British boxing is on a high at the moment, between the promoters, the TV platforms and the world-class fighters we have on our shores UK boxing has arguably never been in a better place. Here we take a look at the top 20 UK pound for pound ratings as compiled by Boxrec.
1. Anthony Joshua – Fresh from winning his unification battle with Joseph Parker at the weekend AJ sits at the top of the list right now. What will really set him apart would be the fights that everyone wants to see, Deontay Wilder and then Tyson Fury.
2. George Groves – The lesson he dished out to Chris Eubank Jnr will still be fresh in everyone’s mind and if he can go on to win the WBSS against Callum Smith then he will cement his place in the rankings.
3. Carl Frampton – Up against Nonito Donaire later this month and seems to be enjoying life under Jamie Moore. Carl should win this and go on to bigger fights again down the road.
4. Khalid Yafai – Undefeated in 23 fights Khalid is looking for a marquee name this year to solidify his place in the rankings.
5. Billy Joe Saunders – Riding the crest of the wave just now and could go on to take the No 1 position if he gets the fights he craves against GGG or Canelo Alvarez.
6. Lee Selby – Blockbuster fight against Josh Warrington in May which I believe will prove that he belongs higher on this list. Selby has the skill set to dominate his Leeds opponent in front of a baying Elland road crown and I think he will relish the task.
7. Chris Eubank Jnr – Not one to be easily humbled Jnr could shoot much higher up the table. However, I only see this happening if he gets his training team sorted out, a move to the States could be the best thing for him.
8. Callum Smith – Seems to have been waiting forever to get his world title shot and whilst he is a very good fighter he may just be biting off slightly more than he can chew in the final of the WBSS in the shape of George Groves.
9. Terry Flanagan – It’s difficult to argue that someone with a 33 & 0 record should not be in the top 10. Keeps himself to himself but British, European and World Champ at lightweight Terry has moved up a division to try and get the career-defining fights he is looking for.
10. Jamie McDonnell – A guy that really will take a fight anywhere and he deserves all the plaudits he will get should he come back from Japan with a win against the hard-hitting Naoya Inoue. After this fight, it would be great to see him in against Ryan Burnett.
11. Ryan Burnett – Polished and a great technician but not the most exciting of fighters. Nothing can be taken away from Burnett though as he is undefeated in 19 fights and holder of both the WBA & IBF Bantamweight titles.
12. Luke Campbell – Did well against Jorge Linares in his last fight despite being on the wrong end of a split decision. A fight with Anthony Crolla to decide the best of British (although for me that could well be Lewis Ritson now) may be on the cards before another world title shot emerges.
13. Josh Warrington – Keeps defying the odds as people have said he has reached his level before. Josh gets a real acid test against the very skillful Lee Selby, this fight will be on Josh’s home turf at Elland Rd but he will have to be at his very best and hope that Selby has an off night to come through this one and become world champ.
14. Kell Brook – Let’s face it, Kell could win every world title at his new weight and we would still be disappointed if he hasn’t had the chance to pit his wits against Amir Khan. Super Welter seems to suit him best and he is another one that no one can say is ducking anyone. Jumping weights to take on the ferocious GGG and then going back down for Errol Spence Jnr breaking different eye sockets in both fights could be enough to put anyone off but he’s back and ready for more as the recent stoppage of Rabchenko proved.
15. Josh Taylor – Definitely on the rise and should be challenging for a world title this year or early next at the very latest. Only 12 fights into his pro career but already the talented southpaw is looking like he will take over the division.
16. Scott Quigg – It’s like something is missing from him since the Carl Frampton defeat 2 years ago. 3 wins against opposition he should have beaten but was defeated by Oscar Valdez and a great fight in which he couldn’t have won the title anyway due to missing the weight.
17. Liam Smith – Has his chance to become world champion again in May against Sadam Ali and with the experience gained from his only loss to Canelo Alvarez, this is one that “Beefy” will be looking forward to.
18. Anthony Crolla – The likeable Crolla beat Edson Ramirez on points and whilst a rematch with Ricky Burns looks further away than ever it could still be an all British clash against Luke Campbell next.
19. Martin Murray – Coming to the tail end of his career and the Billy Joe Saunders fight scheduled for June could be his last fight.
20. Dillian Whyte – A sterling display against Lucas Browne has surely pushed Whyte to the brink of a world title shot, next up looks like an eliminator against Kubrat Pulev and then we should see him fight for the IBF title. Whether that is against Wilder or his old foe AJ remains to be seen.
With any list, it can be out of date as soon as it has been made and some of the guys just below the top 20 will surely be in it before the year is out. The likes of Andrew Selby, Lewis Ritson and Josh Kelly amongst others are all ready to stake their claim over the next 12 months, some like Tyson Fury will be welcomed back with open arms and others will drop down or retire from the game. Whatever happens, we have a multitude of world class boxers and if we can all get the fights we want to see it will be another fantastic year for fight fans.