Thursday, May 7, 2009

British Scene: Pound 4 Pound Top 15

With no big fights on British television to preview this weekend, it's a good time for Matt Chudley to present The Boxing Bulletin's British Isles (we're including Irish fighters) pound for pound list.

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

The regular fight previews edition of the British Scene will be back next week with a look at the Martin Rogan vs Sam Sexton Commonwealth heavyweight title bout.

The Boxing Bulletin British Isles P4P Top 15

By Matt Chudley

1. Ricky Hatton

No shame in losing to the world's best fighter, and despite the crushing nature of that defeat, the Hitman will remain no.1 on this list - at least until the 20th of June.

2. David Haye

After months of speculation the Hayemaker will now get his opportunity to take on the consesus top 2 heavyweights in his next three fights. Over 30,000 tickets where sold on the first day to his June clash with Wladimir Klitschko and a win and subsequent fight with Wlad's brother Vitali would really bring the division back to life.

3. Carl Froch

Big opportunities are in store for the Cobra, after his dramatic come from behind knockout win over Jermain Taylor. Joe Calzaghe is staying put in retirement, but with names like Bernard Hopkins and Mikkel Kessler being thrown around as his next opponent, Froch could have a chance to climb even higher in the near future.

4. Junior Witter

While producing a solid performance in his only outing since losing his WBC light-welterweight title to Tim Bradley, Witter has remained much less active than either he or promoter Mick Hennessey would like. He will likely stay on the sidelines as Hennessey continues to push for either a vacant interim or vacant full blown WBC title fight.

5. Clinton Woods

The Sheffield man may well find himself fighting Tavoris Cloud for the vacant IBF light heavyweight title should Chad Dawson not, as speculated oblige mandatory challenger Cloud. Woods had also been linked with a rematch against Roy Jones, but Jones now looks to have decided upon fellow Floridian Jeff Lacy.

6. Jamie Moore

The all action Salford fighter took care of his stay busy European title defense in style, stopping Roman Dzuman in two rounds on the British based leg of Hatton-Pacquaio undercard. After a stop-start last two years, Moore is finally building mometum towards a world title shot in the next year.

7. Bernard Dunne

Following his dramatic win over Ricardo Cordoba last time out the Dubliner is reportedly involved in negotiations with comebacking Mexican superstar Israel Vasquez. A potential fight would take place in either Las Vegas or 82,000 seater home of Gaelic games, Croke Park during September.

8. Rendall Munroe

Munroe added the Commonwealth belt to his European title on May 2nd with a unanimous decision over tough Issaac Nettey. The Leicester bin man seems to have consolidated his dominance in the European super-bantamweight scene and appears ready for world class opposition. Promoter Frank Maloney will continue to push for a fight with Irish rival Bernard Dunne.

9. Ola Olafabi

Following his upset win over Enzo Maccarinelli last month the Californian based South Londoner remains stranded in the UK due to visa problems. Next up for Olafabi is Canadian southpaw Troy Ross, the latest winner of Contender TV series. The bout is scheduled for June 20, but no location has been set as of yet.

10. Nicky Cook

Having started well Cook came apart at the seams in the 4th round of his first WBO title defense last month. He will continue to recuperate before launching a new assualt on the 130lb division with domestic dust-ups involving the likes of Ricky Burns and Stephen Foster Jr on the horizon.

11. Amir Khan

When questioned previously on Steve Bunce's boxing hour Amir Khan described Andreas Kotelnik as the weakest world titleholder in the sport. In a surprising turn of evens Khan will now challenge Kotelnik in a one stop fight at 140lbs on June 27th, at the O2 Arena in London.

12. Jason Booth

Booth jumps into the British P4P rankings after moving up two weight divisions on 11 days notice to claim the British super-bantamweight title. Booth had previously been scheduled to fight for the British superflyweight title but following pullouts moved up to add the 122lb title to his Commonwealth bantamweight strap.

13. Ian Napa

Napa's short but impressive stint as European champ at 118lbs may have to an end but he seems far from finished in the sport. On the agenda next is a move back down to his more natural weights of either flyweight or super-fly.

14. Kevin Mitchell

Following nearly a year of inactivity the Dagenham man now finds himself with the opportunity to fight for a world title and avenge the defeat of stablemate Nicky Cook. Guided by Nicky's father Paul, Mitchell will take on Roman Martinez at the O2 in July should he come through a tune-up on May 22nd at the York Hall.

15. Matthew Macklin

Following a destructive win over Arthur Abraham victim Wayne Elcock (Boxing Bulletin photo gallery of Macklin/Elcock), British middleweight champ Macklin now finds himself right in the mix at 160lbs. With the lack of depth in the division as a whole, the exciting Brummie may only need a couple more fights to get into contention for a world title shot.

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