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The Future's Bright.....The Future's British!!

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Post by owen10ozzy Fri 28 Sep 2012, 7:52 pm

Following what can be described as a slight lull in British World Champions in the last few years, will the next 24 months see British boxers coming to the forefront of the boxing world. From 2005-2009 we were somewhat spoilt. Ricky Hatton was in big fight after big fight...whilst Calzaghe reigned supreme at Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight. David Haye was unifying the Cruiserweight division.

In the past 2 years Froch has seemingly carried the flag for the nation ...of course Haye has been in a major fight with Wlad but that was more a case of a ship passing by in the night.

However whilst British fighters on the global scene have been few and far between the past 18 months has seen new stars rising and underestimated fighters showing that they perhaps have what people thought missing to make a name for themselves.

With boxing enjoying a sudden shot in the arm both domestically and worldwide (big fights being made, returning fighters bringing spotlight onto the sport etc) I thought I would put my patriotic hat on for a moment and take a look through the state of the British scene. Who is close to picking up a world title...who is but a fight away from a truly mega match up and just who will be the next kid on the block.

Heavyweight -

David Haye – A fighter who divides opinion on these boards, Haye may find himself in a title fight again very soon. He has admitted that he is only interested in a fight with the Brothers and given the needle between himself and Vitali that superfight may just happen. Whether he deserves it or not is another matter....but the fact is that he is the only true draw in the Heavyweight division. Given Vitali’s age and outside interests it would not be a surprise to see ‘The Hayemaker’ topple the Dr if they were to meet in the coming 12 months.

David Price – One of two upcoming domestic Heavyweights, Price is seen as many as our next best hope of a Heavyweight champion. At 27 he is comparatively young. He has shown solid technical boxing skills and carries a stiff Jab and solid power punching. Some have questioned his match-making so far especially given the fact his next bout is against Audley Harrison. Price however is sensible and knows where he is at in his development. The next 18 months should see him tested a lot more and I expect him to be fighting a fringe contender/name by next summer...someone like Helenius, Arreola or Chagaev. A mooted fight with rival Tyson Fury may even occur...although I think that one will be staved off as long as possible in the hope they both become World Champions.

Tyson Fury – The 2nd of the domestic heavyweight prospects, Fury is another fighter who divides opinion with the boxing world. Some believe that he is an accident waiting to happen...whilst others believe he has the size and skills to end up dominating the heavyweight division. What is certain is that he seems to provide entertainment whenever he steps into the ring. He, much like Price, has yet to have a real acid test and that is what people are waiting for. He should be fighting again in December and names in the pipe work include Chagaev & Eddie Chambers. The youngster certainly talks a good game but will now need to back it up over the next 18 months with strong performances against fellow contenders in the division.

Light Heavyweight -

Nathan Cleverly – No one quite garners the heat that this Welshman does. Just over two years ago excitement was high at the emergence of Nathan. Not even a full time boxer at the time he showed great promise and was liked by most. What a difference a title around the waist makes. Having captured the WBO title, albeit a vacated one, the boy from the valleys has fought just one name of note in his 3 defences. Despite both himself and his promoter name dropping the likes of Dawson, Hopkins and Cloud his defences have come against part time fighters who have no right being in title fights (Bellew the exception). Given how tough a test that domestic bout was it would seem that Warren perhaps has reservations as to the level his charge can go. If Nathan is to win around the boxing fraternity then he will need to get in the ring with a big name within the next 6-12 months maximum.

Tony Bellew – In stark contrast to his domestic rival Cleverly, Bellew has had a fantastic 12 months which has seen him win over many fans. Seen as nothing more than a loudmouth who would be found out by Cleverly, he went on to give the youngster his sternest test to date. His performance in that bout attracted plenty of attention and since then he has gone on to become a name in his own right. His last outing saw him oust former world title challenger Edison Miranda in 9 in what has to be described as a slightly nervous/lethargic performance. Eddie Hearn will look to get him into a mandatory title position/eliminator in the next 12 months. If he continues winning then a fight against the likes of Dawson, Cloud, Pascal, and Tarver is not entirely out of the question. Whilst he not the most talented of the bunch, Bellew makes up for it with tremendous drive, determination and hunger...add to that the fact he can bang and we just have a surprise World Champion on our hands.

Super Middleweight -

Carl Froch – The undoubted British P4P number one at the moment it’s safe to say that the next 18 months will probably act as the swansong to The Cobra’s career. His next outing shouldn’t provide to tough a test with a fight against Yusaf Mack in November. Expect to see the Nottingham man take on Bute early next year before chasing down rematches with Kessler and all going well a final fight against Ward or a step up in weight to attempt to become a 2 weight world champion.

George Groves – In his last outing he took out Sierra in America which got him coverage stateside. Goldenboy De La Hoya has expressed his liking for the youngster and I think he will fight a couple more times stateside within the next 2 years. His appearances have been limited this year so expect him to get busier in 2013. A rematch against DeGale will undoubtedly be spoken about as it always is but Groves will look to move on towards the likes of Pavlik, Dirrell. Given Warren’s association with the WBO Groves could find himself in a title fight with Arthur Abraham in the next 12 months.

James DeGale – Degale has had a number of stumbling blocks in the past 12 months with contractual wrangling holding him back. Just one fight in the last year has left Degale a bit of a forgotten man. Now with a new promoter and on terrestrial TV the Olympic Gold medallist will hope that he can get his career back on track. He is already a European Champion and he aims to fight four times a year from here on out. No longer just a prospect DeGale will need to get moving quickly if he is to fulfil his aim of becoming a World Champion by this time next year. Many believe he has the tools but his temperament and ability to adapt have been questioned. Time will tell whether he is as good as he believes himself to be.

Middleweight -

Matthew Macklin – Impressive stoppage last time out..., Martinez a step too far...potential bout with the other champion in the division Daniel Geale or even domestic rivals Murray/Barker

Martin Murray – On the Hatton Promotion team so should get plenty of action now the Manc has returned. Still unbeaten following controversial draw with Felix Sturm. Returns 24th Nov...chasing WBA title shot

Darren Barker – Beaten last time out by Martinez...injuries holding him back but will look towards another title shot in the coming year and as mentioned there are huge domestic dust up opportunities with the likes of Macklin & Murray

Billy Joe Saunders – Highly regarded unbeaten prospect. Steadily stepping up in levels. 3 fights already this year he will be looking to get in the ring again before the end of 2012 and should be chasing down European title shot in 2013

Chris Eubank Jr - Son of former great Chris Eubank the youngster has been matched tough at the start of his career. Possible lack of power but no denying he has talent. Is seeing plenty of action on Channel 5 and is building a reputation. Already a feud simmering between himself and DeGale.

Welterweights

Ricky Hatton – A name that many would not have thought would be on the list 12 months ago. The Hitman recently announced his boxing return and has his eyes set on nothing less than titles and big fights. His Nov 24th return sees him take on tough Ukrainian Senchenko... the fight will go some way to showing what Hatton has in the tank and if he looks good then a rematch with Mallignaggi will be just around the corner.

Kell Brook – Title route being plotted by Hearn. Will fight in another eliminator against Saldivia in October. If he comes through unscathed then a shot at the winner of Bailey/Alexander for the IBF title should be his come spring next year. Possible showdowns with the likes of Bradley, Hatton & Khan could then materialise.

Lee Purdy – Blasted into the spotlight last time out with a very impressive stoppage of previously unbeaten Argentine Carrasco. Now has a fight with Brook’s last opponent Carson Jones in December. Fight should be a cracker and a victory puts him right into World Title contention.

Denton Vassell – Little known but highly rated within boxing circles Vassell has yet to fight in 2012 following the illness of his son. At 28 he will be looking to quickly get some momentum going and with Hatton’s return to the ring he will be another under the Hatton banner who will get some fights and exposure. A rematch with Purdy (who he beat in 2010) could be on the cards.

Frankie Gavin – Funtime needs to get serious if he is to ever fulfil his potential in the ring. He had plaudits galore when turning pro with many tipping him to become a World Champion sooner rather than later. However so far it’s been a case of frustration with the 27yr old. Some question whether he really has the commitment and passion for the sport and the next 12-18 months will show whether it will be a case of a huge talent going to waste. He will take on former World Title holder and domestic rival Junior Witter in October and then really has to push on.

Light Welterweights

Amir Khan – Having lost 2 of his last 3 contests it is probably a case of boom or bust for Amir in the next year. He has an incredible amount of talent of that there is little doubt...but huge question marks remain over his chin and more importantly his defence. He has changed trainers, a move to Virgil Hunter, and will hope that will mean improvements in his weakest areas. Plenty of rumours circulate with regards to his next opponent with the fearsome Lucas Matthysse but given Hunter’s intelligence of the game I would think a non-puncher will be Khan’s first outing in order to too begin implanting the changes that will be made under his tutelage.

Lightweights

Ricky Burns – Impressive in his stoppage of Kevin Mitchell last time out, the quite Scotsman continues improving. It seems the bigger the challenge the better he is. He is now on the verge of some possibly huge unification fights with the likes of Adrian Broner/DeMarco/Vazquez or even a move up to Light Welterweight with the aim of becoming Scotland’s first ever 3 weight world champion.

Below Burns there is a string of domestic names that could face off with one another. Scott Harrison continues his comeback and his name has been mentioned as a possible next opponent for Burns. Whilst I would like to see Burns move onto bigger things there is no doubt the fight would be huge in Scotland and as a contest it should be a very good scrap. Mitchell is probably done at World Title level but a possible rematch with John Murray would make for excellent viewing.

Super Featherweights –

Liam Walsh – One of three boxing brothers he has only fought once in 2012 but he has shown enough during his short career so far that he has great potential. He beat Paul Appleby in 2011 and has been matched hard so far. The next 18 months should see him push on for Commonwealth & perhaps European honours.

Terry Flannigan – Whilst lacking power the young Lancashire lad has got good boxing fundamentals. Still only 23 he remains unbeaten and will be looking to step up his level of competition in the coming 12-18 months. If he continues to impress then he may put himself in line for a British title shot with Gary Buckland or maybe a match with fellow prospect Liam Walsh.

Featherweights -

Whilst perhaps lacking a World Class name....the British Featherweight seen should see some intriguing domestic dust ups in the coming year. Martin Lindsay was due to fight Lee Selby this past weekend however Selby had to pull out with an illness. The two will be expected to meet in the coming months. Behind them a couple of names will look to get into the title picture with Stephen Smith and unbeaten youngster Joe Murray the most likely contenders for the British crown in the next 12 months.

Super Bantamweights –

Possibly the deepest division in terms of pure talent Super Bantamweight is well and truly alive and kicking in the UK. Following the disappointing premature ending to their previous contest (accidental clash of heads cutting the contest short) Munroe & Quigg will hope that this time around their will be a conclusion to their fight. They face off on the undercard of Hatton’s comeback fight. The winner could possibly go on to a fight with another hot prospect in Carl Frampton. However given his destruction of former World Champion Steve Molitor last time out it would seem that the Northern Irishman now has eye’s set on a World title. The time frame for that is 12 months and in the meantime Hearn & McGuigan will look to get him out again before December with a potential fight over in the states. Another youngster who has been a little in the shadows of the aforementioned three is Kid Galahad. Yet another unbeaten prospect, the Ingle trained boxer is probably a couple of stages behind his domestic rivals in his progress but he will be looking at using the next 12 months as a platform to put himself right in line for Commonwealth & British title shots not to mention putting himself in the frame for rights with the likes of Munroe, Quigg and co.

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Post by Group Cpt Lionel Mandrake Fri 28 Sep 2012, 8:55 pm

Can I add Erick Ochieng to the list. Very early in his career, he's way off a world title and his last fight was a bit scrappy but I really like him. Very entertaining to watch and could have some potential.

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Post by owen10ozzy Fri 28 Sep 2012, 9:09 pm

Add whoever you like Cpt ...

I have seen him a couple of times and as you say very entertaining to watch. Anything in the pipeline regards his next fight and also where do you see him in 18-24 months?

To be honest I'm sure their are others that could go on the list...I just had some time and decided to put the ones I think will have the biggest impact going forward in the next 2 years odd...

If anyone else knows of any bright young talents not mentioned or fighters who have maybe been flying under the radar and may crop up ala Burns then feel free to pop them down and bring them to the attention of the forum.

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Post by 6oldenbhoy Fri 28 Sep 2012, 9:12 pm

Joe Selkirk at LM is a talent, he just doesn't fight enough. Thought Ronnie Heffron looked decent, but haven't seen him in quite some time.

Still don't see what the fuss is with Eubank Jr. He hasn't been matched as tough as made out. Without the name Eubank, he would be a decent prospect, nothing more.

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Post by BallchinianMuffwig Sat 29 Sep 2012, 11:20 am

Considering Chris Jr's last opponent you can't really use the "being matched tough" argument anymore..Tyson Fury was matched tougher when he started out if I remember correct. But Eubank Jr VS DeGale would be a great one in a few years. Money on DeGale now, and in the future, has more in the arsenal

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Post by All Time Great Sat 29 Sep 2012, 8:22 pm

Domestically, yes it's looking quite competitive. However, unfortunately these guys will rarely get it on with another.

Outside Froch and Khan unfortunately none of the guys above really excite me in terms of being real stars in their division. Even Khan's is in doubt given his prior defeats.

David Price, albit at 29 years of age (think you made a typo in your post above) has a chance of becoming a legitimate champion once the K Bro's retire. However, due to the poor HW division I doubt he'll be remembered as a star as such unless he manages to defeat Wlad (which I very much doubt will occur or be on his radar).

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Post by sittingringside Sun 30 Sep 2012, 12:34 am

Billy Joe Saunders, whilst hardly the most hyped of the 2008 Olympic crop, is the one that looks most likely to go on and make something of himself at the top. I really hope Degale gets on track and fulfils some of his potential, a huge talent.

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Post by eddyfightfan Sun 30 Sep 2012, 4:10 pm

i'd say groves is the one who looks to be set for great things, only the fact that he is plauged by constant injuries worries me.

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Post by azania Sun 30 Sep 2012, 5:55 pm

DeGale for me. Technically a better boxer than Groves. Should he learn to use his talents properly, he will be a worthy paper champion (should Ward remain at that weight).

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Post by Rodney Sun 30 Sep 2012, 6:45 pm

Billy Joe Saunders for me the lad oozes class and if he keeps level headed he can be a major player at middle. I like Groves but always feel he may be an accident waiting to happen, De Gale will be the major disappointement for me, I've said it from day 1 the lads an exceptional worker, but he cant throw a straight punch.

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Post by azania Sun 30 Sep 2012, 7:01 pm

I reckon southpaws have problems throwing straight punches. They generally look very awkward throwing punches and not many are heavy hitters to my knowledge.

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Post by DaveVDK Tue 02 Oct 2012, 7:20 am

Recon John Ryder should be on the list, young southpaw with a very solid skill-set.

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Post by Waingro Sat 06 Oct 2012, 2:14 pm

If there are no duckings and rbberys then Britain could have alot of world champs last year we were very unlucky look at Macklin and Murray who were robbed by Sturm and yes Khan was knocked out but he was robbed by Peterson who was on drugs so he shouldnt have even been fighting Garcia!

This is what I would like to see happen next year

Haye v Vitali if Vitali will stop ducking this fight then I reckon Haye will knock him out and become world champ then he should rematch Wlad

Froch v Ward in Nottingham Ward has not tested himself by travelling which Froch has done and Froch fights his best in Nottinngham so I reckon he would win a rematch

Brook v Alexander this is a fight Brook will win and then I would like to see him face Khan!

Hatton v ?? Lets not forget about Hatton who is coming back! Tbh there are lots of good fights out there for him he should forget about Mayweather but I would like to see him fight Khan who he would knock out!

Price v Wlad I think this would be a good fight but Wlad would win and should then fight Haye after Haye destroys Vitali!

Burns v Broner I cant see Burns beating Broner who is the new Mayweather but it would be a good fight

Frampton v Quigg both are upcoming and will be world champs soon imo

Macklin v Murray both were robbed by Sturm and should be world champs so I would like to see them face each other and then the winner fight for a world title or maybe smash up Chavez who is a fraud!

Groves v De Gale in a rematch would be quality and the winner fight for a world title!

Bellew v Cleverly in a rematch because there is bad blood there!

Tbh there are so many good fights out there for the British guys I reckon you are right and next year could be a great year for British boxing lets hope there are no robberies and that these great fights do not get ducked which sadly is a massive problem in boxing!


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