I don't think you'll find better fighters than me and Joe anywhere, and I can't speak more highly of him. He's different class.There are any number of other examples to be found - here's jockey Jim Culloty about the late racehorse Best Mate:
But after I got over the second last I said right go. He is absolutely different class, you could go down to a fence with your eyes closed.Peter Beardsley (another Brian Viner interview, strangely) on his mentor Kevin Keegan:
He's different class....He's great with my kids, takes them out on quad bikes and that. The man's just different class.Aston Villa goalkeeper Scott Carson on manager Martin O'Neill:
Martin O'Neill has been different class since I have been at Aston Villa.Finally, Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Nolan on goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen:
I make no secret of the fact that I think he is the best keeper in the Premiership, if not the world. He is a fantastic goalie and a wonderful professional - his attitude to training is different class and reflected in his performances.Later in the same article Nolan makes his own bid for a sporting neologism when he refers to Ryan Giggs as "different gravy". Well, it might catch on.
In each case strict grammatical correctness would seem to require the addition if the words "in a" before "different class". Note that these are all sporting references, and I suspect that's no coincidence. Sporting journalism has its own unique lexicon - you can file "different class" in this context along with "over the moon", "110 percent", "back of the net", "sick as a parrot", etc.