From York Hall to Wembley Stadium, British boxing is packed with talented fighters across all the different weight classes. The UK has boasted numerous champions over the years, including Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe and Naseem Hamed. However, arguably British boxing has never been stronger.
Boxing behemoths Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are incredibly popular with the British public. They have massive amounts of followers on social media and have attracted mainstream crowds.
A potential clash of the two titans is one of the sport’s hottest topics. The Marquess of Queensbury himself would marvel at the power of modern-day promoters like Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. With many British fighters involved in upcoming title fights, the future is bright for British boxing.
There is a new golden generation of British boxers. With rising prospects like the explosive Daniel Dubois, Joshua Buatsi, Josh Kelly and Sunny Edwards, Britain has the potential to oust America as boxing’s top dogs. Here is a list of the top 10 best British boxers competing today.
Carl Frampton (28-2)
Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton is the former two-weight world champion from Northern Ireland. The Belfast fighter has previously held the unified WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles and the WBA featherweight title.
Frampton holds notable victories over former four-weight world champ Nonito Donaire, three-weight world champ Leo Santa Cruz and rival Scott Quigg. Fighting under Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, Frampton recently lost a featherweight title fight to stablemate Josh Warrington via unanimous decision.
Although Frampton is on his way down the list, he is still one of the top British boxers despite heading towards the twilight of his career. Caught in a court dispute with his former manager Barry McGuigan, Frampton has stated his desire to return in the summer by signing a deal with Top Rank/ESPN. Fans are eager to see a trilogy fight against Leo Santa Cruz.
Jack Catterall (24-0)
‘El Gato’ is an unbeaten super-lightweight prospect and the WBO inter-continental champion. Catterall has previously sparred the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan.
After an emphatic KO of Oscar Amador and a decisive decision victory over Ohara Davies, Catterall called out the undefeated WBO light-welterweight champion Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker. Ranked the number one in the WBO’s 140lbs list, its only a matter of time before Catterall becomes the mandatory challenger anyway. The southpaw fighter uses quickfire shots and lightning footwork to devastating effect.
Chris Eubank Jr (30-2)
Chris Eubank Jr is the IBO super-middleweight champion and former British middleweight champion. The son of former two-weight world champ Chris Eubank, ‘Next Gen’ claimed victories over bitter rival James DeGale, former champion Renold Quinlan and Arthur Abraham. Bouncing back after losses to domestic rivals Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves, the pressure fighter put in a dominant display against James DeGale, knocking his opponent down twice on the way to a unanimous decision.
He has recently joined the training camp led by veteran and highly respected boxing coach Virgil Hunter. ‘Next Gen’ has been tipped to fight fellow Brits Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith in future title clashes. If Eubank Jr maintains this momentum, he will swiftly climb up the list.
Josh Taylor (14-0)
Josh Taylor is a Commonwealth gold medallist and boxes in the super-lightweight division of the World Boxing Super Series. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ has beaten former champion Viktor Postol, veteran Miguel Vazquez and fellow British boxer Ohara Davies. Taylor has stormed through the World Boxing Super Series and meets IBF champion Ivan Baranchynk in the semi-final on May 18th. The popular Scot is trained by Shane McGuigan and ranked number two in the world. Taylor knocked out 50 Cent’s charge Ryan Martin (previously unbeaten) in his latest outing.
Billy Joe Saunders (27-0)
Billy Joe Saunders is the former WBO, European, British and Commonwealth middleweight champion. ‘Superb’ Saunders holds high-profile victories over Chris Eubank Jr, David Lemieux and Willie Monroe Jr. He has been trained by Dom Ingle and now trains with newcomer Ben Davison.
Saunders is an elusive counter puncher with incredible defensive skills. Comfortable slipping between orthodox and southpaw stances, he famously dodged a heavy shot from Lemieux with great ease. A naturally gifted boxer, Saunders returns to the ring on May 18th against Shefat Isufi in a comeback fight from suspension. If Saunders really applies himself he has the technical ability to compete for more belts.
Dillian Whyte (26-1)
‘The Body Snatcher’ is the WBO international heavyweight champion ranked fourth best heavyweight in the world. Whyte has also competed in MMA and K-1. Bouncing back from being knocked out by bitter foe Anthony Joshua, Whyte has defeated former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker, Lucas Browne and fellow British heavyweight David Allen.
The British heavyweight engaged in two gruelling slugfests against the game veteran Dereck Chisora, viciously knocking him out twice. Whyte has been calling for title fights against Joshua and American heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder. Although he has been on a tear through the stacked division, Whyte has been repeatedly overlooked in his claim for a shot at the belts, most recently by the WBC in favour of Dominic Breazeale.
Despite these obvious setbacks Whyte has stated he is happy to continue to earn his inevitable shot by dispatching the up-and-coming heavyweight contenders. If Whyte puts in another eye-catching display against Oscar Rivas, he surely must get the chance to fight Wilder.
Tyson Fury (27-0-1)
Tyson Fury is the former WBA, WBO, IBO, IBF and lineal heavyweight world champion. ‘The Gypsy King’ is most famous for his thrilling fights against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder and Derek Chisora.
Fury claimed one of the biggest upsets in boxing history by decisively beating Klitschko in a comprehensive title fight victory. His awkward unorthodox style has made him a formidable force in the heavyweight division. Fury boxes from all angles and uses his long reach to great effect, landing stiff jabs and short combos.
After a Fight of the Year contender against American power puncher Wilder where he survived a dramatic knockdown in the final round, Fury has become a global sensation. He recently signed a multi-fight deal with Top Rank/ESPN and next faces the undefeated Germany heavyweight Tom Schwarz on June 15th.
Josh Warrington (28-0)
‘The Leeds Warrior’ is the current IBF featherweight champion and former European, Commonwealth, British and English champion. Warrington has beaten former two-weight world champ, Carl Frampton, British rival Lee Selby and former champ Kiko Martinez. The undefeated fighter is trained by his father Sean O’Hagan.
A routine underdog, Warrington has regularly beaten the bookies throughout his career so far. He is a highly adaptable fighter with a fantastic work rate, shocking Frampton with an unbelievable volume of power punches and relentless pace. The Leeds favourite is set to defend his title for the third time against his undefeated rival ‘Kid Galahad’ on June 15th who has never faced a fighter of Warrington’s calibre.
Callum Smith (25-0)
From a family of British boxers and former champions, Callum Smith is the WBA middleweight champion and winner of the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament.
The younger brother of Paul, Stephen and Liam, ‘Mundo’ holds notable victories over former champ George Groves, Rocky Fielding and Erik Skoglund. 18 of his 25 wins have come via knockout. Smith famously beat George Groves by knocking the British boxer out in round seven.
The 6’3 fighter pummels his opponents with heavy hands and controls the ring with his long range. He clearly sets the pace in the fight and looks to press from the front foot, although Smith also has excellent tight defence and tough resistance. Smith defends his WBA and The Ring titles at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the Joshua/Ruiz fight on 1 June.
Anthony Joshua (22-0)
‘AJ’ is the reigning unified world heavyweight champion as he holds the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles. Joshua is also a former Olympic champion, winning gold at the 2012 Olympics. The highly decorated British heavyweight is a sporting specimen with a strong athletic build. Joshua is a true knockout artist, powering through 21 of his 22 opponents.
He utilises quality jabs and hard hitting punches to his advantage, laying out Wladimir Klitschko in a thrilling duel and ultimately stopping the veteran via TKO. Joshua can also box for points rather than relying on his devastating power. His boxing record also lists emphatic victories over former champions Dominic Breazeale, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin, and wins over the volatile Dillian Whyte, gritty veterans Carlos Takam and Kevin Johnson.
Boxing in sold-out stadiums like Wembley and the Principality, Joshua is Matchroom’s primary asset. After his initial opponent, Jarrell Miller was busted for failing 3 drugs tests, Joshua faces the former title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1-0) at MSG on 1 June.