Welcome back to my blog 12 Rounds UK, today I’m going to discuss the results of a poll I ran on Twitter asking what domestic fights British boxing fans want to see. The results also include opinions from my friends and boxing fans I asked outside of Twitter.
As you can see in the very unspectacular pie chart above, the majority of people want to see Joshua v Fury or Haye, with Brook v Khan coming in at a close second and surprisingly, Frampton v McDonnell or Selby comes third ahead of DeGale v Groves or Smith. If any of these fights could happen and were even slightly as fantastic of an occasion as the featured image of this post, we would be in for a treat. Now the boring chart is out of the way, lets discuss the potential of these fights, likelihood of them happening and the significance the fights could have in the boxing world.
ANTHONY JOSHUA V TYSON FURY/ DAVID HAYE
The most in demand fight possibly in the whole of the boxing world, definitely so in the UK, newly crowned IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua v WBA and WBO world champion Tyson Fury would be one of boxing’s biggest fights. A fight which would more than likely take place at Wembley Stadium, as Carl Froch v George Groves 2 did a few years ago, it would be a sell out 80,000 crowd watching British boxing’s 2 heavyweight stars go head to head. The fight would not just be for 3 heavyweight titles, it would be for Britain’s bragging rights, hero Joshua v Gypsy King Fury. This is certainly the number 1 domestic fight I want to see and it is actually quite likely to take place later this year providing that Fury and Joshua can both beat the challengers to their titles in Wladimir Klitschko and Dominic Breazeale.
I am going to assume people have voted for AJ v Fury (I should probably make the poll clearer next time… sorry) for the rankings below. For the people who voted for this but want to see Haye v Fury or Joshua well tough luck, only one of those fights would probably take place (AJ v Haye) and it would most likely happen next year, possibly after Haye can win a world title to bring something into the ring.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 9
Fan Excitement: 10
When: Late 2016
Prediction (at this moment): Fury by split decision
KELL BROOK V AMIR KHAN
A fight that has always seemed to be there or there about, but has never actually been made. Kell Brook has been practically begging Amir Khan to take up his offer and fight him for his IBF Welterweight title but Khan seem’s to be constantly dodging any attempt for a fight to be made, despite being quoted saying he wants the fight to happen. Unfortunately for us British fans, this fight has gone from likely to unlikely at the moment with Khan moving up to Middleweight to challenge Saul Alvarez for his WBC world Middleweight title. Khan divides opinion in the UK, some people think he’s an excellent boxer whilst others, such as myself, think he can’t mix it with some of the bigger punchers in boxing. However, ‘King Khan’ is big out in the US and a fight with Brook would be a big one for both American fans and British fans. The fight would again probably take place at Wembley Stadium but this could be one of the potential stumbling blocks as Khan likes to fight out in the US.
Personally, I would love to see this fight happen but I’m unsure as to whether it will actually be made, Brook has to concentrate on finding himself a top opponent to fight rather than just easily beating the mandatory’s. If Khan loses against Alvarez, would he risk stepping back down in weight to take on Brook in a risky fight? Or if he wins, would he then ask Brook to move up to fight him, which he could do no problem, or does he aim for a big name in the Middleweight division, such as Gennady Glovokin.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 8
Fan Excitement: 9
When: Maybe 2017
Prediction (at this moment): Brook by KO
CARL FRAMPTON V JAMIE MCDONNELL/ LEE SELBY
I’ve started to realise the flaw in conducting a poll with some of the options, such as this one containing more than one fight, if you get me. It’s hard to figure out which of the two fight’s in question you actually want to see, for this post however I’m just going to assume. Now I know that’s a bad idea as some of you might actually want to see the other fight, but tough luck. For this section, I’m going to assume you the fight people wanted to see is Frampton v Selby, mainly because Frampton has now announced he will step up to Featherweight to fight Leo Santa Cruz, the same division Lee Selby holds a world title in. There has been talk of Frampton moving up to fight Selby for a while now and when he was stripped of the WBA Super-Bantamweight belt, the rumour mill started to turn. Despite this, Frampton opted to take on Santa Cruz for the WBA Featherweight belt. The fight is one I think Frampton will win, Santa Cruz knocked out Kiko Martinez in his last fight, who incidentally is someone who Frampton has beaten on 2 separate occasions.
If Frampton manages to beat LSC and comes away with the WBA Featherweight title, it would set up a mouth-watering clash with IBF champion ‘The Welsh Mayweather’ Lee Selby, who was knocked down for the first time in his career the other week by Eric Hunter. Lee Selby might have to take on the dangerous Josh Warrington first, which would be a top domestic fight in itself, but a fight with Frampton is what he will be wanting especially if he has a world title.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 7
Fan Excitement: 7
When: Early 2017
Prediction (at this moment): Selby by unanimous decision
DEGALE V GROVES/ SMITH
I’m actually unsure as to what fight out of these people would want to see the most, for argument’s sake, lets say the 2 fights in question are DeGale v Groves and DeGale v Smith. In my opinion, I would love to see a rematch between DeGale and Groves but only if Groves had a world title to bring to the ring. On the other hand, a bout between DeGale and Smith is starting to look increasingly likely as DeGale is a current Super-Middleweight world title holder and Callum Smith is undefeated, rising though the boxing rankings and is now mandatory for Badou Jacks world title, a person who Groves himself has failed to beat. If this was last year, I would have straight away said that I want to see DeGale v Groves the most, but now Groves has failed at the final hurdle on 3 different occasions, I want to see Smith go and get himself a world title then take on ‘Chunky’ James DeGale.
I really hope we do see a world title fight between DeGale and Smith, a fight which would split the British fans opinions and may even have some American’s interested as DeGale is starting to make a name for himself in the US. I have no idea where this fight would take place, possibly the O2 arena. I don’t think Wembley would be a good arena for these two fighters, at this stage anyway. A lot of things would have to go right in order for this fight to be made, such as DeGale holding onto his world title and Smith getting his opportunity for the WBC title against either Jack or Lucian Bute. DeGale wants to fight the winner of Jack v Bute which would mean Smith won’t be able to bring a world title to a fight against DeGale, but ‘Chunky’ could hold two titles by the time a fight is made, and Smith would be mandatory. You can read my ‘On The Rise’ segment on Callum Smith here, where I profile the promising young Super-Middleweight.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 9
Fan Excitement: 8
When: Mid 2017
Prediction (at this moment): DeGale by unanimous decision
ANTHONY CROLLA V TERRY FLANAGAN
Two fighters who are slightly under the radar in British boxing, but both hold world titles in the lightweight division and an all Manchester clash has already been talked about. Anthony Crolla is the WBA lightweight world champion after defeating Darleys Perez in a rematch late last year, however he could have been fighting for Terry Flanagan’s WBO title instead. Frank Warren revealed last year that Crolla turned down a fight with Flanagan, which probably would have taken place at the Manchester Arena, to fight Darleys Perez in a rematch for the WBA title instead. It turned out to be a good move for Crolla as he won the fight to become world champion. A domestic clash with Flanagan however is what British fans want to see. I personally want to see who is the better of the two, and see who can dominate the lightweight division in the coming years.
Crolla will fight undefeated Ismael Barroso next month who ended Kevin Mitchell’s career last year for the interim WBA title. Flanagan however has just defended his title against Derry Mathews which sets up the potential for a summer or end of year clash between the two British lightweights. Providing Crolla can come through the tough Barroso, a fight between himself and Flanagan would get the British boxing public’s attention to see who is the British lightweight king.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 6
Fan Excitement: 5
When: Summer-Late 2016
Prediction (at this moment): Crolla by split decision
LIAM SMITH V BILLY JOE SAUNDERS
The fight at the bottom of British boxing fans list is Liam Smith v Billy Joe Saunders. Smith is currently Light-Middleweight WBO world champion with BJS the current Middleweight WBO world champion. For the fight to happen, it would require Smith to move up in weight, but don’t think he isn’t capable of doing so. Despite being a couple of inches smaller than BJS, he has the same knockout record which shows he has the power capabilities. The problem with this fight is that both fighters are promoted by Frank Warren. It would be very unlikely that he would put two of his own British world title holders up against each other, which is unfortunate as I’m sure this would be an underrated fight. However, he Frank Warren did put both Flanagan and Mathews up against each other so that would give fans some hope.
I don’t think this fight will take place, I don’t see either fighter willing to give up their titles to change weight divisions. Especially so in BJS case as he wants to fight the big boys in the middleweight division such as Glovokin, who recently said he would be open to a unification fight with BJS.
Potential to be a Good Fight: 4
Fan Excitement: 3
Prediction (at this moment): BJS by unanimous decision
Thanks to everyone that voted in the poll, let me know in the comments which fight you would like to see the most!