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Top 5 middleweights in boxing history

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

April 23rd, 2020

Boxing’s middleweight division has hosted legendary battles and unforgettable personalities. Though many won the title and established their legacies, these fighters stood out as the very best.

5. Gennady Golovkin

With a division record of 20 title defenses and a mean streak a mile long, Golovkin makes the short list, even though he is an active fighter.

Critics aren't wrong when they bring up his questionable résumé and lack of a career-defining win, but Golovkin's relentless pressure and formidable power made him one of the most feared fighters in the sport.

Now champion once again, Golovkin’s story is far from finished.

4. Bernard Hopkins

No fighter played the long game better than Hopkins.

After he lost his first title shot to Roy Jones Jr. in 1993, Hopkins won the title a year later and did not lose it for 11 years. During that time, Hopkins became the undisputed champion and took down Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya in the process.

Though Hopkins unbelievably was better at light heavyweight, his middleweight run alone made him legendary.

3. Marvin Hagler

"Marvelous" Marvin was one of the hallowed "Four Kings" of the 1980s and one of the most intimidating fighters in boxing history.

Hagler’s strength, cast-iron jaw, and dedication to pain led to a title reign that saw him defeat Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, and John Mugabi, before a controversial decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard. Disgusted by the manner of his defeat to Leonard, Hagler never fought again.

2. Carlos Monzón

The savage Argentine held the middleweight title for seven years and was perhaps the most dominant middleweight champion of the modern era. Monzón excelled in all areas, which made him a ferocious competitor and a great champion.

Many notable fighters challenged Monzón during his reign. He ended up facing 11 different opponents in 14 defenses, including Jose Napoles, Benny Briscoe, Emile Griffith, and Rodrigo Valdez.

1. Sugar Ray Robinson

Often considered the greatest fighter of all time in any division, Sugar Ray Robinson’s body of work at middleweight came when he was past his prime, no longer able to make the welterweight limit.

Robinson waged war through the 1950s with the likes of Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basilio, Randy Turpin, and Jake LaMotta and came on top more often than not.

With a supreme blend of power, speed, and technique, Robinson’s legacy was cemented at a time when he wasn’t at his best. He is still the best middleweight in boxing history and will remain beyond our lifetime.

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