Britain’s Favorite Division?
In the 1990’s Boxing in Britain was certainly bereft of the many household names that we see and speak about today. Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno were our heavyweight hopes. Prince Naseem Hamed carried our hopes as Britain’s little big man. Give or take the odd title reign that was about as far as we went, less one division.
As a British boxing fan one division is synonymous with big names, big nights and great battles …Enter the Super Middleweights
My exposure to boxing first happened on October 9th 1993, on an autumn night in Old Trafford Manchester. Before Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing on Sky Sports, or Frank Warren’s Boxnation boxing was on free TV, my six year old self stayed up to watch Benn and Eubank battle it out to a draw on ITV’s Big Fight Live. From then on it I was hooked.
This may come as a surprise to some, but aside from a few months in the mid 90’s Britain has boasted at least one Super Middleweight Champion from a major ranking organization for the last 25 years!!
Perhaps the more unknown names for some of you like Robin Reid, Glenn Catley and Richie Woodhall all held the WBC portion of the title before relinquishing the belts in short lived reigns.
Names you’ll all be more familiar with like Nigel Benn and the ever eccentric Chris Eubank gave us some great nights including the fight that I mentioned that kick started my love for our great sport.
Joe Calzaghe went on a decade long title run that is remembered fondly by many, although the educated boxing fan would argue that his resume doesn’t necessarily flatter the skill set he possessed. More recently we witnessed Carl Froch take on all comers in both winning and losing efforts becoming a 3 times Super Middleweight champion whilst setting an at the time record breaking attendance record in his first (and the better fight) against fellow brit George Groves.
James DeGale became the first Briton to win an Olympic Gold medal and a world title back in 2015 and in my honest opinion probably leads the way in terms of our latest crop of Super Middleweights.
2018 promises to be a huge year for Britain and this division, A Briton currently holds 3 out of 4 portions of the World Title. The Semi Finals of the WBSS begin to take place in February and a man from these shores is guaranteed a place in the final with Callum Smith defending his WBC title for the first time and of course the fight that is generating a huge buzz In the UK between Chris Eubank Jr & George ‘Saint’ Groves. James DeGale looks to get back to winning ways after a shoulder injury against Caleb Traut this weekend in London, and a fight against David Benavidez is mooted should he come through unscathed.
I look forward to the fights on the horizon and foresee a few more nights to remember in this great division.
By: Aaron Cooper
Aaron is the lead UK Correspondent for 3KingsBoxing.com