British Boxing is back!
Boxing : The U.K boxing scene is buzzing
U.K. boxing has, and always will have, amongst the most hardcore following in the world. That will never change. But after a few years lacking major stars, several British fighters are primed to put the scene back on the global stage. Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, and Carl Froch were some of the stars in the generation before. But now, it's time for a passing of the torch and let's take a look at some of the faces in the country arguably holding the most talent today.
The biggest star in boxing is England’s own, in Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua. He is a rare breed in boxing where talent, experience, and maturity converge into something special. His coming out party was against all-time great Wladamir Klitshko, who Joshua knocked out in the eleventh round of a back-and-forth battle, making for one of the best heavyweight fights of all time.
Joshua is also a gold medal Olympian who has passed every test of his young career with flying colours. At just 27 years old, he is primed to be a global, crossover star in boxing's glamour division. His next scheduled fight against Kubrat Pulev in November sold 70,000 tickets on the first day of sale. With the excitement in the some new faces of the heavyweight division, Joshua is set to make many big super fights in the coming years.
“I’m far from looking to finish what I’m building,” he emphasises.
For the time being, Anthony Joshua is boxing.
The natural rival of Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte, is another up-and-coming British heavyweight who will be a name to keep an eye on for years to come. Talented, charismatic, and young, he is well suited to be a household name in the future. He just won a unanimous decision in a potential fight-of-the-year with countryman Derek Chisora, showing his heart and place in the division.
England has only had one lightweight champion, a title held exclusively by Terry Flanagan since 2015. He has made several impressive defences, and is set to take up Felix Verdejo, the star from Puerto Rico. Most of Flanagan's defences have also taken place in the home country. Expect to see him in big matches the next few years, as he is setting up a match with pound-for-pound Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares.
James Degale remains atop the super middleweight division. His most recent showing was a back-and-forth hellacious battle against fellow titleholder Badou Jack, where both men hit the canvas and it ended in a draw. He has so far made three title defences, and is relatively well known abroad in the United States His next defence is set to be in England, to be announced.
Other notable fighters
There are still many British superstars from the previous generation with established name recognition that will make for compelling fights. Tony Bellew, for example, has had a career resurgence at 34 years old after losing twice in light heavyweight title fights. First he survived a knockdown to come back and upset Ilunga Makaba. Then, he boldly moved up to heavyweight to take on British superstar David Haye, scoring one of the biggest upsets of the year in a back-and-forth battle. Bellew always brings it.
David Haye, in his own right, returned to the sport in 2016 as a division dark horse after one of the most dominant cruiser-weight reins in history. After his defeat, he and Bellew will rematch on December 17th. The bad blood between the two will be the main story-line in a fight sure to sell.
Another fight British boxing fans have been calling for is a countryman grudge match between Amir Khan and Kell Brook. The two genuinely hate each other.
Although the match-up is over marinated at this point and both have been brutally knocked out in their last match, they are still supreme talents that are equally matched on paper and could deliver a classic.
The famed son of Chris Eubank, Eubank Jr is an interesting prospect who could be at the top of the ranks from middleweight to light heavyweight. He is familiar in England, presumably based off his name, but a skilled pugilist in his own right.
Prospects Anthony Fowler and Jack Catteral are two exciting names to keep an ear out for in the coming years.
It is an exciting time to be a boxing fan from the UK. The scene is as strong as ever with the combination of big names, division champions, and promising talent.