British P4P rankings
The British fight scene is awash with talent, now with four world champions and several other contenders on the verge of title shots. We assess the relative ability of the best fighters around.
Last Updated: 02/10/13 10:27pm
Boxing in this country is on a high with four active world champions and several others on the verge of breaking into the elite level.
With Sky Sports' Saturday fight night proving increasingly popular with the fans, you can follow the latest fortunes of your favourite pugilists right here.
Our pound-for-pound ratings will be updated on a regular basis, providing food for thought and much debate! Rankings are based on performances over the past 12 months or so.
David Haye is dropped from the list on account of inactivity while Ricky Burns is a big loser following his recent lacklustre performances.
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The 'Cobra' continues to strike in his mid 30s. Having taken the IBF super-middleweight belt from Lucian Bute inside five rounds and then defending it with a stylish finish against the over-matched Yusaf Mack in 2012, the man from Nottingham once again proved himself one of the most exciting fighters in the sport these days with a thrilling points win in his rematch against Mikkel Kessler, securing the WBA title in the process. Froch showed his improvements from his first meeting with the Dane in 2010, dominating early on with his jab before coming close to forcing a late stoppage. A different test awaits against young Brit George Groves, a fight in which Froch will enter as hot favourite.
A long-awaited entry for the likeable North Londoner after a difficult two during which he considered retirement. After losing to Sergio Martinez the former European champion had hip and elbow injuries that threatened his career and kept him to just two low-key outings before he was matched against IBF champion Daniel Geale. Although Barker entered the ring a slight underdog there were few in the UK who felt the win was beyond him - and so it proved. 'Dazzler' showed tremendous heart to get off the floor from a body shot in the sixth round to secure a points victory and set up a potential fight with Martin Murray.
From: St Helens
Rising from virtual obscurity to force a draw with WBA champion Felix Sturm, Murray immediately put himself in the running for the list. Largely avoided since, the middleweight got another shot at the championship against Sergio Martinez, dropping the WBC titlist before going on to lose narrowly on points. A defeat rarely sees you elevated but in doing so Murray nevertheless proved beyond doubt he is an elite fighter. Hopefully he doesn't join the 'who needs him' club and will be involved in a big domestic fight soon. Thought to be fighting Garth Wood in Australia next.
Jamie is prominent in the list and not before time - it's three years since he added the European title to his British and Commonwealth straps. He has been ready to step up to elite level for some time and after a frustrating 18 months that saw him fight just 10 rounds he took on Julio Ceja for the IBF bantamweight title. And, in front of a home crowd in Doncaster, McDonnell did not disappoint as he out-battled his opponent for a majority decision. Having achieved a lot in a short space of time hopes are high that Jamie can stay at the top for many years to come.
Ricky remains high on the list despite being fortunate to be handed a draw in his latest WBO lightweight title defence. The Scot suffered a broken jaw in the second round of his fight with Ray Beltran, and while credited with immense bravery his belt should have gone home with the America-based Mexican, who dropped the champion in the eighth and dominated large parts of the fight. It was the second lacklustre performance in a row from Burns, and the jury is now out pending his return - when, or indeed if, that happens.
The merits of the Bolton brawler have been discussed on these pages at length but he retains his place in the leading six having operated at the top table for some time. Wins over Paul Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah established Khan as one of the best light-welterweights in the world. But defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, where his suspect chin was again exposed, mean Amir still has something to prove. His most recent wins against Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz offer the suggestion that improvements are forthcoming under new trainer Virgil Hunter, but the vulnerabilities are still there. Yet that's what makes him so watchable.
The 'Special One' is poised in the top 10 after his stoppage victory over Hector Saldivia. Brook had a point to prove following his laboured victory over Carson Jones previously and he did so in some style. Whether Saldivia is world class is doubtful - he had been stopped early twice before - but Brook remains in the mix at world level. His thrice-cancelled fight with IBF champion Devon Alexander is, however, frustrating but he impressively despatched Jones in their July rematch and he remains the IBF's mandatory challenger. Will keep busy against Ricky Hatton's conqueror Vyashaslev Senchenko in October.
Quigg edged ahead in the domestic super-bantamweight division with his impressive stoppage victory over Rendall Munroe lasy year. You could argue that his biggest wins - against Jason Booth, Jamie Arthur and Munroe - have come against faded champions, but Quigg stopped all three and now looks set for big things in 2013 after returning from a hiatus to stop the over-matched William Prado inside three rounds. Currently the WBA's 'interim' champion, Quigg will fight Yoandris Salinas for the full title on a massive night at the O2 Arena on October 5.
Bellew deserves an entry despite failing in his only world title fight to date against Cleverly. 'Clev' rightfully got the decision, but it was a close call and the likeable Scouser has performed with credit since as he continues his development. The momentum stalled in a WBC eliminator against Isaac Chilemba, Bellew finding the Malawian too slippery as he failed to land his big bombs. However, he righted that wrong with a clear-cut victory in the rematch nine weeks later and is now in line to fight new WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
His fight with David Haye may have fallen through - for now - but Fury's performance against Steve Cunningham earlier this year proved him to be Britain's best active heavyweight. Fury's career has contained more hype than substance but there is little doubt that the curve is an upward one, with the 6ft 9in giant now highly ranked by all the sanctioning bodies. It will be interesting to see where he goes next.