The super middleweight division is a classic European battleground. Or at least it was. American Andre Ward had long been the clear top dog in the division after emerging as the victor of the Super Six Tournament, and held wins over much of the rest of the upper half of the division. But now Ward and rival Carl Froch are both gone, so how does the division look today? Right here is where you’ll find the current top 10 in boxing’s super middleweight division.
Super middleweight rankings (168 lbs.) last updated September 2015
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Super Middleweight Division Champion:
Long-time champ Andre Ward was finally stripped of his championship, due to inactivity, and then returning at a catchweight above the division’s limit. He seems headed to 175 lbs.
Top 10 Super Middleweight Contenders
- James DeGale – Chunky scored the biggest win of his career by knocking out unbeaten Brandon Gonzales in 4 rounds on the undercard of Froch vs. Groves II. He had been in line to face Froch, although that never came to fruition. Made quick work of Marco Antonio Periban, and was highly impressive against Andre Dirrell, picking up a vacant title in the process.
- Arthur Abraham – Abraham easily took care of Robert Stieglitz in their first go-round, which legitimized his comeback and gave him another title. After a disappointing loss due to a cut stoppage, Abraham rebounded with another victory over Stieglitz in their rubber match. Stayed busy with a win over Nikola Sjekloca. Defeated Paul Smith, and gave him a rematch for some reason. Then gave Stieglitz a fourth fight for some reason. With Ward and Froch gone, Abraham is a legit threat to be the division’s champ.
- Badou Jack – Just a few fights removed from a shocking knockout defeat to a journeyman, Jack pulled off a big upset by defeating the previously unbeaten Anthony Dirrell via Majority Decision. Then, squeaked past George Groves in an intriguing encounter of contenders which just missed the cutoff criteria to help determine a vacant camp. Got the Split Decision nod in part thanks to scoring a 1st round knockdown.
- Anthony Dirrell – The lesser-known Dirrell brother finally landed a big fight and title shot against the tough Sakio Bika. Dirrell was able to hurt Bika on multiple occasions, and utilize his length and speed to great advantage. But after having never been more than 8 rounds before, wore out down the stretch. He won the rematch though, becoming the 2nd cancer-survivor, just narrowly after friend Daniel Jacobs, to win a title strap. Narrowly lost to Jack, and then cruised past Marco Antonio Rubio.
- Gilberto Ramirez – Ramirez has talent which is off the charts. The competition has been relatively modest to this point, but he’s been gaining experience and moving up the ladder. He’s far from a finished product, but again, with the two top dogs in the division gone, it’s anybody’s ball game right now.
- George Groves – Groves proved a lot in his two fights against Carl Froch. His skill, his confidence and his desire to compete against the best are all noteworthy. At the end of the day, it’s back to back defeats, and a devastating knockout loss to recover from. He does hold a win over DeGale though, and certainly DeGale hasn’t forgotten about that, although he may not be eager to provide a rematch now that he’s in the position of power. Scored a few decent wins before losing to Jack in a closely contested affair.
- Andre Dirrell -Andre Dirrell put forth a strong showing against James DeGale, and if not for some early stumbles, perhaps could have come away with a decision. Nevertheless, if he’s intent on staying active and campaigning, he’s a threat to anyone. Except brother Anthony, of course, as the two would never clash.
- Martin Murray –Following his defeat to Gennady Golovkin, Martin Murray has moved up to 168 lbs. He’s fought several times in quick succession to get his feet wet, and stands in solid position here in the top 10. The British scene is loaded at super middleweight, so there are plenty of high-end options for him. Murray vs. Groves, anybody?
- Callum Smith: Brother Paul is the one who got two shots at Abraham, and then a fight against Ward. But Callum has a better win than Paul ever garnered, a thorough victory over Nikola Sjekloca. Had no issues with Chirstopher Rebrasse in his last outing, and now he’s lined up for a fall fight with Rocky Fielding in a very intriguing domestic showdown. Perhaps the winner should meet the winner of a fight between Groves and Murray.
- Robert Stieglitz – Stieglitz’s run at or near the top of the division, filled with very ho-hum title defenses, was presumptively ended when Arthur Abraham took his title. Then he scored a shocking upset over Abraham in their rematch, garnering a TKO4 victory due to cuts. Lost the rubber match, but hey, let’s make it four! Lost again.
Rocky Fielding, Fedor Chudinov, Sakio Bika, Brandon Gonzales, Frank Buglioni, J’Leon Love, Don George, Marco Antonio Periban, Nikola Sjekloca, Paul Smith
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