Home Columns Why the super middleweight division is boxing’s best

Why the super middleweight division is boxing’s best

Credit: Alexis Cuarezma - Goossen Tutor

Defending the super middleweight division as the best in boxing today:

The 168 lbs weight class has been producing explosive action to varying degrees for more than twenty years now, and continuously at that. Between its American phenoms, from Roy Jones to the today’s Andre Ward, and its constant crop of world class European fighters, super middleweight has become the old reliable of boxing.

Now that the Super Six tournament has made stars of its top contenders, a good case can be made that it is the best division in boxing. If it isn’t, it’s certainly a close second.

See the full seriesWhich weight division is the best in boxing today?

1. Excitement:

Leaving aside the famous names (I’ll get to them later), a quick perusal of the Top 10 shows a P4P kingpin (Ward), plus world class punchers, boxer-punchers, and boxers. The personalities, the styles-make-fights potential, possible crosstown/-country rivalry fights, and the clash of rising young lions vs. the old guard … the division is so rich with potential that whenever one of its big names fights, boxing fans tune in. That is weight class-wide excitement.

Points: 5/5

2. Star Power:

The Super Six tournament made boxing stars out of Andre Ward and Carl Froch, while Mikkel Kessler was already well-known. Beneath them is another crop of fighters that is either struggling to regain center stage (Arthur Abraham, Robert Steiglitz) or coming up to it (Edwin Rodriguez). The only thing missing is a crossover star, of which there are only a few in boxing. Ward might make it to that level, but he hasn’t just yet. Froch has it in the UK, but that is strictly local.

Points: 4/5

3. Depth:

When just your #11 to #20 rankings include names like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Andre Dirrell, Don George, Librado Andrade, and James DeGale, you know you have top notch talent depth.

Points: 5/5

4. Potential and Influence:

Simply put some of the hottest fights for the next year will revolve around and Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Add to that Steiglitz vs. Abraham III, the rise of Edwin Rodriguez, and so many other potential match-ups… the division is golden. And that’s before you consider the prospect of some of the hot 160-pounders moving up in weight.

Points: 4/5

5. Pound for Pound:

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, with Andre Ward at #2 and Carl Froch at #8.

Points: 5

23 Total

The super middleweight division rates highly thanks to its two premier fighters, Ward and Froch, and the depth of talent underneath. Is it the best division in boxing today? Chime in with your own thoughts below.

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Richard Thomas has been in and out of boxing gyms in Kentucky, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Thailand and for a quarter century, and writing about boxing since 1997. A passionate devotee of the sport, he is as keenly interested in boxing history as he is in the latest bout. He currently lives in Europe, and is also the owner and Managing Editor of The Whiskey Reviewer.