With Gennady Golovkin due to return to action this weekend, it’s a good time to offer an updated ranking of the middleweight top 10. This is one of the sport’s traditional glamour divisions and hopefully some really big fights will get made there before the end of 2016.
No. 1: Gennady Golovkin GGG is not the lineal champion, but he’s been the top contender for a shot at the lineal champion for at least the past three years and very few top fighters at 160 pounds have lined up to fight him. The Olympic silver medalist is currently riding a KO streak of 21 straight and has knocked out 31 of 34 in his undefeated professional career.
No. 2: Saul Alvarez Alvarez is the man who beat the man. He’s got a legitimate claim to the middleweight title, even if it’s a historical fluke built on successive champions dodging Golovkin. It’s a shame he’s fighting Amir Khan, a welterweight who has been knocked out twice, at a catchweight of 155 pounds, instead of facing Golovkin at the true, 160-pound middleweight limit.
No. 3: Danny Jacobs Jacobs’ Round 1 KO of Peter Quillin is best single win that anybody has at middleweight right now.
No. 4: Billy Joe Saunders The undefeated Brit fought a very good fight last December to take the WBO belt from Andy Lee.
No. 5: Andy Lee His loss to Saunders was close and he probably deserves a rematch. The Irishman is a good technical boxer with dangerous power in both fists.
No. 6: David Lemieux He was game but overmatched against Gennady Golovkin last year, which cost him his IBF belt. Still, if not for GGG, he might very well be the middleweight knockout artist everybody was talking about.
No. 7: Chris Eubanks Jr. The son of a British boxing legend, Eubanks’ only loss was by split decision to Saunders in 2014. He’s deserving of a rematch, now that Saunders has the belt. Should factor in major fights in the division for at least the next few years.
No. 8: Peter Quillin Quillin’s last fight was a disaster, as Danny Jacobs caught him with a big punch early and didn’t let up, finishing him in less than half a round. But he’s been among the class of the division for the past few years and has turned in solid performances against quality fighters.
No. 9: Hassan N’Dam N’Dam just might be the toughest and most resilient fighter in the sport. Against Peter Quillin, he was knocked down six times but continued to fight on even terms throughout the fight. The same thing happened against David Lemieux, when he was dropped four times. He’s an explosive athlete and a beast.
No. 10: Avtandil Khurtsidze At 5’4″, Khurtsidze is the shortest middleweight in the top 25 by far. He’s a rugged, cannonball of a fighter and a guaranteed hard night of work for anyone who faces him. He’s often been avoided, but when he got a last second call to face rising contender Antoine Douglas in March, he jumped on it and won an early candidate for Fight of the Year by Round 10 TKO.