Home Boxing The Top-10 Super Middleweights in Boxing History

The Top-10 Super Middleweights in Boxing History

Who are the best?

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18,1994: Roy Jones Jr. (R) lands a left hook to James Toney during the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Roy Jones Jr.won the IBF super middleweight title by a UD 12. (Photo by: The Ring Magazine/Getty Images)

10) Sven Ottke

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Ottke defeated Charles Brewer (twice), Thomas Tate (twice), Glen Johnson, Anthony Mundine, Byron Mitchell, and Robin Reid. Ottke held the IBF super middleweight title and later the WBA title a combined 6 years with 21 total defenses. Ottke was notable for two things in my estimation. Number one he couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag and number two, he would not come to the states to fight, which will always make you wonder how good he really was.

9) Carl Froch

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Carl Froch took on the best of the super middleweight division. Top names Froch defeated included Robin Reid, Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Lucian Bute, and George Groves. Froch also won his 2nd of two fights with Mikkel Kessler.

8) Mikkel Kessler

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“The Viking Warrior” blitzed his way through his first thirty-ninety nine opponents, and his final five foes before squaring off against Joe Calzaghe were all ranked inside the top ten. He dethroned Manny Siaca of his WBA title before demolishing Markus Beyer with a crunching right hand to claim the WBC strap. A twelve round master performance over the previously undefeated Librado Andrade showed the Dane had good balance, movement, and stamina to go with his formidable knockout power. In 2007 Kessler bravely ventured to Wales in an attempt to unify the belts by challenging the experienced Joe Calzaghe. Although extremely competitive for the first half of the fight, the Dane ultimately came up short.

7) Nigel Benn

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Benn was one of the most electrifying fighters of the last 30 years who always gave the fans their money’s worth. Benn’s most famous fight was against Gerald McClellan, the WBC middleweight champion, who moved up in weight to challenge for WBC super middleweight crown. The extremely powerful McClellan was considered the favorite, but Benn survived two knockdowns to TKO his opponent in the 10th round. I rank Benn at number eight because his resume is not as good as the guys ranked above him.

6) Chris Eubank Sr.

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Chris Eubank stopped Michael Watson in September 1991 for the vacant WBO title, an encounter his opponent never fully recovered from and one of Eubank’s greatest performances, as this was the same Watson who had stopped Nigel Been a few years before. After this near-fatal bout, Eubank seemed to lose his “killer instinct”, and in later years admitted that he became content just winning his fights on points. Nevertheless, between 1991 and 1995 “Simply the Best” defended his belt fourteen times, including a victory over the former IBF titleholder, the undefeated Graciano Rocchigiani. His WBO/WBC unification grudge match with Nigel Benn ended in a draw after twelve exciting rounds.

5) Steve Collins

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Collins was a very underrated fighter, twice besting Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in title fights. Granted, both men were nearing the ends of their careers but so was Collins. Of course, most Brits refuse to admit Collins was nearing the end also. Early in Collins career, he took Mike McCallum the distance in a middleweight title fight, which is more than most of the people listed below him ever did. Collins never lost at super middleweight.

4) James Toney

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Toney was one of the most complete fighters in the history of the division, but he only fought 10 times there and only had three title defenses before losing to Jones Jr. and then moving to light heavyweight.

3) Joe Calzaghe

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Calzaghe unified the WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA, Ring and Lineal titles. Calzaghe also took on the best names in the super middleweight division, including Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Omar Sheika, Charles Brewer, Byron Mitchell, Jeff Lacy, Sakio Bika, and Mikkel Kessler. The thing that put the world on notice is when Calzaghe crossed the pond and beat Hopkins and Jones, helping to solidify all that he had done at 168.

2) Andre Ward

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In his career, Ward defeated Edison Miranda, Shelby Pudwill, Allan Green, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, and Carl Froch. Ward also knocked out the reigning light heavyweight champion, Chad Dawson, who moved down to challenge for his super middleweight title. Unfortunately, injuries and promotional problems kept Ward inactive for long stretches of his title reign. Ward was one of the most gifted boxers of the last 30 years and I believe is vastly underrated when it comes to ranking the all-time greats.

1) Roy Jones Jr.

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Roy Jones Jr. was undefeated and seemingly unbeatable at super middleweight. He dominated James Toney at 168 and really dominated the entire division while he was there, defending his title by knockout every time. My problem with Jones at 168 was his reluctance to travel to the UK to take on Steve Collins, Chris Eubank, and Nigel Benn. I do not think any of the three could have beat him.