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British/Irish boxers i DO like


londoner
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My review of British/Irish boxing in the last 20 or so years

 

In the last few weeks i've written quite a lot on one particular British boxer i don't like anymore, David Haye. I say "anymore" because i was once a fan of his. But, his constant bad mouthing of opponents and all talk no action mentality has put me off him.

 

Instead of continuing on that theme, i'll create a thread where i talk about British boxers during my lifetime i DO/DID like.

 

I won't include journeymen such as Peter Buckley or Paul Bonson because journeymen have their own thread here: http://budweiserboxing.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=8212

 

Also, as much as i respect journeymen, i can't say any are my favourite boxers.

 

I also won't include Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Steve Collins and numerous "short reigning World champions" such as Nicky Cook, Alex Arthur, Junior Witter, Scott Harrison etc... Not so much because i don't respect them or anything like that. Merely because i am talking about boxers i was always happy to see in the ring and enjoyed watching.

 

Hamed i only watched in the hope i'd see him lose, because he didn't fight the best out there. I was a big fan of Calzaghe until about 2004 and then i went off him because the bigger fights didn't materialise. I tried to be a fan of Collins (after he'd left the USA and arrived in the UK) but after he beat Benn and sent him into retirement, that automatically meant i couldn't be a big fan of his. As for the other names mentioned (along with many other names) i was just never a big fan of them. But, like with all boxers, this doesn't mean i don't respect them.

 

 

My favourite British/Irish boxers of the last 20 or so years:

 

 

Active boxers:

 

Carl Froch: Possibly my favourite British boxer of all time. He's a credit to British boxing. He's exciting, willing to travel, has fought some of the best fighters in the World, is a 2 time World champion...

 

I won't write too much as i have written enough in this thread: http://budweiserboxing.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=7841

 

James DeGale: Not since Carl Froch's debut in 2002 have i been so excited about a British boxer. This guy looks the business. I think DeGale can go on to do whatever he wants in the boxing World.

 

Rendall Munroe: There's nothing to dislike about Rendall. He's a tryer and we all like a tryer. He does his best with what he has and doesn't moan or bad mouth anyone. He just gets on with his job. He's also very down to Earth and has even kept his day job as a binman.

 

Amir Khan: I wasn't a fan of his until recently. Since day one boxing fans were told Khan would go on to great things before they'd even been accomplished. So much so that poor Khan probably started to believe all the hype himself. He then got KO'd be Breidis Prescott and it seems to have done his career some good. He looks better than before his KO loss and his performances in the USA against Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana were impressive. His win over Maidana turned me into a fan.

 

Enzo Maccarinelli: I can't really say he was ever one of my favourite boxers but he was always entertaining. That has to be said. He was a big puncher with a not too great chin. He fought some great boxers such as David Haye, Ola Afolabi, Denis Lebedev, Alexander Frenkel as well as several other good quality boxers.

 

In fact, we can say that those boxers who beat him, would go on to better things BECAUSE of their win over Enzo Maccarinelli. We could say Enzo was a kind of gatekeeper to the cruiserweight division.

 

Howard Eastman: I always liked Eastman. He has been British, Commonwealth and European middleweight champion and during his prime he challenged for the World title against William Joppy (WBA) and Bernard Hopkins (All 4 belts). He's also fought Arthur Abraham, Edison Miranda, John Duddy, Wayne Elcock and Evans Eshira. He was only stopped once in 7 losses (against Miranda). He's still fighting but needs to retire.

 

Ryan Rhodes: I can't really say i have always been a fan of his but i have become one in recent years. He's been steadily climbing up the ranks and keeping his head down fighting British and European level guys. He's now on a 4 year unbeaten streak and deserves a World title shot.

 

 

Other British/Irish boxers i'll be watching over the next few years:

 

Nathan Cleverly, Kevin Mitchell, Ricky Burns, Jason Booth, Darren Barker, Matthew Macklin, Craig McEwan, Andy Lee, Lee Byrne, Carl Frampton, Jamie Kavanagh, Frankie Gavin, George Groves, Kell Brook, Martin Murray, John Murray, Joe Murray, Tony Bellew, Matty Askin, Tony Jeffries, Gary Sykes, Denton Vassell, Callum Johnson, Scott Quigg, Stephen Smith, Travis Dickinson, Dereck Chisora, Larry Olubamiwo, Tom Dallas, David Price.

 

 

Retired boxers:

 

Nigel Benn: "The Dark Destroyer" was the first boxer i loved watching live. He was always on the TV and i loved watching him fight. None of his fights were boring is all i can remember.

 

Michael Watson: My two favourite boxers of the "British middleweight greats era" of the 80s/90s were Nigel Benn and Michael Watson. He fought Chris Eubank (x2), Mike McCallum and beat the undefeated Nigel Benn by brutal KO.

 

Chris Eubank: He was never one of my favourite boxers although i've always had a lot of respect for him. I just seemed to prefer Benn and Watson. But, i still watched Eubank and hoped he did well. Unlike Naseem Hamed, for example, who i watched in the hope he'd lose.

 

Herol Graham: I always liked Graham. He was a class act. Very skilful and very agile but he just couldn't take a punch and that's a pretty bad thing in boxing. If he'd have had a great chin, he'd have been a World champion for sure. He fought some very good boxers like Ayub Kalule, Sumbu Lalambay (x2), Mike McCallum, Julian Jackson, Vinny Pazienza, Charles Brewer.

 

Clinton Woods: Very under appreciated boxer in Britain. Ask any non boxing fan in the UK if they know him and none would. That's a real shame. Ok, he was never as exciting as some of the boxers around him during his prime such as Robin Reid or Joe Calzaghe. But, he fought the best and he fought them regularly. He fought: David Starie, Roy Jones Jr, Glen Johnson (x3), Julio Cesar Gonzalez (x2), Antonio Tarver, Tavoris Cloud. Despite the quality of his opponents he was never beaten by KO and only stopped once in his 5 losses (to RJJ).

 

He won the commonwealth super middleweight title and then at light heavyweight he won British, Commonwealth, European and the IBF World title.

 

We can also argue that he was the last boxer to fight a prime Roy Jones Jr as Woods was Jones' last opponent at light heavyweight before he moved up to heavyweight to fight John Ruiz.

 

Robin Reid: He perhaps didn't get the recognition he deserved because he fought at the same time as Joe Calzaghe. He fought a pretty good level of opposition throughout his career and some even say deserved the win against Calzaghe. The biggest joke of his career was in 2003 when he challenged IBF champion Sven Ottke. The referee was an absolute disgrace and wouldn't even allow Reid to PUNCH Ottke in some rounds. Had the fight taken place outside of Germany, Reid would've been World champion again.

 

Wayne McCullough: Who doesn't like the pocket rocket? I don't need to name his opponents but i might as well: Daniel Zaragoza, Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Scott Harrison, Oscar Larios (x2) as well as numerous other World level opponents. Wayne was always a joy to watch, not only because you knew his chin could withstand anything, but also because he always gave it his best shot.

 

Herbie Hide: He was never an all time great HW but he was exciting to watch and you know he was either going to get a KO win or get KO'd himself. He fought some pretty decent fighters in his career too: Vitali Klitschko, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tucker, Michael Bentt. He could've done more with the prime part of his career possibly but it was exciting while it lasted.

 

Frank Bruno: Similar to Herbie Hide in the sense that he was either going to KO his opponent or get KO'd. I don't think anyone in Britain didn't know who Bruno was/is. He's certainly one of the most recognisable faces in the UK and much more famous even than the likes of Lennox Lewis. The guys he fought are a who's who of boxing legends too: Mike Tyson (x2), Oliver McCall, Lennox Lewis, Carl Williams, Tim Witherspoon, James Tillis.

 

Watching Frank Bruno fight was basically a British tradition.

 

Lennox Lewis: Lewis is a tough one for me. I can't really say i was ever a fan of his. If i'm being perfectly honest, i actually preferred Frank Bruno and Herbie Hide. I'm not too sure why because Lewis was the most talented of the 3 and by far the most successful. One obvious factor is that i was never really a big fan of the HW division. I've always preferred the lower weights. Also, Lewis was around at the same time of the middleweight greats in Britain. So i was always more interested in them. But, i could say Lewis was ONE of my favourites but definitely not my all time favourite.

 

Paul Ingle: I remember when he fought Naseem Hamed. I have never watched a Naseem fight and wanted him to lose so much. He bounced back from losing to WBO champion Naseem Hamed by beating Manuel Medina for the IBF title and then defending it successfully against Junior Jones. He then tragically got injured in his bout against Mbulelo Botile and had to retire.

 

Johnny Nelson: Nelson is somewhat of a boxing Legend that very few people aside from boxing fanatics even know about. The guy fought from 1986 to 2005. He had 59 bouts from cruiserweight up to heavyweight. He actually made his debut weighing in at 164lbs but then gradually went up in weight little by little. He had an awful start to his career losing his first 3 bouts and 5 of the first 11.

 

He then had a 2 year unbeaten streak and challenged then WBC champion Carlos De Leon in Sheffield and got a draw. Eventually he moved up to heavyweight in early 90s and fought the likes of Corrie Sanders and Henry Akinwande. He finally won a World title at cruiserweight in 1999 against Carl Thompson and kept it for 6 years before he retired.

 

This is something i also liked about Johnny Nelson: The guy travelled to fight. He fought in Denmark, Germany, USA, France, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Thailand, Brazil, Italy a total of 17 times. He even travelled abroad to fight while he was WBO champion.

 

You can't make this stuff up. Talk about willing to fight!

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I wanted to give my little contribution..i was lucky enough to see a fighters as Tony Sibson, Mark Kaylor, Gary Mason, Barry McGuigan, ecc....(than those reported by Londoner) and are exactly thirty years that i'am a lover of britsh/irish boxing...I often cheer for a united kingdom fighter even against a boxer of my nation...having attended any of them I also made a wonderful impression of the men (ex. Johnny Nelson, Enzo Maccarinelli and Gary Lockett in Rome)..

..at the end...great fighters and great men !!

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Very good read londoner, except for the" brutal " KO of Benn by Mike Watson.

 

Erm, what he actually did was let Benn punch himself out and stopped him with a jab.

 

True. I probably over did it by saying "brutal". I do think it was a brutal win though in the sense that Benn's loss would lead him to fight his next 5 fights in the USA and re-evaluate his career.

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I've updated my original post to include Amir Khan in my list of favourite boxers as well as adding many more boxers to the list of those i will be keeping an eye out for over the next few years.

 

See I genuinely dislike Khan's mouth but in the ring it's hard not to give him credit. Really needs to watch what "Team Khan" does though...

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I never took to Johnny Nelson - his pitiful performances against Carlos DeLeon, James Warring and Henry Akinwande put me off for life. He fought scared in all 3 fights. The Akinwande fight is possibly a candidate for worst fight in history.

 

His Warren Boxing Organisation title, he had later in his career, is a perfect example of the safe matchmaking an average fighter can get under the Warren banner.

 

Nelson had talent and to be fair got better with age. He was poor as a Heavyweight as losing to Adilson Rodriaguez signifies and he beat too many poor contenders for me to view him as a genuine World Champion.

 

Also, I never recall him entertaining but then I never watched his fights in the latter part of his career.

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I agree, Rob.

 

Tbh i was never really a fan of his in his career. I also remember in the early-mid 2000s as he approached retirement, he was linked to bigger bouts that never materialised. One was against Enzo Maccarinelli. But, injury lead Nelson to retire and Enzo won the title.

 

So it's odd that i should include him in my list. I suppose we could say i've become more of a fan of his since he retired. The reason i did is primarily because of the amount of places around the World he fought. I remember reading that ages ago and thinking "what???". I understand that maybe the reason he fought abroad so much was because he wasn't entertaining enough to fill UK stadia but the fact he fought abroad 17 times in places like NZ, Thailand, Belgium etc is just incredible. There are guys out there who don't travel abroad to fight ONCE in their careers.

 

OK, we could say, "So what?!". But, how about this: Next time a fighter refuses to travel abroad we say: "Nelson travelled abroad 17 times, why won't you?".

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I think Hatton deserves credit for the Tszyu fight alone. I take no notice of people who try to make out Kostya was inactive, its hardly Hattons fault that most of the people Tszyu hit went down like bags of shit.

 

This guy averaged 6 rounds per fight in his career with a stoppage rate of over 70%.

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I wanted to give my little contribution..i was lucky enough to see a fighters as Tony Sibson, Mark Kaylor, Gary Mason, Barry McGuigan, ecc....(than those reported by Londoner) and are exactly thirty years that i'am a lover of britsh/irish boxing...I often cheer for a united kingdom fighter even against a boxer of my nation...having attended any of them I also made a wonderful impression of the men (ex. Johnny Nelson, Enzo Maccarinelli and Gary Lockett in Rome)..

..at the end...great fighters and great men !!

 

That's a good list of boxers you've followed, Crusader.

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I think Hatton deserves credit for the Tszyu fight alone. I take no notice of people who try to make out Kostya was inactive, its hardly Hattons fault that most of the people Tszyu hit went down like bags of shit.

 

This guy averaged 6 rounds per fight in his career with a stoppage rate of over 70%.

 

He beat some good World class fighters aswell like Urango, Collazo etc. Hatton had a pretty good run at the top.

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