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Written by Jake Wallwork

The best British boxers ranked by weight class 

If you read part one of the Best British Boxers series, you would've seen that I had Tyson Fury at the top of the British heavyweights and Nathan Cleverly ruling the light heavyweights. At number two in the light heavies I put Tony Bellew on account of his impressive performance against Nathan Cleverly, a world champion I consider to be world class.

This riled some of you up, and I can kind of understand why. Cleverly hasn't fought the top guys in his division, so to that extent he's unproven. All I'll say is give him time - I'm confident Cleverly can beat someone like Schumenov and prove he belongs at the top of his division.

It's time to move on to part two, where I will look at the super middleweight and middleweight divisions. I don't expect my number one pick for the super middleweights to get much attention because it's a no-brainer. But further down in the middleweight division, there's a lot of contention. I found it hard to order a top five because it is a rich weight class where British fighters are concerned. Let me know what you think of my choices.

Super Middleweight

5) Paul Smith (31 Wins, 3 Losses, 0 Draws)
Two knockout wins over poor opposition earned Smith a shot at George Groves' British and Commonwealth belts. Smith made a promising start to the fight when he hurt Groves, but he was soon the victim of a stunning knockout which caused the referee to stop the fight. It is thought Smith may now retire. 

4) James Degale (11 Wins, 1 Loss, 0 Draws)

Degale followed up a close loss to his rival George Groves with a victory over Piotr Wilczewski. With this victory he become the EBU Super Middleweight title holder and put his career back on track. Degale hopes for a rematch with Groves and then a world title shot in 2012.  

3) Brian McGee (35 Wins, 4 Losses, 1 Draw)
In all of his big fights so far, against the likes of Robin Reid, Carl Froch, and Lucian Bute, McGee has come up short. But in winning the Interim WBA Super Middleweight belt in his most recent fight against Jaime Barboza, McGee has shown he can still become a world champion.  

2) George Groves (14 Wins, 0 Losses, 0 Draws)

With two exceptional wins over fellow British super middleweights James Degale and Paul Smith, Groves has put himself in a good position to challenge for a world title in 2012. A rematch with Degale looks likely next year and from there Groves will look to take on the world.

1) Carl Froch (28 Wins, 2 Losses, 0 Draws)
Froch was outclassed in every department against Super Six winner Andre Ward. But his solid victories before and during the Super Six against top opposition like Dirrell, Abraham and Johnson make him the best British super middleweight by a mile.


5) Craig McEwan (19 Wins, 2 Losses, 0 Draws)
In March 2011 McEwan was well ahead on the scorecards halfway through his fight with Andy Lee. But a rally from Lee in rounds nine and ten saw McEwan go down twice before referee Steve Smoger ended the bout. In his last fight, McEwan was stopped by 'Kid Chocolate' Peter Quillan. After losing two fights by knockout, McEwan should have some time off before stepping back into the ring.

4) Martin Murray (23 Wins, 0 Losses, 1 Draw)
Murray was the third British middleweight to go abroad this year and fight for a world title. He took on well-respected world champion Felix Sturm and earned a draw, a decision some think was harsh on the champion. Murray has proved he is world class and should get another world title shot in 2012.  

3) Darren Barker (23 Wins, 1 Loss, 0 Draws)

Barker was a massive underdog before his 2011 fight with Sergio Martinez. Although he was knocked out, Barker put on a great performance and put himself in a position to get an immediate world title shot. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr looks like the most likely option for Barnet-born Barker.  

2) Matthew Macklin (28 Wins, 3 Losses, 0 Draws)
Macklin was on the wrong end of a split-decision loss when he fought WBA Super Champion Felix Sturm. Macklin reportedly turned down a rematch with Sturm hoping to pursue a fight with Sergio Martinez. This turned out to be a wise move from Macklin as he is now set to face Martinez on St Paddy’s day next year.  

1) Andy Lee (27 Wins, 1 Loss, 0 Draws)

Lee looked excellent in avenging the only loss of his career when he outpointed Brian Vera on the Darren Barker vs Sergio Martinez undercard. Lee expressed his emotion by saying he is angry that Macklin will get the shot at Martinez next and not him. It is rumored he will fight Martin Murray in what will be a great British match up.

Who would be in your top five for super middleweight and middleweight? Am I talking rubbish, or am I spot-on? Let me know what you think.