In the first part of Ken Irons’ article he revealed the first half of his top ten British boxers of all time, this time we find out who made the top five (and more importantly the number one slot!) So who did our man at ringside feel were the premier pugilists from the land of the Rose? Read on and find out…
5) Chris Eubank
Middle & Super Middleweight (45-5-2, 23 KO’s)
London born Eubank moved, in his teens, to New York, where he eventually fought off drug, alcohol and shop lifting dependencies when he took up boxing.
On his return to the U.K. he was undefeated world middleweight champion for over five years and unbeaten in all fights in his first ten years as a pro.
His lisping drawl, eccentric attire and foppish attitude antagonised some (including arch adversary Nigel Benn) but masked a steely character.
4) Carl Froch
Super Middleweight (33-2, 24 KO’s)
Froch, from Nottingham, is generally regarded as the best pound for pound British fighter currently plying his trade.
Nicknamed ‘The Cobra’, the 38 year-old has won 33 of his fights (24 knock outs) and suffered his only defeats by decision, with a record of 9–2 in world title fights, four victories being by knock out.
3) John Conteh
Light Heavyweight (34-4-1, 23 KO’s)
Aged only 19 Lancastrian Conteh won a gold medal at middleweight in the 1970 Olympics.
On turning professional he won the WBC light heavyweight crown in 1974 and held it until 1977. He retired in 1980 with a record of 34 wins, 4 losses and a solitary draw.
Regrettably he was another superbly talented fighter who could have done better still had it not been for an alleged penchant for the high life.
2) Joe Calzaghe CBE
Super Middleweight (46-0, 32 KO’s)
Welsh southpaw Calzaghe held WBO, WBA WBC & IBF super middle titles and is the longest reigning super middle champion in history, retiring undefeated in 2009.
His popularity has since resulted in appearances on national TV shows, while a perfect professional record of 46-0 is one of the finest in the history of elite level sparring, trumped only by Rocky Marciano (49-0) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0).
1) Lennox Lewis CM, CBE
Heavyweight (41-2-1, 32 KO’s)
Born in West Ham, Lewis moved to Canada in childhood but retains dual nationality. At 6 feet 5 inches and around 17 stone, easy going, chess playing Lewis was a supreme boxer with a knock out punch in either hand.
He held the undisputed world title and never ducked a fight in an era (nineties) when there were plenty of dangerous fighters around, such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko (all of whom Lewis subjugated.)
His only professional defeats were duly and emphatically avenged in resultant re-matches.
What do you think of Ken’s choices? Should Ricky Hatton have made the cut? How about Frank Bruno or Herbie Hyde (ok, the last one might be a joke!)