The Cruiserweight division has never been the most glamorous of boxing weights.
A lack of depth in talent and what some would say having boring fights has not helped its cause over the years. But there have been some great fighters in the division as I give you my top five greatest Cruiserweights.
5. Jean Marc Mormeck. 37-6-(23)
I have gone backwards and forwards between fighters as to who should take my number five slot. Juan Carlos Gomez, Anaclet Wamba amongst a few have a case to be there. But I have gone for the French man Mormeck.
He first won the WBA version of the title in 2002 beating Light heavyweight great Virgil Hill and then in ’05 beating Wayne Braithwaite for the WBC. After losing and regaining the belts his first defence of his second reign was against a hungry Brit by the name of David Haye who ripped the belts from the champ in his own back yard.
Mormeck today is obviously not the fighter he once was but for me he’s remembered as an excellent two time champion.
4. Johnny Nelson. 45-12-2-(29)
The Sheffield man had somewhat of a checkered career early on, a win/loss type of record. When he did get his career on track he earned a shot at the title against Carl Thompson in a big grudge match.
Before the fight Nelson had predicted a fifth round stoppage and he did just that stopping Thompson in that very round and becoming WBO champion. The belt was glued to Nelson’s waist for seven years making a record breaking thirteen defences.
Johnny Nelson was not the most watchable fighter but he found a way to win making the Sheffield showman a great in the division.
3. David Haye. 26-2-(24)
The “Hayemaker” unified the titles in quick time. His stand out achievement in the division was travelling to France and ripping the WBA/WBC/Ring titles from Jean Marc Mormeck in 2007.
In 2008 he beat likeable Welshman Enzo Macrinelli to add the WBO version to his growing display of belts. Haye did not hang around at the top of the division for long but he is three on my list for his all action style and that impressive win in France.
2. Carlos De Leon. 52-8-1-(32)
Carlos “Sugar” De Leon won and lost the title an incredible four times. He won the WBC belt in 1980 on the under card of Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran beating Marvin Camel to a fifteen round decision.
After losing and regaining the title two more times he travelled to London in 1989 and beat Sammu Reeson by a ninth round TKO to regain the title for the fourth time.
De Leon finished his career with losses to Corrie Sanders and Brian Nielson. But if it was’nt for the greatness of my number one he would have taken that slot himself.
1. Evander Holyfield. 44-10-2-1(29)
Without doubt the greatest Cruiserweight there has ever been but also in with a decent shout at being in peoples top ten of the best ever Heavyweights also.
In a three year period the “Real deal” unified the titles beating Dwight Muhammad Qwai for the WBA version followed by a demolition of Ricky Parkey in three rounds for the IBF and then stopping my number two Carlos De Leon for the Lineal/WBC belts.
The great man will be remembered most for being the first four time Heavyweight champion of the world and participating in some classic fights in that division. But we must not forget that it all began at Cruiserweight where he beat some top names and unified the titles.
This and everything else I have said for me makes Evander Holyfield the greatest Cruiserweight of all time.