Five classic WBC super middleweight fights
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 clash for the vacant belt, we revisit five classic WBC 168 lb title fights.
Leonard v Lalonde – November 7, 1988
Caesars Palace, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas
“Sugar” Ray Leonard returned to the ring from his third retirement against the reigning WBC light heavyweight champion. Leonard, in only his third fight in six-and-a-half years and first since defeating Marvin Hagler, was dropped in the fourth and hurt in the ninth. The American superstar battled back to floor Lalonde twice during a furious assault before referee Richard Steele called a halt. Victory saw Leonard follow Thomas Hearns into the record books as the second fighter to win world titles in five divisions.
Calzaghe vs Kessler – November 3, 2007
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
Joe Calzaghe secured a unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler in unification clash between the two undefeated super middleweight champions. Calzaghe, roared on by 50,000 fans, handed the Dane his first defeat in 40 fights and unified three world titles.
Froch vs Taylor – April 25, 2009
Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut
Carl Froch dug deep to claim a late stoppage win over Jermain Taylor in the first defense of his WBC crown. The British boxer headed into the final round trailing on points then secured victory with 14 seconds remaining after battling back from the first knockdown of his career.
Ward vs Froch – December 17, 2011
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Andre Ward outclassed WBC champion Carl Froch to unify the division in the final of the Super Six Tournament. Former Olympian Ward secured victory on all three judges’ scorecards despite being hampered by a hand injury.
Jack vs DeGale – January 14, 2017
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Badou Jack and James DeGale went toe-to-toe in a thrilling unification clash which included two knockdowns, a lost tooth and the referee being caught by a stray left hook. WBC champion Jack was decked in the opening round but the Swede floored his British rival in the final round to secure a draw.