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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top-10 Middleweights in Boxing History

Top-10 Middleweights in Boxing History

Who are your top-10?
Publish Date: 12/22/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Top 10 Middleweights

The Middleweight division has a ton of history behind it. Today we look at the top 10 Middleweights of all time. The criteria are the strength of the opposition, and the strength of opponents lost to. We do not ranked on basis of who would beat who except in rare circumstances where the differences in a resume are small.

10) Jake LaMotta

LaMotta proved his abilities in the ring by beating Marcel Cerdan and Lamont Dauthuille, and of course, he was the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson. LaMotta fought Robinson six times, winning one but his reputation as an iron chin fighter was cemented as Robinson could never get LaMotta on the floor in the six encounters.

Find the best boxing betting strategies for betting on all of the biggest fights.

Video: Jake LaMotta - The Raging Bull

Jake LaMotta – The Raging Bull

9) Tiger Flowers

Flowers won the title from the great Harry Greb and beat him 2 out of 3! It was an older Greb, but those are legendary wins. Flowers also dropped a controversial decision to Mickey Walker and beat many middleweight contenders.

Video: Tiger Flowers - The Georgia Deacon and the Mysterious Death of a Boxing Manager

Tiger Flowers – The Georgia Deacon and the Mysterious Death of a Boxing Manager

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8) Stanley Ketchel

Ketchel may be best known for knocking down Jack Johnson in a battle for the heavyweight title but his prime was at middleweight. In 1908 he easily dispatched Mike “Twin” Sullivan to receive general recognition as the World Championship, a title that did not officially exist. Ketchel fought a murderous four-fight series with Billy Papke and also beat the great light-heavyweight Philadelphia Jack O’Brien. Ketchel died at an early age or he may have been much higher than this.

Video: The Saga of Stanley Ketchel

The Saga of Stanley Ketchel

7) Mickey Walker

Walker, as I mentioned above, won the controversial decision against Tiger Flowers, managed 4 defenses, and never lost his title in the ring. Walker was one of the toughest fighters during the “Roaring 20s” and was competitive fighting all the way up to heavyweight.

Video: Mickey Walker - A look back at the Toy Bulldog

Mickey Walker – A look back at the Toy Bulldog

6) Dick Tiger

Tiger beat the very tough Gene Fullmer to win the World Middleweight Title. He drew with Fullmer in a rematch then knocked him out in their third meeting. He split a four-fight series with Joey Giardello and also had two wins over one-time light heavyweight champion Jose Torres. Tiger was one of the greatest fighters during the decade of the 1960s, arguably the greatest African boxer ever, and twice Ring Magazine named him Fighter of the Year.

Video: 5 Dick Tiger Greatest knockouts

5 Dick Tiger Greatest knockouts

5) Bob Fitzsimmons

Fitzsimmons was an all-time great fighter who would eventually challenge the best at heavyweight, and even then he was not far from the middleweight limit. In 1891 he won the Middleweight Championship of the World from the legendary Jack “The Nonpareil” Dempsey. In a brutal fight, Fitzsimmons reportedly knocked Dempsey down 13 times and begged him to quit. Fitzsimmons gets overlooked by many but he shouldn’t as he was a truly great champion.

Video: Bob Fitzsimmons | Hardest Puncher Ever?!

Bob Fitzsimmons | Hardest Puncher Ever?!

4) Sugar Ray Robinson

Robinson was probably the greatest welterweight of all time and a strong case can be made that he was the greatest middleweight of all time also. Robinson recorded victories over all the best 160-pound fighters of the era–fellow Hall-of-Famers like Jake LaMotta, Gene Fullmer, Bobo Olson, Rocky Graziano, and Carmen Basilio. Solid, tough competition, but I have Robinson at number four in the end, but it is very close.

Video: Sugar Ray Robinson - Amazing Combinations

Sugar Ray Robinson – Amazing Combinations

3) Carlos Monzon

Monzon was a tough, relentless fighter. Monzon won the title by beating Nino Benvenuti and in his first defense became the first man to knockout Emile Griffith. In a later rematch, he outpointed Griffith. He lost only three fights, but those were early in his career. At the end of his career, he had recorded 87 victories, with 59 coming by way of knockout. A case can be made for Monzon being number one on this list as the first 4 fighters on the list are closely matched.

Video: Carlos Monzรณn - Highlights & Knockouts

Carlos Monzรณn – Highlights & Knockouts

2) Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Hagler was one of the most avoided boxers in history and was the number one contender for years in the middleweight division. He finally got a shot at the title in 1979 and was robbed of glory after the three blind mice in Vegas scored a draw. In his next title shot a year later Hagler would leave no doubt, knocking the new champion Alan Minter out in the third round. All in all, Hagler dominated the division for the better part of the decade.

Video: Marvelous Marvin Hagler - Highlights & Knockouts

Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Highlights & Knockouts

1) Harry Greb

A case can be made that Greb is number one in a few divisions and all-time he has to fit into anybody’s top-5. I know the youngsters will quickly scream, “There is no film!”, but I can read. Even without film look at the people he was able to beat, more Hall of Famers than anyone.

Video: Harry Greb - Remember The Pittsburgh Windmill

Harry Greb – Remember The Pittsburgh Windmill

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