Which British and Irish fighters will claim world titles in 2016?
Lee Gormley | December 4, 2015
British boxing success to continue in 2016?
- There are currently 12 reigning British and Irish world champions
- Tyson Fury recently joined likes of James DeGale and Anthony Crolla
- Anthony Joshua, Chris Eubank Jr and Tony Bellew could be next in line
A great year for British and Irish stars
An incredible year for British and Irish boxing is swiftly coming to an end but, with another host of talented fighters rising to prominence in recent months, there should be further success in 2016.
After Tyson Fury’s dethroning of long-standing heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, there are now no less than 12 world champions bearing from Britain and Ireland, with Carl Frampton and Andy Lee representing the latter.
Fury joined Anthony Crolla, Liam Smith, Terry Flanagan, Lee Haskins, James DeGale and Lee Selby in becoming British world title holders in 2015, with Kell Brook, Jamie McDonnell and Scott Quigg having already seized such straps beforehand. So who will follow suit next year?
The golden boy of British boxing, Joshua (14-0, 14 KOs) will soon contest Dillian Whyte in his home patch of London for a true grudge match, but the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist will have bigger career ambitions next year.
Joshua is evens with Coral to lift a world title in 2016, as this highly-driven heavyweight aims to emulate past British bruisers like Lennox Lewis is rampantly rallying to success. The 26-year-old has stopped all of his opponents so far since bursting onto the professional scene and his hard-hitting talents could see him achieve the ultimate goal in the New Year.
Liverpool-born Bellew (25-2-1, 16 KOs) has enjoyed a rejuvenating couple of years, bouncing back from his second career defeat at the hands of Adonis Stevenson in a WBC light-heavyweight title bout with four stoppage wins in five victories since.
The 33-year-old cruiserweight is 6/4 to claim a world title next year, but will have to overcome the threat of Poland’s Mateusz Masternak beforehand, though he always has an acting career to fall back on after recently starring in ‘Rocky’ spin-off ‘Creed’.
Chris Eubank Jr
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps, Eubank Jr (20-1, 15 KOs) is 2/1 to become the second fighter in his family to claim a world crown next year, as he prepares to soon contest Irishman Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in a WBA middleweight title final eliminator.
The middleweight prospect has set high standards and outlined many hopeful targets in recent months, having recently stated his desire to face division dominator Gennady Golovkin, though a win this month would see him take another huge career step.
St Helen’s super-middleweight Murray (32-3-1, 15 KOs) has endured plenty of misery on the world title front, with no less than four unsuccessful attempts since 2011, losing out to Felix Strum, Sergio Martinez, Golovkin and most recently Arthur Abraham.
The likeable Merseysider is 3/1 to finally get his hands on a world title next year at a possible fifth time of asking, but earlier stated that he would be reluctant to make another bid on foreign soil, with his previous efforts coming in Germany, Argentina and Poland.
Already a former world champion, ‘the Hayemaker’ (26-2, 24 KOs) announced his return to the sport recently and is 5/1 to reclaim a heavyweight strap in 2016, having gone under the guidance of new coach Shane McGuigan, son of legendary Irishman Barry.
A 2016 world title bout may come a bit too early for promising Belfast bantamweight Burnett (12-0, 9 KOs) but, after recently putting on an impressive display to clinch the division’s British belt in a clash with veteran Jason Booth, such success is only a matter of time.
The 23-year-old, who earned an Olympic Youth Games Gold medal for Ireland in 2010, is 6/1 to lift a world title in the New Year.
Talented flyweight Selby (2-0, 2 KOs), younger brother of IBF world featherweight champion Lee, has only just moved up to professional level and won both his first two contests by knockout, but is 9/1 to taste early world title glory in 2016.
After controversially being stopped by retired Carl Froch in 2013 during a gruelling Manchester meeting, Groves (21-3, 16 KOs) was then emphatically knocked out in a Wembley rematch and lost out to Badou Jack in three separate world title bouts.
Although, having announced he will return to the ring next year in London, the 27-year-old is 10/1 to overcome past set-backs and finally claim a world strap.
After witnessing his twin brother Jamie superbly win the WBA world bantamweight crown last year, 29-year-old super-bantamweight Gavin (14-0-2, 4 KOs) will look to emulate his sibling’s success and is 12/1 to do so in 2016.
Coral-sponsored fighter McDonnell retained his European strap against Jeromy Parodi recently with an emphatic unanimous decision and could soon be adding another world title to his family’s collection in the coming months.
Read our boxing archive.