Coral’s profiles of every current reigning British world champion
Lee Gormley | July 31, 2016
Britain’s current world champions
British boxing has been booming in recent months, with these shores boasting no less than 14 current world champions, ranging from heavyweight down to bantamweight.
Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton previously overcame Scott Quigg to become unified super-bantamweight kingpin, then opted to vacate his titles and make the move up to featherweight to face Leo Santa Cruz.
The Belfast-born fighter then secured a historic victory over the Mexican warrior to claim the WBA featherweight crown in New York, clinching the belt his long-standing mentor Barry McGuigan once held to become a two-division champion.
After Frampton’s successful second outing on American soil, a proud moment for both British and Irish boxing, Coral profile all of the other current reigning world champions from these Isles…
Belts: WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion
From: Manchester, England
Record: 25-0, 18 KOs
Starting in the heavyweight division and with a controversial character in Manchester-born Fury, with the 27-year-old having stunned previously long-serving unified champion Wladimir Klitschko to reign supreme last November.
The 27-year-old is so far undefeated in his career and will face Klitschko once again in an awaited rematch later this year, after their initially scheduled meeting on July 9th was postponed after the unified champion injured his ankle in training.
Belts: IBF heavyweight champion
From: Watford, England
Record: 17-0, 17 KOs
As well as Fury currently reigning in the division, fellow Briton Joshua is enjoying a rampant career after clinching the IBF strap from American Charles Martin in April, stopping him inside two rounds in London.
The 26-year-old has become British boxing’s golden boy since storming onto the scene after his 2012 Olympic Gold medal victory, having stopped all 17 of his opponents so far, including Dominic Breazeale most recently in his first successful title defence.
Belts: WBC cruiserweight champion
From: Liverpool, England
Record: 27-2-1, 17 KOs
Liverpool’s hard-hitting ‘Bomber’ Bellew completed a fairytale story in May, as he stopped Ilunga Makabu inside three rounds to clinch the WBC cruiserweight crown at Goodison Park, the home of his beloved Everton.
The 33-year-old Merseysider has losses to current WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and compatriot Nathan Cleverly on his record, though he avenged the latter in November 2014 when earning a split decision victory on home soil.
Belts: IBF super-middleweight champion
From: London, England
Record: 23-1, 14 KOs
London-born southpaw DeGale became the first British boxer in history to have won both an Olympic Gold medal and a professional world title last year, when he outpointed Andre Dirrell to claim the IBF super-middleweight strap.
‘Chunky’, now 30 years of age, clinched Gold back in the 2008 Games in Beijing, and has battled back from his first and only defeat to George Groves in 2011 to become arguably the best fighter currently at 168lbs.
Billy Joe Saunders
Belts: WBO middleweight champion
From: Hertfordshire, England
Record: 23-0, 12 KOs
In the middleweight division, 26-year-old Saunders is the reigning WBO title holder, after impressively outpointing Ireland’s Andy Lee in December at the Manchester Arena, during what was the first ever world title bout between two fighters from travelling backgrounds.
The Hertfordshire southpaw has previously overcome Chris Eubank Jr and a rematch could yet be on the cards within a division thriving with talent, including leading light Gennady Golovkin.
Belts: WBO light-middleweight champion
From: Liverpool, England
Record: 23-0-1, 13 KOs
Unbeaten Liverpudlian Smith has secured the biggest fight of his career later this year, with the WBO light-middleweight champion set to defend his strap against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on September 18th.
‘Beefy’ will enter as the 6/1 underdog for his debut on American soil, but the Joe Gallagher trained talent will hold plenty of confidence after two dominant defences since winning his strap from John Thompson last October.
Belts: IBF welterweight champion
From: Sheffield, England
Record: 36-0, 25 KOs
With Canelo coming up against Smith next, the Mexican’s long-touted rival Golovkin will go toe-to-toe with Britain’s IBF welterweight champion on September 10th, a bout in which the undefeated Sheffield star is 4/1 to cause a huge upset.
The 30-year-old Yorkshireman will make a step up two weight classes to contest middleweight monster ‘GGG’, after three successful knockout defences of his 147lbs strap since earning it with victory over Shawn Porter in August 2014.
Belts: WBA light-welterweight champion
From: Coatbridge, Scotland
Record: 40-5-1, 14 KOs
Scotland’s Burns clinched a slice of history earlier this year on home soil, as he stopped Italian Michele di Rocco in eight rounds to become one of only three British fighters to have ever won world titles in three different weight classes.
The 33-year-old Coatbridge champion secured the WBA light-welterweight belt in that Glasgow outing in May, following previous reigns at lightweight and super-featherweight.
Belts: WBA lightweight champion
From: Manchester, England
Record: 31-4-3, 13 KOs
Much-liked Manchester fighter Crolla was involved in one of the most memorable comeback stories in sport last year, as he fought back from career threatening injuries, sustained from a brutal attack near his home in 2014, to become WBA lightweight champion.
The 29-year-old was assaulted when he confronted burglars at his neighbours’ house and was even hit with a concrete block, but courageously rallied back to first draw with then champion Darleys Perez before halting the Colombian.
Belts: WBO lightweight champion
From: Manchester, England
Record: 31-0, 12 KOs
Another Manchester fighter next in WBO lightweight champion Flanagan, with ‘Turbo’ having most recently outpointed Mzonke Fana for his third successive title defence, following wins over Diego Magdaleno and Derry Mathews.
The 27-year-old halted Jose Zepeda to secure his present strap in July last year and has long been tipped to collide with local rival Crolla, in what would be a mouth-watering battle between Manchester lightweights.
Belts: IBF featherweight champion
From: Barry, Wales
Record: 23-1, 8 KOs
In May last year, talented Welshman Selby secured the IBF featherweight title by earning a technical decision over eight rounds against Evgeny Gradovich, with the latter Russian having sustained a bad cut from a clash of heads during proceedings.
The unbeaten Barry-born fighter has since retained his crown with victories over Fernando Montiel and Eric Hunter, while tasty match-ups with either Leeds contender Josh Warrington or new WBA titlist Frampton beckon.
Belts: WBA bantamweight champion
From: Doncaster, England
Record: 28-2-1, 13 KOs
Coral sponsored fighter McDonnell stormed to a WBA bantamweight title triumph in 2014 by stopping Thailand’s Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat at Wembley, and the Doncaster fighter has since defended his belt four times.
The 30-year-old’s twin brother Gavin could also soon be pushing for a world title fight in the super-bantamweight division, while Jamie will be hoping for big-name unification bouts against the likes of fellow WBA recognised champion Rau’shee Warren in the near future.
Belts: IBF bantamweight champion
From: Bristol, England
Record: 33-3, 14 KOs
Bristol-born Haskins is also currently reigning at 118lbs, having won the IBF crown when toppling Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa last June and managed to keep hold of it with a unanimous decision success over Ivan Morales.