Modern boxing was largely dominated by the American boxers, however, the UK has produced a number of world-class boxers as well. It is, after all, the birthplace of the modern sport of boxing. The lists of the UK’s top 10 greatest boxers tend to vary from one boxing critic to another but they all seem to agree that the following 10 boxers must be on the UK’s top 10 all-time greatest list:
1 Joe Calzaghe (1972- )
The retired Welsh boxer and former super middleweight and lightweight champion held the super middleweight championship title for more than 10 years. He defended the title 21 times which makes him one of the longest reigning champions in the recent time.
2 Lennox Lewis (1965- )
The most recent undisputed heavyweight champion and double gold Olympic medal winner is without a doubt one of the UK’s greatest boxers of all times. In his professional career that lasted from 1989 to 2004, he lost only twice but avenged for both defeats.
3 Ken Buchanan (1945- )
Widely considered the best Scottish boxer went into history for his legendary fight against Ismael Laguna which won him the WBA lightweight championship title in 1970. He lost the title to Roberto Duran in 1972. During his professional career that lasted from 1965 to 1982, he fought 69 matches of which 61 were wins.
4 Barry McGuigan (1961- )
Irish-born British boxer had a short but very successful career. Out of 35 fights, he won 32. His greatest success, however, was the match against Eusebio Pedroza in 1985 which won him the WBA featherweight title. He retired from boxing after his father’s death only two years later.
5 Lloyd Honeyghan (1960- )
The Jamaican-born British boxer joined the most successful UK’s boxers in 1986 when he won the welterweight championship against Donald Curry. One year later, he lost the title to Jorge Vaca but after he avenged the defeat in 1988, he became the second British boxer to regain the championship title.
6 Ricky Hatton (1978- )
The boxer, nicknamed “the Hitman” is not only one of the most successful UK’s boxers in the recent years but of all times. The welterweight champion lost only two out of 47 fights, while 32 out of 45 wins were knock-outs. He put his boxing career on hold after the defeat against Manny Pacquiao in 2009 and retired from boxing two years later.
7 John Conteh (1951- )
Without a doubt a great boxer and sportsman, John Conteh is widely believed to have had a great potential to become even greater without his playboy lifestyle. He won 34 out of 39 matches, a gold Olympic medal in 1970 and heavyweight title in 1974.
8 Chris Eubank (1966- )
Chris Eubank is another UK’s great boxer who has not lost a single fight during the first ten years of his professional career. He held both the title middleweight and super middleweight champion. He fought 52 matches of which 45 were wins, 5 losses and 2 draws.
9 Nigel Benn (1964- )
Nigel Benn was also middleweight and super middleweight champion and as a result, he was a direct rival to Chris Eubank who defeated him in 1990. Two years later, he won the super middleweight title. In 1993, he was once again challenged by Chris Eubank but this time they fought to a draw.
10 Naseem Hamed (1974- )
A great boxer and entertainer, Naseem Hamed had a brilliant career during which he fought 37 times and lost only one match. Unfortunately, it was this one match that ended his professional boxing career.