Ring Magazine ranks the top 10 Middleweights of last 50 years

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 10-05-2011, 04:20 PM         #1
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snoopdoggiz 
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Ring Magazine ranks the top 10 Middleweights of last 50 years
 

 

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The middleweight division will be in the spotlight on Saturday when RING champion Sergio Martinez defends his title against Darren Barker.

The bout, which will be televised live on HBO (in the U.S.) from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., is Martinez’s third title defense since dethroning Kelly Pavlik last April.

So far, the 36-year-old southpaw’s first two title defenses -- a crushing second-round KO of Paul Williams last November and a dominant eighth-round stoppage of Sergei Dzinziruk in March -- have given him the look and momentum of a special middleweight champion.

Of course, that’s what everyone thought about Pavlik and the man that he dethroned, Jermain Taylor, early in their title reigns. It’s not easy to live up to the great middleweights of the past.

The middleweight champions of the first half of the 20th Century -- colorful, courageous and sometimes tragic figures such as “The Michigan a.ssassin” Stanley Ketchel, “The Pittsburgh Windmill” Harry Greb, “The Man of Steel” Tony Zale, “The Bronx Bull” Jake LaMotta and, of course, Sugar Ray Robinson -- are not only boxing legends, but part of American folklore.

However, excellence in the 160-pound division did not end with the 1950s. As boxing became more of an international sport, some of the best f!ghters of recent decades made their names in the middleweight division. RingTV.com’s Doug Fischer has ranked some of those f!ghters in a 10 List of the best middleweight titleholders of the past 50 years.

What does that mean? It means all the f!ghters listed had to have been in their prime (or at least close to it) after 1961 to be considered. As always, Fischer ranks his f!ghters mainly based on the quality of their opposition. It’s not about how good these guys looked, it’s about who they fought.

10. James Toney (active)

Record: 73-6-3, 44 knockouts

Years active: 1988-present

Title reign: 1991-1992 (IBF); six defenses

Style: Ultra-crafty, ultra-tough counter puncher

Strengths: Intelligence, defensive savvy, combination and counter-punching ability, tough-guy attitude, right hand, and rock-solid chin (has never been stopped in 84 pro bouts).

Why is he ranked? Fiery tempered Michigan native somehow fit six title defenses in his 15-month reign, including title-winning victory over an incredibly talented and undefeated (36-0) Michael Nunn and defenses against future titleholder Reggie Johnson and future hall of famer Mike McCallum.

Who did he f!ght? Nunn, (TKO 11), Johnson (SD 12) and McCallum (D 12, W 12).


9. Sumbu Kalambay

Record: 57-6-1, 33 knockouts

Years active: 1980-1993

Title reign: 1987-1989 (WBA); three defenses

Style: Slick stick-and-move specialist

Strengths: Hand and foot speed, lateral movement, balance, timing, counter-punching ability, and an excellent jab.

Why is he ranked? The Italy-based Congo native’s underrated late-1980s title run began with decision victories over undefeated Herol Graham (38-0), feared brawler Iran Barkley and undefeated future hall of famer Mike McCallum (32-0).

Who did he f!ght? Titleholders McCallum (W 12, L 12), Michael Nunn (KO’d 1), Barkley (W 15), Steve Collins (W 12), Doug DeWitt (TKO 7) and Chris Pyatt (W 12).

Also faced: Ayub Kalule (W 12), Graham (W 12, W 12), Robbie Sims (W 12) and Duane Thomas (L 10).


8. Mike McCallum

Record: 49-5-1, 36 knockouts

Years active: 1981-1997

Title reign: 1989-1991 (WBA); three defenses

International Boxing Hall of Fame induction: 2003

Style: Skilled boxer-puncher

Strengths: Intelligence, textbook technique, accuracy, stamina, jab, hook, right hand, body attack, and iron chin (never knocked out).

Why’s he ranked? The former junior middleweight titleholder from Jamaica took on many of the top middleweights of the early 1990s and beat them all except for James Toney, who he almost beat in their classic first bout.

Who did he f!ght? Titleholders Toney (D 12, L 12), Sumbu Kalambay (L 12, W 12) and Steve Collins (W 12).

Also faced: Top-10 contenders Herol Graham (W 12) and Michael Watson (KO 11).


7. Nino Benvenuti

Record: 82-7-1, 35 knockouts

Years active: 1961-1971

Title reigns: 1967; 1968-’70; four defenses (second reign)

Hall of Fame induction: 1992

Style: Tall, rangy mobile boxer

Strengths: Intelligence, height (5-foot-11) and reach (75-inch wingspan), defensive ability, jab, powerful left hook and footwork.

Why is he ranked? Popular Italian’s trilogy with Emile Griffith, all three of which were fought in New York City, endeared him to American fans and earned the charismatic 1960 Olympic gold medalist the middleweight championship.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers Griffith (W 15, L 15, W 15), Carlos Monzon (KO’d 12, TKO’d 3), d!ck Tiger (L 10), and Luis Rodriguez (KO 11).

Also faced: Top-10 contenders Don Fullmer (W 12, W 15) and Doyle Baird (D 10, KO 10).


6. Joey Giardello

Record: 101-26-8, 33 knockouts

Years active: 1948-1967

Title reigns: 1963-’65; one defense

Hall of Fame induction: 1993

Style: Cagey, scrappy boxer

Strengths: Ring generalship, timing, excellent footwork, good technique, and a very good jab.

Why is he ranked? Persistent late-bloomer began pro career in boxing’s Golden Age (1940s and ‘50s) but didn’t come into his own -- or receive an opportunity to f!ght for a title -- until the early 1960s when, after outpointing an old Sugar Ray Robinson, he finally won the middleweight crown from formidable rival d!ck Tiger at age 33.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers Tiger (L 10, W 10, W15, L 15), Gene Fullmer (D 15), Robinson (W 10) and Billy Graham (W 10, W 10, L 12).

Also faced: Bobby Boyd (KO 5), Willie Vaughn (D 10), Rory Calhoun (W 10, W 10), Tiger Jones (W 10), L 10), Joey Giambra (L 10), Spider Webb (TKO’d 7), Holly Mims (W 10), Del Flanagan (KO 1), Terry Downes (L 10), Ralph Dupas (L 10), Henry Hank (L 10, W 10), George Benton (L 10) and Rubin “Hurricane“ Carter (W 15).


5. d!ck Tiger

Record: 60-19-3, 27 knockouts

Years active: 1952-1970

Title reigns: 1962-’63 (NBA/WBA); 1963; 1965-’66; two defenses

Hall of Fame induction: 1991

Style: Compact boxer-puncher

Strengths: Brute physical strength, speed, reflexes, tight technique, footwork, jab, chin (only stopped twice in 82 pro bouts).

Why is he ranked? Squat-but-powerful Nigerian engaged in multi-f!ght series with future hall of famers Gene Fuller and Joey Giardello while facing the best middleweights of the early 1960s.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers Fullmer (W 15, D 15, TKO 7), Giardello (W 15, L 10, L 15, W 15) and Emile Griffith (L 15, L 10).

Also faced: Spider Webb (L 10, TKO 6), Yolande Pompey (W 10), Rory Calhoun (D 10, L 10), Gene Armstrong (W 10, W 10, TKO 9), Hank Casey ( W 10), Florentino Fernandez (TKO 6), Henry Hank (W 10), Joey Archer (L 10), Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (W 10) and Holly Mims (W 10).


4. Emile Griffith

Record: 85-24-2, 23 knockouts;

Years active: 1958-1977

Title reigns: 1966-’67; 1967-’68; two defenses

Hall of Fame induction: 1990

Style: Energetic boxer-brawler

Strengths: Iron will, stamina, physical strength, excellent footwork, body attack, and a rock-solid chin (only stopped twice in 112 pro bouts).

Why is he ranked? The former three-time welterweight champ from the Virgin Islands only stood 5-foot-7 but he fought more top-10 middleweight contenders of his day than any other f!ghter on this list, including Joey Archer (W 15, W 15) and future titleholders Vito Antuofermo (L 10) and Alan Minter (L 10), both of whom he faced late in his career.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers d!ck Tiger (W 10, W 10), Benvenuti (W 15, L 15, L15), and Monzon (TKO’d 14, L 15)

Also faced: Top 10-contenders “Gypsy” Joe Harris (W 12), Stan “Kitten” Hayward (L 10, W 12), Andy Heilman (W 10), Doyle Baird (W 10), Tom Bogs (W 10), Rafael Gutierrez (W 10), Bennie Briscoe (W 10, D 10), Tony Licata (L 12), Donato Paduano (W 10), Jean Claude Bouttier (LF 7) and Tony Mundine (L 10).


3. Bernard Hopkins (active)

Record: 52-5-2, 32 knockouts

Years active: 1988-present

Title reign: 1995-2005; 20 defenses (IBF); six defenses of undisputed/RING title

Style: Rugged, versatile technician

Strengths: Intelligence, craftiness, iron will, textbook technique, good footwork, educated jab, good right hand, solid chin (he’s never been stopped).

Why is he ranked? Hardnosed Philadelphia technician broke Carlos Monzon’s long-standing record for middleweight title defenses (20) during his 10-year IBF reign and unified all four major 160-pound belts in the process of proving that he was the undisputed champ.

Who did he f!ght? Champion standouts Roy Jones Jr. (L 12), Felix Trinidad (TKO 12), Oscar De La Hoya (TKO 9) and Glen Johnson (TKO 11).

Also faced: Segundo Mercado (D 12, TKO 7), John David Jackson (TKO 7), Simon Brown (TKO 6), Robert Allen (NC 4, TKO 7, W 12), Antwun Echols (W 12, TKO 10), Keith Holmes (W 12), William Joppy (W 12) and Jermain Taylor (L 12, L 12).


2. Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Record: 62-3-2, 52 knockouts

Years active: 1973-1987

Title reign: 1980-1987; 12 defenses

Hall of Fame induction: 1993

Style: Pressure-f!ghting technician

Strengths: Textbook technique, physical strength, better-than-average power, southpaw stance, jab, right hook, stamina, iron chin (never knocked out).

Why is he ranked? Hardnosed technician cleaned out the underrated 160-pound division of the first half of the 1980s en route to recognition as undisputed champ and 12 title defenses.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers Roberto Duran (W 15) and Sugar Ray Leonard (L 12), and sure-fire future HOFer Thomas Hearns (TKO 3).

Also faced: Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts (L 10, TKO 2), Willie “The Worm” Monroe (L 10, TKO 12, TKO 2), Mike Colbert (KO 12), Bennie Briscoe (W 10), Vito Antuofermo (D 15, TKO 5), Alan Minter (TKO 3), Loucif Hamani (TKO 2), Fulgencio Obelmejias (TKO 8, KO 5), Mustafa Hamsho (TKO 11, KO 3), Tony Sibson (KO 6), Wilford Scypion (KO 4), Juan Roldan (KO 10), and John Mugabi (KO 11).


1. Carlos Monzon

Record: 87-3-9, 59 knockouts

Years active: 1963-1977

Title reign: 1970-’77; 14 defenses

Hall of Fame induction: 1990

Style: Stand-up boxer-puncher with inf!ghting ability and a mean streak.

Strengths: Piston-like jab, iron will, ring generalship, economic punching, good power, height (6-feet tall) and reach (76-inch wingspan), ability to f!ght tall but also adept at roughing-up opponents in close, stamina, and rock-solid chin (never knocked out in 100 bouts; only down once, in final bout).

Why is he ranked? The proud Argentine, one of the most dominant champions of any division during the 1970s, reigned for seven years and set a long standing division record for title defenses (14). All three losses, suffered in first two years of his career, were avenged during the amazing 80-bout unbeaten streak he carried to his retirement.

Who did he f!ght? Fellow hall of famers Nino Benvenuti (KO 12, TKO 3), Emile Griffith (TKO 14, W 15) and Jose Napoles (TKO 7).

Also faced: Top-10 contenders Denny Moyer (TKO 5), Jean Claude Bouttier (TKO 13, W 15), Bennie Briscoe (D 10, W 15), Tony Mundine (KO 7), Tony Licata (TKO 10), Gatien Tonna (KO 5), and Rodrigo Valdez (W 15, W 15).



Honorable mention

Michael Nunn, Roy Jones Jr., Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Iran Barkley, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Vito Antuofermo, Alan Minter, Gerald McClellan and Julian Jackson.

51 comments for "Ring Magazine ranks the top 10 Middleweights of last 50 years"

 10-05-2011, 04:56 PM         #2
snoopdoggiz  OP
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[video - click to view]


[video - click to view]

 6 years ago '08        #3
RustyLorcin 11 heat pts11
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Carlos Monzon was a beast..nothing but stamina, heart and punching power.
 10-05-2011, 11:43 PM         #4
Kuchiki_Byakuya  OP
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Floyd would most likely beat any of these so-called "greats" by easy UD.
 6 years ago '04        #5
dre03 
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How the fu*k is RJJR an honorable mention when he beat Mccallum, Toney and Hopkins... Who are all ranked in the top 10? Roy beat Hopkins to win the middleweight title...

This ranking is retarded
 6 years ago '11        #6
Blue Mercury 236 heat pts236
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 snoopdoggiz said:

Thanks for posting my Hagler vs Hearns vid big dawg!
 6 years ago '11        #7
DCballer40 
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 snoopdoggiz said:

Watched the second video...3 minutes in Im thinking this is an epic FEW rounds of the f!ght. (the video kept chopping out of sequence so I thought it was a mixture of the early rounds). Bell rings and the announcer says there's the bell to the first round !

sh*t had me like I kept watching and I was then after the knockout I was like

Unbelievable f!ght....I would pay anything for boxing matches to be like that now
 6 years ago '04        #8
A.G 27 heat pts27
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B-Hop


RJJ should be up there though.
 6 years ago '11        #9
DCballer40 
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 dre03 said:
How the fu*k is RJJR an honorable mention when he beat Mccallum, Toney and Hopkins... Who are all ranked in the top 10? Roy beat Hopkins to win the middleweight title...

This ranking is retarded
From '92 -'03 he was well on his way to becoming an ALL TIME Pound For Pound Great...until a guy by the name of Antonio Tarver derailed his career. Since that loss he is 5-12 suffering 4 KOs in that span. Hell he just lost a f!ght this past May in Moscow


Him hitting the canvas that Saturday night in May of '03 destroyed his pshci... every loss after that has ruined his legacy
 6 years ago '11        #10
Blue Mercury 236 heat pts236
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 foshomoney said:
where the fu*k is chaves and pretty boy?
Middleweight division list.
 6 years ago '11        #11
DCballer40 
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Aww man I just rewatched the Hagler vs Hearns f!ght and the announcer said after the 1st round that was an entire f!ght in the first 3 minutes....thats how I felt watching it
 6 years ago '11        #12
whothebestmc 98 heat pts98
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 DCballer40 said:
From '92 -'03 he was well on his way to becoming an ALL TIME Pound For Pound Great...until a guy by the name of Antonio Tarver derailed his career. Since that loss he is 5-12 suffering 4 KOs in that span. Hell he just lost a f!ght this past May in Moscow


Him hitting the canvas that Saturday night in May of '03 destroyed his pshci... every loss after that has ruined his legacy
this is a middleweight list what does him losing light heavyweight f!ghts have to do with that? he beat 3 of the people listed in the top 10 rjj was undefeated as a middleweight. and his career got derailed from him going up to heavyweight then going back down.



edit: oh rjj is one of the goats all time pound for pound stop it.


Last edited by whothebestmc; 10-06-2011 at 01:11 AM..
 6 years ago '08        #13
Imagin3 3 heat pts
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 Kuchiki_Byakuya said:
Floyd would most likely beat any of these so-called "greats" by easy UD.

floyd aint beatin bernard RIGHT now
gtfoh
 6 years ago '06        #14
RAZAH CUTS 5835 heat pts5835
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Roberto Duran should at least be number 10... fu*k the bullsh*t...

and I think Hopkins is no. 1 overall...
 6 years ago '04        #15
VictoryThagr8 6 heat pts
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 DCballer40 said:
From '92 -'03 he was well on his way to becoming an ALL TIME Pound For Pound Great...until a guy by the name of Antonio Tarver derailed his career. Since that loss he is 5-12 suffering 4 KOs in that span. Hell he just lost a f!ght this past May in Moscow


Him hitting the canvas that Saturday night in May of '03 destroyed his pshci... every loss after that has ruined his legacy
Im sorry but every lost since the tarver f!ght is not during his prime. He was shot for sh*t in the 2nd tarver f!ght.

Nobody legacy gets destroyed when their shot for sh*t....if it did, Ali, SRR wouldn't be so great since they fought till they were shot for sh*t.
 10-06-2011, 07:01 AM         #16
aftrmath959  OP
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 dre03 said:
How the fu*k is RJJR an honorable mention when he beat Mccallum, Toney and Hopkins... Who are all ranked in the top 10? Roy beat Hopkins to win the middleweight title...

This ranking is retarded

Couldn't take this list serious after I saw Toney at #10...c'mon now
[pic - click to view]

 6 years ago '08        #17
PEK 16 heat pts16
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 dre03 said:
How the fu*k is RJJR an honorable mention when he beat Mccallum, Toney and Hopkins... Who are all ranked in the top 10? Roy beat Hopkins to win the middleweight title...

This ranking is retarded
Because Hopkins is the only one he beat at middleweight. The rest of those guys he beat at 168 or 175. Jones will be top 10 in those 2 weight classes.
 6 years ago '05        #18
Afnorth123 10 heat pts10
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thought toney would be lil higher but at the same time i can see why he's not
 6 years ago '05        #19
Bea5T 137 heat pts137
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 foshomoney said:
where the fu*k is chaves and pretty boy?
 6 years ago '05        #20
Bea5T 137 heat pts137
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 PEK said:
Because Hopkins is the only one he beat at middleweight. The rest of those guys he beat at 168 or 175. Jones will be top 10 in those 2 weight classes.
Exactly. People don't know sh*t about boxing on here
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