5 Great WBC super middleweight champs
Former champion Anthony Dirrell will bid to regain the WBC super middleweight title when he faces Avni Yildirim this weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ahead of Saturday’s showdown for the vacant belt, we list some of the top five WBC champions without any particular order.
Andre Ward (2004-2017) secured a unanimous decision over WBC holder Carl Froch to unify the division in the final of the Super Six Tournament. Ward defended the belt against Chad Dawson, dropping the light heavyweight champion three times before securing a 10th round TKO.
Nigel Benn (1987-1996) ended the reign of Mauro Galvano to become a two-weight champion in 1992. After nine successful defenses, “The Dark Destroyer” lost his belt in a split decision to Thulani Malinga in a rematch.
Joe Calzaghe (1993-2008) produced a career-defining performance to capture the WBC crown in a unification showdown with “Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler in 2007. “The Pride of Wales” moved up to light heavyweight to fight Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr before retiring undefeated.
“Sugar” Ray Leonard (1977-1997) won the inaugural 168 lb title after climbing off the canvas to stop Don Lalonde in nine rounds at Caesar’s Palace in 1988. The five-weight champion defended the belt against fellow ring legends Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran before vacating.
Markus Beyer (1996-2008) is the division’s only three-time champion, winning the green and gold belt with victories over Richie Woodhall in 1999, Eric Lucas in 2003 and Cristian Sanavia in 2006.