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Boxing's Best Middleweights in History

Updated on January 21, 2016

Photos of 160 Pound Legends

Sugar Ray Robinson clowning around with Muhammad Ali. Two of the best fighters in the history of boxing.
Sugar Ray Robinson clowning around with Muhammad Ali. Two of the best fighters in the history of boxing. | Source
Bernard Hopkins holds the record for most defenses of the 160 pound title with 20. He beat among others Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.
Bernard Hopkins holds the record for most defenses of the 160 pound title with 20. He beat among others Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad. | Source
Marvelous Marvin Hagler defeats Roberto Duran in defense of his middleweight title. He defended his championship twelve times.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler defeats Roberto Duran in defense of his middleweight title. He defended his championship twelve times. | Source
Carlos Monzon hits the speed bag during training to defend his 160 pound championship.
Carlos Monzon hits the speed bag during training to defend his 160 pound championship. | Source
Jake Lamotta lands on Sugar Ray Robinson. La Motta is known for his granite chin.
Jake Lamotta lands on Sugar Ray Robinson. La Motta is known for his granite chin. | Source

Middleweight Legends

1. Sugar Ray Robinson:The five time Middleweight Champion took on anyone in any country and usually won easily. He won the title from BoBo Olsen, Randy Turpin, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio and of course Jake La Motta. He had power, speed, reflexes and a steel chin. He is widely considered not only the best Welterweight and Middleweight Champion ever but, the best pound for pound boxer in history. Period.

2. Bernard Hopkins: Hopkins holds the Middleweight title defense record with twenty and a few other records as well. He knocked out both Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad and beat every contender of his day. Hopkins was hard to hit with more than one shot at a time during his boxing contests. A consummate professional inside the ring. B-Hop unified every title in the 160 pound division and held to championship for ten years, another record.

3. Marvin Hagler: From 1980 until 1987, Hagler destroyed all fighters that he faced with a record of 12-1 in title defenses. He beat Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and John Mugabi among others to solidify his legacy as one of the finest boxers in the history of the 160 pounders. He is a southpaw and his chin and fists were both made of concrete. Sugar Ray Leonard took his title in a close and controversial decision in 1987 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fought the best and beat the best. That sums it up with the Marvelous one.

4. Harry Greb: He was Middleweight World Champion for three years and fought an amazing three hundred three times in his thirteen career span. He was also a Light Heavyweight Champion. He beat great fighters such as Tommy Gibbons, George Chip and Gene Tunney. He finished with two hundred sixty one wins twenty losses and seventeen draws. Greb was ferocious inside the squared circle and he did whatever it took to pull out a win.

5. Carlos Monzon: He defended the Middleweight title fourteen times and held the title for seven years. He beat fighters such as, Emile Griffith and NIno Benvenuti, Bennie Briscoe. Monzon had a stiff jab and excellent boxing skills inside the squared circle. His chin was also solid and he always stayed one step ahead of his adversaries. Monzon died tragically in a car wreck.

6. Stanley Ketchel: His career record was fifty three wins, five losses, five draws and an amazing forty eight wins by knockout. He fought many twenty 3 round fights and beat Mike and Jack Sullivan along the way. Unfortunately, he was shot and killed three years into his title reign. Ketchel had two fisted punching power which he showed several times during his reign.

7. Freddie Steele: Steele was Middleweight World Champion for two years and was trained by the great Ray Arcel. He finished with a very respectable record of one hundred twenty five wins and five losses and eleven draws. Among others, he defeated Fred Apostoli , Ceferino Garcia, and Gus Lesnevich. Steele showed respect to the game and rarely talked trash to his opponents.

8. Mickey Walker: He was known as the "Toy Bulldog". He was the Middleweight Champion for three years and never lost the title in the ring as he vacated the title to campaign at a heavier weight class. He beat Tiger Flowers, Mike McTigue and Paul Berlenbach during his reign. Walker was one tough son of a gun. He not only won the middleweight crown and fought as a light heavy but he often brawled with the heavyweights as well.

9. Jake La Motta: He beat Marcel Cerdan for the Middleweight Title. He is the first boxer to ever beat Sugar Ray Robinson. He also beat Laurent Dauthuille and Tiberio Mitri and also won a fight of the year award. La Motta possessed an iron chin that seen him take punishment and keep coming. Although he is known for his beard and toughness, La Motta possessed some solid boxing skills on offense and defense.

10. Dick Tiger: He was a two time Middleweight Champion of the World and beat Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and Gene Fullmer along the way. He finished with a career record of sixty wins, nineteen losses and three draws. Tiger also won the light heavyweight championship of the world during his impressive career.

* Please let me know who you think the top middleweight is and why by leaving your thoughts in the comments box located at the bottom of this article.

The Pittsburgh Windmill

Harry Greb is one of the best middleweight boxers in the sports history and he was also a quality light heavyweight as well.
Harry Greb is one of the best middleweight boxers in the sports history and he was also a quality light heavyweight as well. | Source

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Sugar Ray Robinson

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Marvelous Marvin Hagler Was Iron

Hagler Fought Tommy Hearns in a three round war. In the first Hagler took all the heavy fisted Hearns could dish out and suffered a cut in the process. The second was close but in the third Hagler laid the Hitman out for the count.

Hagler has never appeared even stunned during a fight and he has took shots from the likes of Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, John Mugabi and Mustafa Hamsho just to name a few.

Birth place of Bernard Hopkins

© 2012 Buster Johnson

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      KT23 4 years ago

      You forgot to mention that Hagler was the UNDISPUTED champion during his reign and only lost to Running Ray due to a robbery, in a fight that he won at least seven rounds. He is the greatest Middleweight of all time yet rarely gets the respect he earned.

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