Joe Calzaghe's finest moment in the ring came ten years ago today [Nov. 3] when he unified the world title super-middleweight titles.
Calzaghe -- arguably Britain's best boxer since the Second World War -- beat Denmark's Mikkel Kessler on points to add the WBC and WBA world titles to his WBO belt.
The previous year, Calzaghe had out-pointed American Jeff Lacy in a one-way fight for the IBF belt and his win over Kessler put to rest any argument as to who was king of the 12-stone division.
Calzaghe, who retired with an unbeaten 46-0 record in 2008, considers the win over Kessler in front of 50,000 at the Millennium Stadium -- now known as the Principality Stadium where 78,000 saw heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua beat Carlos Takam -- as his career-best moment.
"It was the fight of my life," Calzaghe said. "Beating Chris Eubank in 1997 was a great win, and the toughest fight of my life, and beating Jeff Lacy was great too.
"But Mikkel Kessler topped it, winning all the belts and fighting in front of all those fans in my home town."
Calzaghe, then 35, had to overcome some testing moments against Kessler, who went into the fight with a 39-0 undefeated record. Kessler caught southpaw Calzaghe with some big right hands in the fourth round, but the home hero then took control in the middle rounds.
The Welshman relied more on his boxing in the second half of the fight and his speed was too much for Kessler, earning Calzaghe a 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 points win.
"He caught me with some good shots early on, especially in the fourth round, which maybe made me focus a bit better," Calzaghe said.
"I was able to adapt during the fight and use my boxing more. I hurt him with body shot in the eighth as well.
"I definitely was a big puncher early on in my career and I used to load up with my left hand. Then, towards the end of my career, I had hand problems and needed injections in my hands for the pain.
"Because of the hand I used my southpaw skills after six or seven rounds. I adapted and used my boxing brain and my skills, and he couldn't adapt.
"It was my different style, speed, jab and work rate that won it."
The Kessler win was Calzaghe's last as a super-middleweight, ending a ten-year reign as world champion. The Welshman then stepped up a division to out-point Americans Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr in the U.S.
"To unify all the belts and beat Mikkel, I knew it would be my last fight at super-middleweight because I had struggled with the weight," said Calzaghe.
"I had lost 36 pounds in 16 weeks to make weight for Kessler and even though I didn't feel 100 percent, it was my best fight."
Calzaghe made a record 21 world super-middleweight title defences and is one of the longest-reigning world champions in boxing history. He resisted the temptation of a comeback but Kessler hopes to fight again aged 38.
The Dane had planned a ring return recently but had to postpone it due to a tick bite which left him unable to train properly. After losing to Calzaghe, Kessler regained the world title before losing on points to American Andre Ward in 2009. In his next fight, he won back a version of the world title against England's Carl Froch on points, but then lost a rematch to Froch in his last fight in 2013 on points.