The Super Middleweight division was introduced by The WBC in 1988 with the intention to bridge middle and light heavyweight as there was a 15 lbs gap between them.
Some very great fights have taken place in this division over the years. A number of them are included in The “WBC OPUS 100 greatest fights.”
The division debut fight was a trail blazing classic between Sugar Ray Leonard and reigning light heavyweight champion Donny Lalonde. Both titles were disputed in this fight.
Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Donny Lalonde
Las Vegas, NV, november 11 1988. Sugar Ray Leonard was knocked down in the fourth round and hurt several times during the fight. Donny Lalonde was much taller and stronger. He seemed to be in control and en route to a sensational victory. Lalonde hurt Leonard in the ninth and as he was trying to finish the fight Sugar magnificently rallied with an explosive attack, flooring Lalonde and then dramatically knocking him out to capture the Light Heavyweight and first ever Super Middleweight championship.
Sugar Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearns II
Las Vegas , NV, June 12 1989. This highly anticipated rematch was a thriller. Leonard was the champion and Hearns seemed to have faded from the stellar form he had when they first met at the welterweight limit. However, Hearns surprised the world, giving Leonard one of the toughest and most intense fights of his career, knocking him down in the 4th and the 11th round. Leonard also had great moments with 10-8 rounds in the 5th and 10th. The fight resulted in a draw.
Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank
Manchester, England, October 9 1993. A battle between two Great Britons. This rematch more than lived up to the expectations and resulted in a dramatic action packed 12 rd draw.
Nigel Benn vs Gerald McLellan
London, England, February 25 1995. Gerald McLellan who was WBC reigning Middleweight champion and considered one of the best in the world after he had dethroned Julian Jackson, moved up in weight to challenger Nigel Benn. The fight was both dramatic and tragic. Benn was down and almost out in the very first round. But he fought back with ferocity, toe to toe tenacity for ten savage rounds knocking down McLellan, who was unable to continue as he was critically injured. A very unfortunate accident had occurred, which has since affected and afflicted Gerald`s life ever since. It has caused him serious long term and permanent health problems.
Thulane Malinga vs Nigel Benn
Newcastle England, March 2 1996. Benn was a heavy favorite making his 10th title defense but Malinga, inspired by the dissolution of Apartheid as Nelson Mandela was freed from jail, pulled one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, defeating Benn by unanimous decision and becoming the first WBC South African champion in the Mandela era ( WBC had previously banned south Africa from boxing for 17 years until Apartheid was destroyed).
Joe Calzaghe vs Mikkel Kessler
Cardiff, Wales, November 3 2007. A fight between champions cheered on by a sell out crowd at the O2 Stadium turned to be a wonderful demonstration of Calzaghe`s comprehensive domination of Kessler, culminating in a 12 rd decision. Joe retired as one of the best pound for pound champions in the division and sport of boxing .
Andre Ward vs Carl Froch
Atlantic City, USA, December 17 2011
Andre Ward unified titles with this masterfully skillful performance, dominating Carl Froch to win a 12 rd unanimous decision.
Badou Jack vs James DeGaele
Brooklyn, NY, USA, January 14 2017. Jack and DeGaele fought to a 12 rd draw in an action packed fight, which many believed Jack won, as he dominated the unification fight against the British star.
Anthony Direll vs Avni Yildirim
Minneapolis, USA, February 23 2019.The WBC title was vacant and Direll was the heavy favorite over the relatively unknown Turkish fighter. The fight resulted in an outright war which unfortunately ended by a cut caused by an accidental clash of heads in the 10th rd. Yildirim was coming strong, decisively winning the previous 2 rounds as Dirrell seemed to be fading. The cut caused the fight to be stopped and Dirrell was awarded a split technical decision.
David Benavidez vs Anthony Direll
Los Angeles, USA, September 28 2019. Benavides was returning to the ring trying to recapture his WBC Green and Gold Belt against champion Direll. It was a very good fight with alternating dominance until Benavidez took control, hurting Direll who bravely fought back, in spite of a deep cut above his left eye. The Ring Doctor recommended that the Referee stop the fight during the 9th round. Benavidez became champion of the division, all over again!
Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith will battle for The WBC Super Middleweight championship at the Alamo dome in San Antonio this Saturday December 19 in a fight which promises to earn itself a deserved place on this elite list of great fights in the division .