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Pictorial History of Boxing's Middleweight Division

Updated on February 17, 2014

Middleweight Legends of The Game

Bob Fitzsimmons was a legendary middleweight king known for inventing the solar plexus punch.
Bob Fitzsimmons was a legendary middleweight king known for inventing the solar plexus punch. | Source
Stanley Ketchel was a power punching middleweight champion who has 48 knockouts in 55 wins.
Stanley Ketchel was a power punching middleweight champion who has 48 knockouts in 55 wins. | Source
Harry Greb was one of the best 160 pound boxers in history. Among his victims was a win over "The Toy Bulldog" Mickey Walker.
Harry Greb was one of the best 160 pound boxers in history. Among his victims was a win over "The Toy Bulldog" Mickey Walker. | Source
Freddie Steele was middleweight champion from 1936-1938.
Freddie Steele was middleweight champion from 1936-1938. | Source
Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale engaged in three middleweight wars and all three were named Fight of the Year.
Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale engaged in three middleweight wars and all three were named Fight of the Year. | Source
Sugar Ray Robinson fought Jake La Motta six times winning five of the contests.
Sugar Ray Robinson fought Jake La Motta six times winning five of the contests. | Source
Carmen Basilio beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight crown in the biggest win of his career.
Carmen Basilio beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight crown in the biggest win of his career. | Source
Gene Fullmer beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight crown only to lose the rematch by knockout.
Gene Fullmer beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight crown only to lose the rematch by knockout. | Source
Dick Tiger was a legendary middleweight champion who also held the light heavyweight championship.
Dick Tiger was a legendary middleweight champion who also held the light heavyweight championship. | Source
Carlos Monzon defended the middleweight title 14 times and retired as champion.
Carlos Monzon defended the middleweight title 14 times and retired as champion. | Source
Marvelous Marvin Hagler knocked out Tommy Hearns in three rounds in defense of his middleweight title.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler knocked out Tommy Hearns in three rounds in defense of his middleweight title. | Source
Bernard Hopkins knocked out Felix Trinidad in the 12th round to unify the middleweight belts.
Bernard Hopkins knocked out Felix Trinidad in the 12th round to unify the middleweight belts. | Source

160 Pound Legends

1. Sugar Ray Robinson: Sugar Ray won the middleweight championship five times and beat several hall of fame boxers in this weight category. Robinson beat Jake La Motta, Randy Turpin, BoBo Olsen, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio for his titles. Besides those five boxers he also knocked out Rocky Graziano. His record speaks for itself. Robbie had power, speed, reflexes, chin, heart and a great jab. Need I say more. Not to mention he could brawl or box and whatever his opponent was great at he was greater at.

2. Bernard Hopkins: The Executioner beat Segundo Mercado for the middleweight championship and he also avenged a previous draw. Hopkins defended his titles 20 times which is a division record. Hopkins is the definition of old school because he knows all the tricks in the book. He was very hard to hit with more than one shot at a time. Among his best wins as a middleweight were emphatic wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Antwun Echols, William Joppy and Glen Johnson. Many old timers will disagree with Hopkins placement here but all I can say is review Hopkins record on Boxrec.com and shut up.

3. Marvin Hagler: Marvelous Marvin was a steel chinned southpaw boxer with good fundamentals and power. He was a life long middleweight who retired with a record of 62-3-2 with 52 knockouts. Hagler knocked out Alan Minter with ease for the championship and defended it 12 times wich is the third most in history. Among his biggest wins were wins over Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Willie Monroe, Vito Antuofermo, Bennie Brisco and Sugar Ray Seales. His chin, timing and southpaw jab were terrific not to mention his concussive knockout power.

4. Harry Greb: The Pittsburgh Windmill was Middleweight King from 1923 until 1926. Although he was not a big puncher he was a nonstop pressure fighter. Similar to Jake La Motta but even better. Greb won the 160 pound crown and defended it four times not to mention several non title fights also. Among his victims was hall of famer Mickey Walker. He also beat Tommy Burns, Maxie Rosembloom, Johnny Wilson and of course as a light heavyweight he beat Gene Tunney.

5. Carlos Monzon: Escopeta(Shotgun) ruled as middleweight Champ for seven years tallying 14 defenses in that time. Monzon beat legendary Nino Benvenuti for the middleweight crown and then beat him again in a rematch. His top wins were over Benvenuti, Bennie Briscoe, Jose Napoles and Emile Griffith. Monzon had great skills including a wonderful jab, good footwork and balance and a solid chin.

6. Stanley Ketchel: The Michigan assassin had a career record of 51-4-4 with 48 knockouts. He is known for his power in both hands but, he also has subtle defensive moves as well. Ketchel won the middleweight title two times, making six total defenses of the crown. He beat Joe Thomas for his first world title and then he lost it and regained it against Billy Papke. His best victories were against Thomas, Papke, Mike Sullivan, Jack Sullivan, Jack O'Brien and Jerry McCarthy. He fought many fights that were twenty and thirty rounds.

7. Freddie Steele: The Tacoma Assassin was middleweight champion from 1936-1938 and retired with an amazing record of 125-5-11 with sixty of those wins coming by knockout. He was a boxer/puncher and he had a very solid chin and a tight defense. His biggest victories were against, Ceperino Garcia, Baby Joe Gans, Joe Glick, and Ken Overlin.

8. Mickey Walker: The toy bulldog, had a career of 131 wins, 25 losses and 5 draws with sixty knockouts. Mickey Walker has many quality wins over hall of famers and champions including: Tiger Flowers, Mike McTigue (K.O. 1), Paul Berlenbach and Ace Hudkins. Although he was not a knockout puncher, he has scored a lot of late round technical knockouts.

9. Jake La Motta: The raging bull had a career record of 93-9-4 with thirty knockouts. Most historians rank his chin as the best in boxing history. He is the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson and he won the middleweight title. He won the middle weight championship by knocking out Laurent Dauthuille in the 15th round. His best wins came against, Sugar Ray, Bob Murphy, Tiberio Mitre, Robert Villemain and Marcel Cerdan.

10. Dick Tiger: He had a career record of 60-16-3 with twenty seven knock outs. He was a two time middleweight champion of the world. He won the title from Gene Fulmer and later he won the title again against Joey Giardello. His best wins came again Rubin Carter, Giardello, Fulmer, Henry Hank and Holly Mims. He is one of the top fighters in history to come out of Africa. He also won a light heavy weight championship during his career.

* Please share your favorite middleweight boxer of all time with me by leaving your opinion in the comments box located at the bottom of this page.

Who is the Best at 160?

Who is the best Middleweight in boxing history?

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Bernard Hopkin's Top Middleweight Title Defenses

Felix Trinidad
Oscar De La Hoya
William Joppy
Glen Johnson
John David Jackson
Antwon Echols
Robert Allen
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The Executioner's Top 10 Title Defenses in the Middleweight Division.

Bernard " The Executioner" Hopkins Fight Highlights

Marvelous Marvin Hagler Fight Highlights

Where Was He Born?


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Birthplace of Sugar Ray Robinson

Sugar Ray Robinson Fight Highlights

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Great hub. Boxing history is an endless conversation. I'd put Antoufermo and Zale over Ketchel and Monzon. I know they didn't win as much, but they were better fighters in my opinion. Vito's bouts with Hagler were legendary. I plan on reading all of your boxing histories. Great job. Voted up.

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      The Man of Steel almost made my cut but don't count Greb out he did accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. I have over 100 Hubs just on boxing, check them out my friend.

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