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The Ten Best British Boxers All-Time


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These precision-tuned athletes were heroes to their fans, inspirational to their countrymen, and each of them has deservedly retained legendary status to this day.

From the Dragon to the Hitman we bring you the greatest British fighters of all time.



(Total fights 48, Wins 42 (by Knock Out 35), Losses 5, Draws 1)


Nicknamed 'The Dark Destroyer', Benn was a formidable contestant. Famed for his devastating power, he will be remembered as one of the hardest pound-for-pound punchers in boxing history. His rivalry with Eubank culminated in a classic contest in 1990, when the latter claimed the WBO middleweight crown.



(Total fights 52, Wins 45 (by KO 23), Losses 5, Draws 2)


Generally considered to be a 'gentlemen' of the sport, it's easy to forget how tough Eubank was in the boxing ring. Clinching the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles during his illustrious career, he certainly left his monocle in the changing room.



(Total fights 69, Wins 61 (by KO 27), Losses 8)

With the most fights out of anyone in this ten best, Buchanan also had the most wins. 61 out of 69 gained him hero-status in his native Scotland. The undoubted high-point of his career was his astonishing win over Laguna in Puerto Rico, 1970, with which he claimed the world lightweight title.



(Total fights 37, Wins 36 (by KO 31), Losses 1)


A true showman in the ring, Prince Naseem dazzled crowds around the world with his speed and skill. Armed with a pair of leopard-skin trunks, Sheffield-born Hamed became a star, dancing his way to the WBO and WBC championships whilst racking up a 35-fight winning streak. Marco Antonio Barrera put an end to that run, and Naseem's star began to fade.



(Total fights 39, Wins 34, Losses 4, Draws 1)


Although he won 34 of his 39 career fights, Conteh will always be remembered as a sportsman who never reached his full potential. As he became successful, he grabbed fame with both hands, and chose the playboy lifestyle over that of a professional athlete. Nevertheless, he still managed to claim the WBC light-heavyweight title in 1974.



(Total fights 47, Wins 45 (by KO 32), Losses 2)


Undefeated until recently, Hatton's rough and tumble style still worries any opponent who dares step into the ring with him. Although Floyd Mayweather gave him a lesson in Vegas and Pacquiao showed him up more recently, the hitman still has a record which stands up to the toughest of scrutiny. Let's just hope that his recent defeats don't tarnish what he has done for British boxing over the last few years.



(Total fights 48, Wins 43 (by KO 31), Losses 5)


Not often does a boxer come along and cause a real upset in the world of sport. That is exactly what Honeyghan did when, aged only 26, he beat Donald Curry in 1986 to grab the world welterweight title. Born in Jamaica, raised in Britain, Honeyghan famously took a stand against the staging of fights in apartheid Africa by throwing his belt in the bin after becoming the first British fighter to regain a world title.



(Total fights 35, Wins 32 (by KO 28), Losses 3)


Born in the Republic of Ireland, but a British citizen, McGuigan was smaller in stature than many of his peers. That proved to be insignificant, however, as he went on to win 32 of his 35 career fights, and be carried through the streets of Belfast as WBA world featherweight champion in 1985. He retired after the death of his father in 1987.



(Total fights 44, Wins 41 (by KO 32), Losses 2, Draws 1)


Closer to the present day, Lewis was a monstrous boxer who joined Muhammed Ali and Evander Holyfield as the only boxers ever to win the world heavyweight title three times. His reputation as one of the best in the world was tainted when the press started to doubt the quality of his competitors during his career.



(Total fights 46, Wins 46 (by KO 32)


The undefeated champion of the world. Not a bad title to have. Having fought in 44 bouts during his career, he now edges closer to retirement with that unbeaten record still intact. Claiming to be unsure whether he will fight again, Calzaghe has hinted at one last stand at the fantastic Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Having beaten Michael Kessler to become world super-middleweight champion, Calzaghe will surely be remembered for years to come, very possibly as the greatest of all time.



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Any list must have to be influenced by the age of the compiler,if like me you first got interested back in the 50s then if your memory has not been clouded by the passage of time obviously some boxer from then would figure high on your list.

heavyweight is the hardest to rate as the weights have gone from the average 50s guy at around 14st to today's 18/19st but Lewis on his record alone is head & shoulders "if you pardon the pun"above all I have seen so my list based purely on boxers I have seen.

1 Joe Calzaghe

2 Lenox Lewis

3 Randy Turpin

4 Ricky Hatton

5 Dave Charnley

6 Howard Winstone

7 Alan Rudkin

8 Mauerice Hope

9 Lloyd Honeygan

10 Denis Adries

A few names may surprise some but it's only my opinion

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a lot of people say benny lynch was better than buchanan but buchanan gets all recognition. surprised to see hatton so high


In the Boxing history thread i wrote a long ass post here about British boxers in history: http://budweiserboxing.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=819&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=60


I have Benny Lynch as Scotland's best. Just ahead of Ken Buchanan.[/url]

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Bizzare list. No Jimmy Wilde or Bob Fitzsimmons? Randolph Turpin and Henry Cooper deserve mentions too.


Twilight Zone bizarre?

I was hoping you scholars would put your own list up.

Everyone comes to the forum to see the picks you make and the reason you picked them.

As you are well aware that my knowledge in the British scene is limited so I was hoping you guys would put your lists together as it would be more current.

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a lot of people say benny lynch was better than buchanan but buchanan gets all recognition. surprised to see hatton so high


In the Boxing history thread i wrote a long ass post here about British boxers in history: http://budweiserboxing.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=819&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=60


I have Benny Lynch as Scotland's best. Just ahead of Ken Buchanan.[/url]


You are sure right.

I failed to see that one. Great list!!!



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My listing....


1. Jimmy Wilde

2. Bob Fitzsimmons

3. Ted 'Kid' Lewis

4. Lennox Lewis

5. Lloyd Honeyghan

6. Randolph Turpin

7. Ricky Hatton

8. Dennis Andries

9. Nigel Benn

10. Herol Graham


Just outside the top ten, Joe Calzaghe, Henry Cooper, Naseem Hamed, Frank Bruno, Barry McGuigan, David Haye, Duke McKenzie.

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I can't say any of this with any great conviction. It's difficult to compile a definitive listing of something that has a timespan on around 120 years or so. Especially a WORLDWIDE TOP 10 P4P listing.


The qualities i look for most in an all time great are something like this:


1. Quality of opponents/quality of era.

2. KO ratio.

3. Strength of chin.

4. Style/skill/ability.

5. Dominance during reign.

6. Everything else.


I'll try a relatively decent top 10 British p4p list:


1. Jimmy Wilde

2. Ted "Kid" Lewis

3. Jimmy McLarnin

4. Bob Fitzsimmons

5. Jack "Kid" Berg

6. Lennox Lewis

7. Freddie Welsh

8. Ken Buchanan

9. Len Harvey

10. Randy Turpin


I also considered the following:


Lloyd Honeyghan

Benny Lynch

Jim Driscoll

Rinty Monaghan

Freddie Mills

John H Stracey

Owen Moran

Nel Tarleton

Howard Winstone

Nipper Pat Daly

Len Wickwar

Nigel Benn

Chris Eubank

Joe Calzaghe

Dennis Andries

Maurice Hope




- To see more British names i've looked at over the years and in recent months, check out this thread: http://budweiserboxing.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?p=44386#44386


- Records on Boxrec are not all complete, especially those of pre-war British boxers.


On Boxingbb, out of the blue, we met the grandson on Nipper Pat Daly. He was telling us that when he went to Boxrec with his granddad's boxing record about 7 or 8 years ago they only had 3 of his fights on record. He also told us that much of the updating of these records is done by family members in their spare time.


So when you see a record of a great boxer and 20 of his opponents have records such as 1-0, 2-0, 0-3 etc... it is very possible that the boxer's record is simply incomplete.


- I really don't know who Scotland's best ever boxer is. It's between Benny Lynch and Ken Buchanan and has always been up for debate. I have always leant towards Lynch but having just analysed their records again, i'm now favouring Buchanan. Either way, i've gone for Buchanan in 8th place.


- I'm sure i've missed out some names but IMO this is a pretty solid TOP 10, even if i do only say so myself. LOL.

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