The 10 most significant super middleweight title bouts in history
By Steve Farhood: On December 17, every eye in boxing will be glued to the super middleweight battle between WBA titlist Andre Ward and WBC titlist Carl Froch, who will clash in Atlantic City in The Final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
Article posted on 08.12.2011
The super middleweight division was born in 1984, when Scotland's Murray Sutherland was crowned IBF champion. Since then, many of the greatest fighters of their generation, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones, James Toney, and Joe Calzaghe, have engaged in 168-pound title bouts.
Ward-Froch will be the 76th unification bout in boxing, and the sixth at super middleweight. Given the immense stakes, it will be one of the most critical contests in the division's 27-year history.
To date, the 10 most significant super middleweight title bouts:
1. Roy Jones W 12 James Toney, November 18, 1994, Las Vegas (Jones retains IBF title): Those who insist Jones ducked the best available opposition conveniently choose to forget this fight. Toney, 44-0-2, is ranked second pound-for-pound, Jones, 26-0, seventh. Toney drains himself making weight, rehydrates until he is a bag of water, and performs accordingly. Jones scores a knockdown in round three en route to a clear-cut decision win.
2. Sugar Ray Leonard D 12 Thomas Hearns, June 12, 1989, Las Vegas (Leonard retains WBC title; Hearns retains WBO title): The legends are rematched eight years after their historic unification battle at welterweight. While both are past their primes, they produce a thrilling duel, with Leonard, 35-1, suffering knockdowns in rounds three and 11, and Hearns, 46-3, barely surviving round 12. Almost no one agrees with the decision, including Leonard, whose thought before the announcement of the decision is, "The only uncertainty left was the margin of [my] defeat."
3. Joe Calzaghe W 12 Mikkel Kessler, November 3, 2007, Cardiff, Wales (Calzaghe retains WBO title, wins WBC and WBA Super titles): The Welshman and the Dane fight for three belts before a crowd of almost 50,000 at Millennium Stadium. In a crisply fought bout, Kessler, 39-0, is stronger for five rounds, but Calzaghe, 43-0, rallies to take a well-received unanimous decision. Having made 21 defenses, Calzaghe is finally recognized as a legitimately great fighter. "I had plans for this fight," Kessler says, "but he just crushed my dreams."
4. Nigel Benn D 12 Chris Eubank, October 9, 1993, Manchester, England (Benn retains WBC title; Eubank retains WBO title): Like Leonard and Hearns before them, bitter British rivals Benn, 37-2, and Eubank, 35-0-1, are rematched at a higher weight. (In a 1990 title fight at middleweight, Eubank stopped Benn in nine rounds.) The second bout, fought before 42,000 on sacred grounds at Old Trafford Stadium, is a disappointment, with neither fighter willing to take the chances that marked their pulsating first encounter. As it turns out, a point lost by Benn for punching low costs him the win.
5. Sugar Ray Leonard KO 9 Don Lalonde, November 7, 1988, Las Vegas (Leonard wins newly created WBC super middleweight title and WBC light heavyweight title): Fighting for only the third time in 6 1/2 years, Sugar Ray, 34-1, becomes the first boxer in history to win world titles at five different weights. The naturally bigger Lalonde, 31-2, drops Leonard with a right hand in the fourth, but Sugar Ray rebounds to punish the Canadian champion and brutally finish him in the ninth.
6. Joe Calzaghe W 12 Jeff Lacy, March 4, 2006, Manchester, England (Calzaghe retains WBO title, wins IBF title): Despite Calzaghe's credentials and home field advantage, the powerpunching Lacy, 21-0, is the betting favorite. The bettors are dead-wrong; the southpaw Calzaghe, 40-0, dominates with speed and sharp punching and wins virtually every round. "Long before the finish," writes Brian Doogan in "The Ring," "it had become almost unbearable to watch [Lacy] suffer such a beating."
7. Andre Ward Technical Win 11 Mikkel Kessler, November 21, 2009, Oakland (Ward wins WBA title): In the opening round of Showtime's Super Six tournament, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Ward, 20-0, making a mammoth jump in class, scores an upset, chopping up longtime titlist and tournament co-favorite Kessler, 42-1. The ringside doctor halts the bout because of a butt-induced cut over Kessler's right eye.
8. James Toney KO 9 Iran Barkley, February 13, 1993, Las Vegas (Toney wins IBF title): Toney, 33-0-2, becomes a two-division champion with a career-best performance. He utterly dominates Barkley, 30-7, who is two fights removed from defeating Thomas Hearns for a second time. When referee Richard Steele intervenes, Barkley's left eye is closed, his right cheek is swollen, and he's bleeding from the nose and mouth.
9. Sven Ottke W 12 Byron Mitchell, March 15, 2003, Berlin (Ottke retains IBF title, wins WBA title): As is often the case, Ottke, 34-0, benefits from home cooking, edging American puncher Mitchell, 25-1-1, by split decision in a unification match. Moving in and out, the German utilizes a pitty-pat attack and survives a rocky moment in the final round.
10.Mikkel Kessler W 12 Carl Froch, April 24, 2010, Herning, Denmark (Regains WBC title): In one of the outstanding bouts of the year, Kessler, 42-2, rejuvenates his career--and strengthens his standing in the Super Six tournament-- by edging Froch, 26-0, by unanimous decision. There is little to choose between the two (scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113), but in the later rounds, Kessler is clearly invigorated by the crowd's support.
THE PINT SIZE PUNCHING MACHINE
Chris Edwards, 35, the oldest and smallest British Champion makes his second defence as the Flyweight Champion against old foe Shinny Bayaar, 34, at the Peterlee Leisure Centre this Saturday (10/12/11) which can be seen live on Sky sports HD.
Edwards (16-14-3) started his career with only one win in his first seven fights. He won the vacant English Super Flyweight against Dale Robinson and then drew in a British and Commonwealth title fight against the same fighter.
He also holds a win over current British and Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion Jamie McDonnell in a vacant British Super Flyweight Title fight.
After moving down a weight division to Flyweight he he won the British and Commonwealth against Wayne Bloy and then defended it with a points win over Usman Ahmed.
Edwards then lost to Bayaar (15-4-2) back in 2009 in a controversial Split points decision but won it back against Paul Edwards last time out.
Edwards said; "I am determined to correct the decision against Bayaar, I was robbed and I will make him fight at such a pace he want be able to live with me.
"I want to sit at the dinner table at Christmas with the Lonsdale belt around my waist."
Bayaar had a indifferent start to his career winning six out of his first eleven fights with one draw.
He beat Edwards winning his first title then had a controversial draw against Ashley Sexton where most people at ringside had him clearly winning the fight.
Paul Edwards stopped Bayaar in the first round due to a bad cut and now gets a second chance against pint size punching machine.
RICH KOMISSAR PROMOTIONS PRESENTS TOMMY GALLAGHER’S WINNERS HAVE SCARS BOXING SERIES
NEW YORK (DECEMBER 8TH, 2011)—On Thursday night December 15th, longtime boxing guy Rich Komissar will be launching a brand new boxing series dubbed “Tommy Gallagher’s Winners Have Scars”.
The first event will take place at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, New Jersey and it will feature some of the best Up and coming talent in the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey region in an effort to create not only the stars of tomorrow but put on the best crowd pleasing fights.
“When I came up with the concept, I had to instill the services of Tommy Gallagher, a lifelong friend and in many ways my personal mentor”, said Komissar of the legendary New York boxing man who has trained, managed and promoted fighters and boxing shows since as far back as the early 1960's. "Tommy Gallagher may be best known as being part of the The Contender reality show but he is much more than that" say Komissar whose late father Stanley was one of the original founders of the legendary Starret City Boxing Club in Brooklyn NY.
“Tommy has relationships all over the world in boxing and entertainment and has worked with practically every major boxing promoter on the planet. I am open to working with any promoter and especially the smaller local guys right here in the area. We look forward to putting on shows that will help these youngsters reach their dreams.
“We have formed a strategic alliance with Rob Diaz and the people at Havoc Boxing. They have done four sensational shows in Brooklyn and we will look forward helping each other grow even further.”
“We have the first show scheduled for December 15th with some great talent on the show including undefeated Cruiserweight Santander Silgado, Puerto Rican featherweight Rafael Vazquez, local hometown guy Danny MacDermott who is always in great fights and IBO Mediterranean Lightweight Champion Floriano Pagliara.
“We already have some things in the works for a great show in January in New York City and we plan to be very active throughout 2012 with this series”
1st bout is at 7:30 pm with the Doors opening at 6:30 pm
Tickets are priced at $100; $75 and $55 and can be purchased by calling 908-240-2097 and are also available at the following locations:
Schuetzen Park is located at 3167 Kennedy Blvd. in North Bergen, NJ
previous article: Danny Williams, Pawel Wolak: Two Warriors Decide To Call It A Day
next article: Marco Antonio Rubio vs. Matt Vanda on December 16th