Wednesday, September 2, 2009

British Scene: Pound-For-Pound Top 15

Dave Oakes and Matt Chudley round off The Boxing Bulletin's preview of the upcoming British boxing season with their updated British Isles (Irish fighters are included) P4P Top 15 list.

There's been some movement since our last list, most notably Amir Khan jumping several spots, and the arrival in the top 15 of rising Welsh star, Nathan Cleverly (pictured landing a right hand on Danny McIntosh's jaw, photo © Justin McKie).

Make sure to check back in with us later in the week, as Dave and Matt will be back with previews of John O'Donnell vs Tom Glover and John Simpson vs Paul Truscott.

The Boxing Bulletin British Isles P4P Top 15

By Matt Chudley & Dave Oakes

1. Ricky Hatton

Remains at no.1 on our list, mainly due to David Haye not fighting Nikolai Valuev until November, he may drop a place after that fight. Until then, he’s still got to be considered the best in Britain due to what he’s achieved in the past five years. It’s rumoured that he’ll make his return to the ring in March or April of next year, it’ll be interesting to see what he’s got left in the tank. - Dave Oakes

2. David Haye (vs Nikolay Valuev - Nov 7)

After pulling out and opting out of fights with both Klitschko brothers, Haye now finds himself fighting 7 foot Russian Nicolai Valuev for the WBA strap on the 7th November in Germany. Should the south Londoner leave Germany with the trinket, he will be forced to defend against John Ruiz but will have greatly improved his future bargaining position against the Klitschkos. - Matt Chudley

3. Carl Froch (vs Andre Dirrell - October 17)

The Cobra will defend his WBC super-middleweight title on October the 17th against unbeaten American Andre Dirrell in the opening round of Showtime's Super Six tournament. With fights against the divisions best assured over the next year, Froch could soon find himself on many full P4P lists. - Matt Chudley

4. Jamie Moore - up 2 (vs Ryan Rhodes - October 23)

He jumps two places on our list due to the defeats of Witter and Woods. He’s already no.1 on the most exciting fighter list and is slowly climbing up this list. Moore looks to be the Brit most likely to capture a world title next year, but he must come through a hard test against Ryan Rhodes later this year before he sets his sights on world glory. - Dave Oakes

5. Clinton Woods (lost UD to Tavoris Cloud)

He remains at 5 on our list despite his loss to Tavoris Cloud. Woods showed great heart in losing and regained the respect of the American fans that were less than impressed with his pitiful performance when losing his title to Antonio Tarver. The Sheffield man may decide to retire rather than fight again but he can leave the sport with his head held high after achieving far more than what people thought he would when he first turned pro. - Dave Oakes

6. Amir Khan - up 5 (won UD over Andriy Kotelnik)

He’s become world champion by picking off the easiest target at light-welterweight. He boxed well against Kotelnik but questions must still remain about how he’ll cope when he’s put in with a decent fighter who can punch. Expect him to make a few easy defences arranged by the wily Mr Warren before stepping up to genuine world class. - Dave Oakes

7. Bernard Dunne (vs Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym - Sep 26)

Well rested after his epic truimph against Ricardo Cordoba, Dunne will return on September 26th to make a first defense of his "Regular" WBA 122lb title against Thai Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. The fight will take place in Dunne's hometown of Dublin, after Dunne's promoter Brian Peters won the purse bids with a minimum bid of $120,000. - Matt Chudley

8. Junior Witter - down 4 (lost to Devon Alexander - did not come out for 9th round)

Witter drops down four places on our list after giving up 8 rounds into a WBC title fight with Devon Alexander. He once again faces a hard road back and with his akward style and limited marketability, he may need to get in line for British or European title fights if he is make another run at a world title. - Matt Chudley

9. Rendall Munroe - down 1

The usually busy Munroe has been taking a well deserved break after defeating Isaac Nettey on May 2. With the European scene already conquered, expect him to chase a world title next year. A possible match-up with Bernard Dunne would make sense if the Dublin successfully defends his title in September. - Dave Oakes

10. Ola Ofalabi - down 1

Out of action since his upset win over Enzo Maccarinelli back in March due to promotional and visa confusions, can now focus on his next opponent. Marco Huck recently dethroned Victor Ramirez to claim the full WBO cruiserweight, leaving interim champ Ofolabi expecting a December or January trip to Germany. - Matt Chudley

11. Nicky Cook - down 1

Inactive since losing his WBO super-featherweight title to Roman Martinez, Cook has taken some time out to recuperate before launching a new assualt on the 130lb division. With gym mate Kevin Mitchell out of the picture, a European title run might be in the offing in the near future. - Matt Chudley

12. Jason Booth (vs Michael Hunter - Oct 16)

The reigning British super-bantamweight champion is enjoying an Indian summer to his career. It looked to be all over for him after losing to Damaen Kelly in December 2004; it took him two years to shift the demons that plagued him outside the ring before he returned to slowly rebuild his career. He’s gone unbeaten in his past six fights, five of which were for domestic titles. He fights former British and European champion Michael Hunter in October in what should be a really enjoyable fight for the fans. - Dave Oakes

13. Ian Napa (vs Gary Davis - Sep 11)

Napa has decided not to move down a weight after losing his European bantamweight title in meek fashion against Malik Bouziane last time out. He now challenges British champion Gary Davis on September 11 in a fight he must win to keep his career at title level going. - Dave Oakes

14. Nathan Cleverly NEW (tko 7 over Danny McIntosh - Jul 19)

The young Welsh light-heavyweight, impressively added the Lonsdale belt in stopping Danny McIntosh (check out Justin McKie's photo gallery of Cleverly vs McIntosh) over 7 one sided but entertaining rounds last time out. With little competition left on the domestic scene, it may now be time for Cleverly to make a run at the European title. He returns on the undercard of Sexton-Rogan 2 in October against an opponent to be announced. - Matt Chudley

15. Matthew Macklin (vs Amin Asikainen - September 25)

The first marquee pro signed by Hatton promotions, Macklin opted out of an huge all British showdown with Darren Barker in favor of a fight for the vacant European title against Finn Amin Asikainen. Should Macklin come through, a big fight with Andy Lee in his ancestral home of Ireland could be in the offing. - Matt Chudley

e-mail Matt Chudley

e-mail Dave Oakes