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Top 10 by Decade – Part IV: Super Middleweights

Ranking fighters across different eras is always a very tricky business, but it is also a lot of fun. Even ranking fighters within the same decade in the same weight class can be tricky, but that is what we are trying to do in this series of ranking experiments.

In Part 1 of the new “Top 10 by Decade” series, we explored the heavyweight division with a new scoring experiment designed to try and objectively identify the Top 10 heavyweights from each decade, starting with the 1930s. Then we examined the cruiserweight division in Part 2, light heavyweights in part 3, and here in part 4 we continue working our way south, with our attention this time directed towards the relatively new super middleweight division.


For the super middleweight division, Ring Magazine began doing divisional in 1989, so for the purposes of this latest installment of our rankings experiment, our journey begins with the 1990s, because this is the first full decade with a complete data set to work with. The super middleweight division correlates exploration of the cruiserweight division in that both are newer divisions, so we don’t have access to the same historical depth for our analysis.

But despite being a newer weight class, the super middleweight division has become a popular attraction that has seen some great talent come and go over the last 30 plus years. Fighters like Roy Jones Jr, James Toney, Joe Calzaghe, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Nigel Benn, and Mikkel Kessler have all spent competing at the highest level in this division. And these talented boxers also produced some very memorable bouts in the 168 pound class. So what the super middleweight division lacks in historical depth, it has made up for to some extent through character and personality.

The main idea here is to try and eliminate personal bias and individual preferences, while also excluding all head-to-head considerations, both real and hypothetical. It is more a measurement of tracking the boxers who had the most prolonged success in a given weight class during very specific time intervals. This edition of Rummy’s Corner is the fourth episode in a series of “Top 10 by Decade” videos that will be released over the course of the coming weeks. Please watch and enjoy this, the fourth installment in this new series of videos – the super middleweight division!