SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS (168 POUNDS)
1. Andre Ward (26-0)
2. Carl Froch (30-2)
| In an encore to his upset, fifth-round knockout of Lucian Bute on May 26 to win a 168-pound world title for the third time, Froch once again thrilled his hometown fans in Nottingham, England by crushing journeyman Yusaf Mack on Nov. 17. Froch rolled through him, finally knocking him out with a body shot in the third round. Froch was obligated to a March rematch with Bute in his hometown of Montreal, but Bute is bypassing the sequel, leaving Froch to face Mikkel Kessler in a rematch of their terrific Super Six fight, which Kessler won via close decision.
Next: May 25 vs. Kessler.
3. Mikkel Kessler (46-2)
| Kessler claimed a version of the title for the fourth time on Dec. 8, outclassing Brian Magee in a third-round knockout victory. In front of his home fans in Denmark, Kessler brutalized Northern Ireland's Magee with body shots, dropping him twice with body blows in the second round and finishing him with another shot to the gut in the third. Next up he will face Carl Froch (30-2) in a much-anticipated rematch.
Next: May 25 vs. Froch.
4. Robert Stieglitz (44-3)
| In August, Germany's Stieglitz lost his belt via highly competitive unanimous decision to countryman Arthur Abraham in a good fight. After both won interim bouts, they met again March 23 and Stieglitz regained the title as he manhandled Abraham in a dominant performance. He ultimately stopped Abraham in the fourth round because Abraham's left eye was completely swollen shut from eating so many of Stieglitz's clean shots. Both sides professed interest in a rubber match after the fight.
5. Lucian Bute (31-1)
| Bute, a former titleholder, was scheduled for the biggest fight in Canadian history on May 25 when he was going to move up in weight to face fellow Montreal star and former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal (27-2-1). However, the fight was postponed when Bute suffered a left hand injury and needed surgery to remove bone fragments. The fight will be rescheduled but not until Dec. 7 or Jan. 25, depending on HBO's winter schedule.
Next: TBA vs. Pascal.
6. Adonis Stevenson (20-1)
| Stevenson, a huge puncher, exacted revenge for his only loss by spectacularly knocking out journeyman Darnell Boone in the sixth round on March 22 in Montreal. The win paved the way for Stevenson to move up to light heavyweight, where he will challenge champion Chad Dawson (31-2) on HBO.
Next: June 8 vs. Dawson.
7. Arthur Abraham (36-4)
| Abraham, a former middleweight titlist, rebounded from a disastrous performance in the Super Six World Boxing Classic to win a super middleweight title via competitive decision against Robert Stieglitz in August 2012. But in his second defense, Abraham met Stieglitz in a March 23 rematch and was dominated in a fourth-round TKO loss. Stieglitz battered him in the second and third rounds and slammed his left eye completely shut, which led to the stoppage.
8. Sakio Bika (31-5-2)
| Bika will face tough Mexican up-and-comer Marco Antonio Periban (20-0) for a vacant belt, which was absurdly stripped from Andre Ward, who already easily outpointed Bika in a 2010 title fight, on the Paulie Malignaggi-Adrien Broner Showtime undercard at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Next: June 22 vs. Periban.
9. George Groves (18-0)
| England's Groves has been awfully busy since dumping promoter Frank Warren and signing with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport. On March 9, Groves stopped Argentina's Dario German Balmaceda in the third round and then got right back to work March 23 with a second-round knockout of Germany's Baker Barakat on the Robert Stieglitz-Arthur Abraham II undercard. Groves returns on the Mikkel Kessler-Carl Froch II undercard to face former world title challenger Noe Gonzalez Alcoba (30-2) before Hearn has promised him a "big fight" in September. Groves is close to a title shot.
Next: May 25 vs. Alcoba.
10. Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-1)
| South Africa's "Tommy Gun," a tall southpaw with good power and a fan-friendly style, easily outpointed former four-time title challenger Fulgencio Zuniga on Nov. 10 in a near-shutout. Oosthuizen is not too far away from challenging for a world title but will first appear on an HBO undercard against Brandon Gonzalez (17-0).
Next: June 29 vs. Gonzalez.