Ranking the best British domestic clashes

By Cain Bradley on June 9, 2017
Ranking the best British domestic clashes
There are a great number of juicy domestic matchups that look very exciting. (Sky Sports)

British boxing is in its greatest shape for a long time. The quality and depth is unmatched for a long time…

British boxing is in its greatest shape for a long time. The quality and depth is unmatched for a long time. This means there are also a great number of juicy domestic matchups that look very exciting. Domestic clashes have always seemed to have more riding on them, often intriguing the whole nation who pick sides. Perhaps it is the small island mentality and it would not matter if it was two Americans. Whatever the reason it seems every weekend, another domestic clash becomes an option. The top 15 potential clashes have been ranked. The only rule is the same boxer cannot be in two clashes.

15. David Haye (28-3) v Dillian Whyte (20-1)
Two Londoners who can seemingly create rivals in empty rooms. It may not make sense with Whyte perhaps looking for an easier route to a World Title and Haye wanting a bigger name. It would likely sell though as these two fighters tend to make headlines. Haye was speedy and powerful in his prime but looks past it now with injuries whereas Whyte is cruder but has a superb chin and heart.

14. Stephen Smith (24-3) v Liam Walsh (21-1)
Both of these men have lost world title shots in the most loaded weight class in the world. A bout between the two makes perfect sense as a domestic affair which can put the winner back to the top whilst the loser will have to rebuild. Both have strong fan bases and it would be an intriguing contest with both speedy fighters.

13. Scott Quigg (33-1-2) v Josh Warrington (25-0)
Not the most intriguing option for either fighter in a domestic sense but makes the most sense for this list. Quigg is a former world champion whilst Warrington holds the WBC International title. It could get the winner a big fight in the division. Quigg is a pressure fighter but can be very hittable whilst Warrington showed his flaws against Kiko Martinez last time.

12. Anthony Yarde (11-0) v Frank Buglioni (19-2-1)
Anthony Yarde is a powerful Londoner who has looked nothing but impressive although only just started taking on improved opponents. Buglioni has fought for a world title and would be a proper test of the credentials of Yarde. He showed his toughness last time out against Burton and his power could trouble Yarde.

11. Sam Eggington (21-3) v Bradley Skeete (25-1)
Skeete handed the man from Birmingham his most recent professional defeat but Eggington has improved leaps and bounds since then. Skeete has the size advantage and is a slick fighter while Eggington cruder with vicious power. Both men are fringe contenders and a win could potentially see a world title shot granted.

10. Charlie Edwards (10-1) v Jamie Conlan (19-0)
Edwards had an incredible amateur career while Jamie was also a great success although not to the level of his brother. Edwards has stepped up after losing a world title shot down at flyweight. Conlan should get a world title shot before the end of the year and his all action style could make an interesting clash with the textbook boxing of Edwards who will no doubt consider himself a fighter of world title level.

9. Liam Smith (25-1-1) v Liam Williams (16-1-1)
This is actually happening, a rematch which will be an eliminator for the WBO Light-Middleweight title. Smith won the first clash after the Williams corner pulled him out due to a nasty cut. It was possibly caused by a clash of heads and Williams had looked the better boxer in the early part of the bout for me. He looked speedier than Smith and I make him favourite for the second bout.

8. Josh Taylor (9-0) v Ohara Davies (15-0)
Another bout that has been arranged. This is a superb fight. Both men are young unbeaten prospects who have been trash talking for over a year. Rather than taking on the safer matchups whilst building towards world titles they have agreed to clash in Glasgow at the start of July. Taylor looks to me, the British boxer with maybe the most potential. Speed, accuracy and power! Davies is the bigger puncher and looks immensely awkward. The build up will no doubt be marked by plenty of trash talk and fans taking a side.

7. Jamie McDonnell (32-2-1) v Lee Haskins (34-3)
This would be a unification clash with the WBA title held by Haskins and McDonnell the IBF champion. It would also be a rematch. Early in their careers, Haskins won a decision. The two do not get the credit they deserve and are underrated fighters, maybe because they do not talk a lot before fights. Haskins is an awkward switch hitting scapper whilst McDonnell is a volume puncher who is both fit and tough. If that was the co-headliner on a Joshua card it could really bring the two much deserved attention that the fight may not receive on its own.

6. Chris Eubank (24-1) v Callum Smith (22-0)
This eliminates a few potential fights from this list. I think Eubank will continue to campaign at super middleweight taking away a potential Saunders fight. Smith is probably the least interesting piece of the super middleweight domestic puzzle but is very talented. Eubank v Groves or DeGale would be higher up the list but I settled on these two matchups as making the most sense. Eubank is a relentless boxer who many people love to hate. Smith is a superb talent who is probably more powerful than Eubank. He may not attract a similar fan base but his talent mean that he could soon be a world champion and that would make this fight huge.

5. Anthony Crolla (31-6-3) v Terry Flanagan (33-0)
I give this fight the edge over either man against Luke Campbell because of the Manchester factor. They attended the same school, lived less than 10 minutes away from each other and have both been lightweight world champions. Crolla recently lost his belt to Linares but Flanagan has not faced anyone of that class. Flanagan, whilst not as classy as Linares, is a speedy southpaw who will make life very difficult for the tough Crolla. It would surely be huge in Manchester and enhance the legacy of either man.

4. Amir Khan (31-4) v Kell Brook (36-2)
Another rivalry that has been going for a while, it probably makes more sense than any other time. Both are coming off losses. Kell to Golovkin and Spence while Khan lost last time out to Canelo. Both probably need a big win to establish themselves back at world title level and the clash that makes the most sense is this one. Both will have their supporters - someone must like Khan - and it could surely sell out at least the o2. Any elite welterweight I give the edge over Khan mainly because of his famously poor chin.

3. James DeGale (23-1-1) v George Groves (26-3)
The big rematch at super middleweight makes so much sense. Groves is the only man to beat James DeGale. They have a rivalry that spans back to their amateur days at Dale Youth. Groves has only lost to Carl Froch and Badou Jack, two great boxers. The first contest saw a split between fans and they headlined the o2 Arena with only a British title on the line. What about Stamford Bridge or the Emirates Stadium. It could be huge. I would still edge to Groves who I think has the power edge and will wear DeGale down despite the greater speed and defence. 

2. Carl Frampton (23-1) v Lee Selby (25-1)
Both these men have been in domestic rivalries already. Frampton defeated Scott Quigg at super bantamweight before moving up and splitting fights with Leo Santa Cruz. Selby never fought Josh Warrington, but most think the Leeds man is a step below world level. Selby is a slick fighter who is quite a bit bigger than Frampton. Frampton is the more versatile and I think he can win the fight on the inside. It is an evenly matched fight and with one from Wales and the other from Northern Ireland, it could be in a big arena in either country. Selby is known as the bad boy of Welsh boxing whilst Frampton is very porpular around British boxing.

1. Anthony Joshua (19-0) v Tyson Fury (25-0)
These two men are generally regarded the two best heavyweights on the planet. Fury outclassed a dominant Wladimir Klitschko, winning a comfortable decision. Joshua also beat Klitschko last time by eleventh round fight in a thrilling fight. Joshua is the money name in the division whilst Fury is the man everyone loves to hate. Eddie Hearn has already spoke of the possibly of the fight happening in the summer of 2018, probably at Wembley. If Fury returns to peak level awkwardness, I make him favourite for the fight. His elusiveness and foot speed advantage means he will be the hardest target Joshua has ever had to find. I would believe Fury could win a decision. A marketable clash beteeen two huge characters where the underdog will have a strong chance sounds like the perfect rivalry.

Fights that just missed out: Joe Pigford v Ted Cheeseman, Jack Catterall v Ricky Burns, Zelfa Barrett v Mitchell Smith, Gamal Yafai v Martin Joseph Ward, Wadi Camacho v Lawrence Okolie, Josh Kelly v Felix Cash, Hosea Burton v Joel McIntyre, Stuart Hall v Paul Butler and Jack Arnfield v Tommy Langford

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  1. tlig 04:51am, 06/14/2017

    Did Fury really outclass Klitschko? That seems an exaggeration to me; also him being the most elusive fighter Joshua would have faced? I’d have to see it to believe I’m afraid. Tyson’s size is such that he can’t be that elusive no matter how well he moves.

    I too hope to see him come back in good shape and with renewed focus because he clearly can fight and is very much an interesting character.

  2. Alt Knight 02:46pm, 06/09/2017

    “Fury is the man everyone loves to hate.” The guy actually has a lot of fans out there, and many would love nothing better than to seem him recapture his title back. Boxing seems to be making some positive steps in the right direction with the Kovalev-Ward rematch and Canelo-Golovkin. A Fury vs. Joshua match would certainly draw some interest from even casual fans. Face it, the heavyweight division is the only division that matters with the general public for the most part.  Fury really let himself go with the weight, don’t know what he weighs now, but perhaps after a tuneup or two, he should be ready for Joshua and take back his crown.

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