe and Woodhall put friendship to one side when contesting Calzaghe’s WBO super-middleweight belt in December 2000. No thriller by any means, Calzaghe eventually stopped Woodhall in round 10, after which the pair returned to being friends.
9) Robin Reid
While he retired undefeated, many feel the closest Calzaghe came to losing was against Robin Reid in 1999. Caught time and time again by Reid’s right hand, Calzaghe still managed to eke out a decision after 12 rounds, much to Reid’s disbelief.
10) Mario Veit 1
Such were his hand problems, Calzaghe rarely looked to finish fights early, particularly in later years. However, against Veit in 2001, he laughed in the face of the fact his German opponent was unbeaten in 30 fights and ran through him in less than two minutes.