On Friday night, 3 British super-middleweights came through unscathed to present themselves as the next potential batch of world title challengers.
Since the modern era of the super-middleweight world title starting in 1984 with the IBF version of the title being won by Murray Sutherland, the British have been more successful in this division than in any other.
With a string of world champions including Chris Eubanks, Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Richie Woodhall, Robin Reid, Joe Calzaghe and most recently Carl Froch, the Super-Middleweight division has captured the public eye and reached out beyond boxing fans. Eubanks and Froch in particular have become household names.
With Froch recently having to give up both of his world titles which he won in huge fights against Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler there was a gap left at the top of the tree for the younger generation of hopefuls to fill.
James Degale took on former Froch opponent Andre Dirrel and managed to outpoint him in the USA to become the new IBF world champion.
George Groves who lost memorable back to back fights against Froch in 2013 and 2014 has comeback to put himself in the number 1 contender slot for Badou Jack’s WBC title.
Paul Smith Jr has had 2 consecutive world title shots against Arthur Abraham and a high profile loss against world number 1 and former Carl Froch opponent Andre Ward.
On Friday on Eddie Hearn’s show in Liverpool 3 more super-middleweights took advantage of their opportunity to showcase what they have to offer this simmering domestic division.
Martin Murray TKO’d George Beroshvili inside of 2 rounds in his first fight since stepping up from the Middleweight division. Martin has mixed with the very best having won all of his fights apart from his 3 world title attempts against Sergio Martinez, Felix Sturm and Gennady Golovkin.
Murray has recently had a war of words with UK number 1 ranked super middleweight Carl Froch but a bout between the 2 seems somewhat unlikely.
Callum Smith, younger brother of Paul Smith Jr took on and widely outpointed former George Groves opponent Christopher Rebrasse. Callum has stated for a while now that George Groves is on his radar and he really fancies his chances against the London based world title contender.
Rocky Fielding has been ticking along nicely for a few years now with some really impressive displays including wins against Charles Adamu, Luke Blackledge and Brian Vera on Friday for the vacant WBC International title. Rocky has been linked several times with fights against Paul and Callum Smith but so far neither seem to be interested in the fight.
With Callum Smith, Paul Smith, Rocky Fielding, James Degale, Martin Murray and Carl Froch all fighting under the Matchroom banner and George Groves working with Sauerland promotions who have a deal with Matchroom all of these fights are easy to make and make financial sense.
Perhaps even a tournament in the super 6 style format would attract a lot of public attention and create good financial opportunities for them all.
If George Groves wins his upcoming World title fight against Badou Jack, it is believed that a huge Wembly based rematch between him and James Degale is the likely route for Matchroom and Sauerland to go down.
My rankings for the UK uper-Middleweights are as below.
I’ve only included Carl Froch as he hasn’t officially announced a retirement yet.
- Carl Froch
- James Degale
- George Groves
- Callum Smith
- Martin Murray
- Paul Smith Jr
- Rocky Fielding
- Frank Buglioni
- Luke Blackledge
- David Brophy
It is also worth keeping an eye out for the middleweight who could potentially step up into the mix including Chris Eubanks Jr, Billy Joe Saunders, Matthew Macklin, Andy Lee, John Ryder and Nick Blackwell.