Mike "Bodysnatcher" McCallum
Kingston, Jamaica's Mike McCallum (49-5-1, 36 KOs) is another fighter that highlights just how outstanding the 1980s and 1990s were for boxing. McCallum fell in between eras missing out on fights with the likes of Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, and Marvin Hagler. But, he was still able to amass a resume with a remarkable skill set that ranks him among the top three junior middleweights of all time.
In his career, McCallum scored victories over Ayub Kalule, Julian Jackson, Milton McCrory, Steve Collins, Michael Watson, Herol Graham, Donald Curry, and Sumbu Kalambay. The fifth-round one-punch left hook knockout over Curry is one of the best knockouts you'll ever see and one of the most memorable of the 1980s.
The only blemish on McCallum's record during his prime came against Kalambay in 1988, a defeat he would avenge three years later.
McCallum's skills were vast, delivering picture-perfect punches from all angles. But he was best known for his brutal body punching that often set up major blows to the head. In the 1980s, McCallum established himself as one of the best at junior middleweight. But, it was in the 1990s that he found his greatest rival.
The matches between McCallum and James Toney in 1991 and 1992 were a hardcore fan's dream. Both battles exemplify the sweet science at the top echelon providing back-and-forth action combined with technical acumen and strategy. Both bouts were tightly contested and could have been scored for either man. However, the first bout was scored a draw, and the rematch was awarded to Toney by majority decision.
The body-punching technician would continue furthering his achievements, winning a title at light heavyweight to become a three-division champion. McCallum's career would end following two back-to-back losses against Roy Jones Jr. in 1996 and a trilogy match with Toney in 1997.
While McCallum didn't have the name recognition to make him a box-office star in the ring, he proved he could compete at an elite level in multiple eras.