With seven current British world champions, tied with potentially another four in the coming months, it is safe to say that little old Blighty is going through a golden era of Boxing.
James DeGale, Kell Brook, Terry Flanagan, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, and Jamie McDonnell currently hold their own respected world titles. Whilst Tyson Fury, Frank Buglioni, Liam Smith and Anthony Crolla are chasing their own belts before the end of the year.
Whilst not all of these fighters are with Matchroom Sports, who have an exclusive deal with Sky Sports to show 20 fight nights a year until 2021, Eddie Hearn (Managing Director) has created a platform in which to bring out the casual boxing fans in Britain, and make them excited about a Saturday night fight.
Sky’s coverage not only shows the main action, but allows fight fans to see behind the scenes footage in the gym, as well as showing extensive coverage on fight week, allowing neutrals to build a rapport with the boxers.
This was most evident in the build up to Froch vs Groves 2, when the whole week was spent building up the biggest fight night ever in Britain. It captured the imagination of the general public, and was a huge sporting event, even for those who are not fans of Boxing.
Anthony Joshua tops the bill at the O2 in London this Saturday night, as he takes on undefeated Scotsman, Gary Cornish, for the vacant Commonwealth Heavyweight title.
Joshua is the focal point of Sky’s Boxing coverage, and is touted as a future World Champion.
Since his first professional fight in 2013, AJ has been one somewhat of a national tour – fighting on cards in London, Sheffield, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and Birmingham. A clever move by Hearn to drum up as much support as possible for Britain’s biggest Boxing hope.
Aside from the main events, Matchroom Sport always offer thrilling action on the undercard. The bill at the O2 on Saturday features top British prospects like Tommy Martin, Ricky Boylon, Charlie Edwards, and O’Hara Davies.
And that’s without mentioning Dillian Whyte, who is on a collision course to fight former amateur rival, Joshua, in December.
Want more evidence for a resurgence in British Boxing? Look no further than Josh Warrington vs Joel Brunker last weekend. The Yorkshireman attracted 10,000 fanatics to the First Direct Arena in Leeds, and every one of them sung their hearts out to ‘Marching On Together’/’I Predict A Riot’. A spine tingling experience, even if you are not a fan of Leeds United.
British Boxing will forever be chasing another Carl Froch vs George Groves 2, in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium (as if you didn’t know…) But with the current crop of British Boxing superstars, we could be in store for more epic fight nights over the coming years.
So congratulations to Matchroom Sport, and Eddie Hearn for gathering excitement around Boxing in Britain again, but this is just the start. We want more domestic tear-ups, more grudge matches, and more British World Champions.
But whatever happens, let’s enjoy the ride.
By Jack Oakley