Boxing News - Latest Headlines

20 best middleweights rated


By Dan Ambrose: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is clearly the 900lb gorilla in the middleweight division right now without question. He’s proven that he’s the best without even having to fight the top three fighters in the division. However, there’s a lot of disagreement with boxing fans in who are the best fighters overall in the division in their pecking order.

I believe the difference between Golovkin and the rest of the pack is like difference between planet Earth and planet Pluto. Never the less, there is a No.2 guy in the division right now, and I don’t see it being Saul “Canelo” Alvarez despite him being a very popular fighter. I see Canelo as being overrated as a fighter. I think Canelo is more of the next generation’s version of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In other words, Chavez Jr. 2.0.

As I mentioned in my ratings for the welterweight division, I think the four sanctioning bodies and Ring Magazine’s rankings make little sense to me. I’ve never agreed with the overall rankings by these organizations, and it makes me wonder what they’re thinking of when they rank fighters like Jo Jo Dan at No.1 like we saw in the past by the International Boxing Federation.

Here is my logical choice for the best middleweights in the division:

1. Gennady Golovkin

2. Daniel Jacobs

3. Chris Eubank Jr

4. Saul Canelo Alvarez

5. Tureano Johnson

6. Curtis Stevens

7. Hassan N’Dam

8. Ryota Murata

9. Andy Lee

10. David Lemieux

11. Peter Qullin

12. Sergey Derevyanchenko

13. Avtandil Khurtsidze

14. Gabriel Rosado

15. Rob Brant

16. Billy Joe Saunders

17. Maciej Sulecki

18. Willie Monroe Jr.

19. Dmitry Chudinov

20. Andrew Hernandez

Former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin didn’t make the cut for my top 10 due to his 1st round knockout loss to Daniel Jacobs last December, and the fact that he hasn’t fought in 2016. There’s talk that Quillin could move up to super middleweight, so he’s definitely not eligible for my top 10.

Gennady Golovkin gets the nod as the best middleweight in the division based on his undefeated record, eight-year period of knocking out every opponent he’s faced, and his overall pedigree. The top fighters in the 160lb division have shown little inclination to share the ring with the 34-year-old Kazakhstan fighter and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Daniel Jacobs has the punching power, hand speed and the skills to beat any of the top fighters in the middleweight division with the exception of Golovkin. That’s not to say that Jacobs can’t be beaten on any given night if he gets hit with a big enough shot. Jacobs will forever be a vulnerable fighter due to his chin. But if he’s able to get to his opponents first before they reach his chin, then Jacobs has the skills to beat any of the guys in the division apart from Golovkin.

Chris Eubank Jr is a diamond in the rough right now. He’s got the potential to become the No.1 fighter in the middleweight division one day. I don’t think he’ll ever realize his potential though due to the match-making that is being done for him by his father Chris Eubank Sr. Eventually, Eubank Jr. will step up and start facing the best, but I suspect that he’ll be carefully matched during the remainder of his career rather than consistently put in with the best guys. However, Eubank Jr. is good enough right now to beat everyone in the middleweight division except for Golovkin and Jacobs.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been a big disappointment for me and for many other boxing fans for his reluctance to get inside the ring with Golovkin. It doesn’t matter though. I don’t see Canelo as having the kind of talent that would enable him to last long against a fighter in Golovkin or Jacobs’ class. Canelo is too slow, too limited and too one-dimensional to beat the likes of Golovkin, Jacobs or Eubank Jr. Canelo’s bad habit of fighting in spurts would sink his ship against those middleweights. He’ll never be able to beat guys like that.

Tureano Johnson is an underrated fighter with a lot of boxing skills, excellent punching power, and an aggressive attacking style that makes him an avoided fighter. Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) is capable of beating Canelo, Jacobs and Eubank Jr. on a good night, but he likely will never get a chance at fighting any of those guys due to him being such a difficult guy to fight. Johnson, 32, lacks the big name to force guys to fight him, and he’s not a world champion as of yet. Johnson is a former 2008 Olympian with amazing talent. If he can get a title shot against someone like WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, I think he would easily beat him.

Curtis Stevens is also another avoided fighter with huge punching power, who likes to put unrelenting pressure on his opponents. Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) has the punching power and explosive offense to KO anyone in the division if he can land his big power shots. What limits his chances of making it to the top of the division is his lack of height. At 5’7”, Stevens is too short to land his shots against the taller middleweights in the division, and he has problems against the mobile fighters as well. Still, Stevens remains a top five middleweight in the division in my view, and also one that will likely continue to be avoided by the best for some time to come.

Hassan N’Dam is a former WBO middleweight champion with good skills, decent power, and a highly mobile fighting style. At 5’11”, N’Dam has excellent height and reach. The thing that has kept from dominating the middleweight division is his chin. He’s been knocked down frequently when facing the bigger punchers in the division in David Lemieux and Peter Quillin. You can argue that N’Dam was a better fighter than both of those guys in their fights, but he lost to them due to him getting knocked down repeatedly. N’Dam is almost unbeatable when facing guys with moderate punching power, however.

Rhota Murata captured a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics for Japan. As a pro, he’s won all 11 of his fights with eight knockouts. Murata has excellent size at 5’11 ½”, and he can punch. He throws shots from various angles, and that makes him difficult to compete against. At 30, Murata up there in age for someone just starting out his boxing career. Murata’s promoters at Top Rank are going to need to push him fast if they want to get him a world title before he ages out. Unfortunately for Murata, he’s fighting in the same era as Golovkin, so he’ll need to wait him out until he retires, moves up in weight, or gets old and loses his power and skills. I don’t see that happening soon.

Andy Lee lost his last fight to Billy Joe Saunders by a 12 round majority decision last December. However, the southpaw Lee (34-3-1 24 KOs) is still a very good fighter, especially when he’s landing his dangerous right hook that he likes to throw. Lee’s chin is his problem. It’s betrayed him in his fights against Saunders, Peter Quillin Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera in the past. Lee is one of those fighters that brings drama to each of his fights. He’s either going to get you or you’re going to get him. His punching power, height, each and southpaw stance makes Lee very dangerous.

David Lemieux is the same type of fighter that Andy Lee is. He’s a big puncher, but he’s got stamina and a chin problem that will likely limit what he does for the remainder of his career. Lemieux has beaten by Golovkin, Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine in the past. Lemieux’s promoters at Golden Boy are reportedly interested in matching him against Curtis Stevens next. I think this is a risky fight for Lemieux that could backfire badly for golden Boy. Stevens is too fast and too strong for Lemieux to deal with, and I see him knocking him out possibly with a body shot.

Related Boxing News:

Boxing News FB Boxing News Twitter Boxing News INstagram Boxing News 24 Youtuber Mail

Privacy Statement l TOS & Cookies Policy l Back To Top l Contact Us