Best British Boxer Of The Last Decade


    This debate is one that is currently very topical with Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch saying that only Lennox Lewis can be compared to what he has achieved. Froch states that, “In Great Britain I’m number one. It’s between me and Lennox Lewis, depending on how far you are going back.” This is a very bold statement but one that may indeed by correct. I would like to throw a few other names into the hat in terms of Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and David Haye.

    Starting off with Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch:


    Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch

    Carl is a true warrior of a fighter with unbelievable levels of grit and determination. Carl has been a truly dominant Super-middleweight fighting the best out there fight after fight through the Super Six tournament (which in my opinion was a fantastic idea and should look to be replicated in other weight divisions). Since 2008 Froch has fought Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler (twice), Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Andre Ward, Lucien Bute and Yusuf Mack. This is an incredible list of opponents and to have come through with only a loss to Kessler (which has been avenged recently) and a loss to Andre Ward (who is rated by many as the second best pound for pound fighter on the planet) is truly remarkable. There is no other boxer that comes to mind who has fought the level of opponents that Froch has fight after fight. He has an iron chin and has great stamina levels. His record stands at 31-2 and has a legitimate right to be classed as an elite fighter and be talked about as one of the greatest British fighters. Froch’s legacy can be increased by beating Andre Ward and ending his career with a clean slate. Carl Froch is a serious contender.

    Lennox Lewis:


    Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis

    Lennox is unique in ending his career with a clean slate. Upon retirement, his record stood at 41 wins 2 losses and 1 draw. He holds victories against Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Vitali Klitschko, and fellow British fighter Frank Bruno.

    ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is one of the most famous boxers to have lived with his spectacular knock-out power and out-of-the-ring antics. Tyson was a ferocious fighter and character, so for Lennox to hold a victory over him shows what a great fighter he was. There is however complaints that this fight took place a few years too late and that Tyson was past his prime by the time they fought. Despite this to have beaten such men is an incredible achievement and solidifies Lewis as a great of the sport.

    He was trained by the late, great Emanuel Steward who transformed him into a technical fighter who looked to dominate with his jab. He is an iconic British fighter and former Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion. Lennox had an incredible career and has recently got involved with passing on his knowledge and vast extensive experience to current promising heavyweight David Price. Lennox is the talisman of British Heavyweight boxers and any up and coming British heavyweight is compared to him. This is daunting for them as everyone loves a great heavyweight. There is something special about watching the big men fight and it captures the imagination of the public.

    Lewis is therefore a real contender to be classed as the best British fighter of the last few decades.

    Joe ‘The Pride of Wales’ Calzaghe:



    Joe has on paper had the perfect career retiring undefeated! To have retired undefeated as a world champion is virtually unheard of. He is only the 10th fighter in history to achieve this. He is a former WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA and The Ring Super Middleweight Champion as well as The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion. His record speaks for itself with 46 fights, 46 wins including 32 knock-outs. With such a record he has to be considered as one of the greats of British boxing. With wins over the likes of the seemingly never ageing Bernard Hopkins, the incredibly versatile Roy Jones Jr., Mikkel Kessler, and Chris Eubank; these are brilliant fighters and Joe has beaten them all.

    Calzaghe was an extremely talented, technical fighter who was able to out-class and embarrass opponents. One of his signature performances was against the at the time world champion Jeff Lacy. Joe dominated every minute of every round of the fight. It was an incredible performance against a man many were tipping to win. His style of this victory with such confidence and class signifies Joe’s career as a whole.

    Calzaghe has even been described by another contender for the title of best British fighter of the last few decades Ricky Hatton as, ‘the best British fighter we’ve ever had.” This is a huge compliment from another great boxer and shows the regard that other boxers hold him in. Calzaghe provided such levels of entertainment with his show-boating and is a very real possibility of being the best British boxer of the last few decades.

    Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton


    Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton

    Hatton was the people’s champion during his times of success. He was a WBA, IBF, IBO and The Ring Light-welterweight champion as well as WBA welterweight champion. He had a huge following and was able to take large numbers of fans with him on his exploits abroad. His record stands at 45 wins and 3 losses. Perhaps his best performance came against Kosta Tszyu in 2005 when he captured the The Ring and IBF light-welterweight titles. He was an all-action fighter who gave everything that he had. His 2 major losses were against 2 of the greatest boxers of all time in Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. There is no shame in losing to these 2 immense fighters. The loss to Vyacheslav Senchecnko in 2012,  I try and disregard as it was his comeback after over 3 years since his last fight and it was not the same Ricky Hatton as before. He had suffered depression, gained weight, and messed around with drugs in the 3 years previously. I feel that it is unfair to judge him on that performance. Before then he was an exciting top class fighter who was to be admired for giving everything that he has got every time he entered the ring. Ricky was a great fighter

    David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye


    David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye

    Haye is a top fighter with huge personality and following. He is a former unified WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring Cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight world Champion. He was dominant at cruiserweight and then stepped up to heavyweight. He won the WBA title on points in 2009 against the giant that is Nikolai Valuev. To beat a man that is 7ft tall and 7 inches taller than you is incredible. Valuev was also roughly 6 stone heavier than Haye which just seems unreal. David and trainer Adam Booth were able to devise an excellent game-plan and make Valuev look slow and a very basic fighter. Haye was even able to rock Valuev and cause him to wobble despite breaking his hand earlier in the fight. Haye is a big personality and creates headlines in and out of the ring with his controversial ways of promoting and securing fights as shown by labelling his fight with Valuev as David v Goliath. Haye possesses extraordinary power for a former cruiserweight and is so much quicker than his other opponents. He is a real athlete and can look a class above opponents at time. Despite this, Haye lost in his biggest fight to date against Wladimir Klitschko in which many said he put up a poor performance. I personally thought he did okay but that he needed to be more aggressive to try and expose Klitschko’s suspect chin. Haye could have the chance to regain a heavyweight title in the future though with his decision to come out of retirement and work his way back to a shot at the title again. Personally I see David as a great fighter who has injected excitement into what was a dead, boring division but he isn’t quite as great as the likes of Froch, Calzaghe and Lewis.

    To conclude I think the best British fighter is between Froch, Calzaghe and Lewis having ruled out Hatton and Haye. It is a very difficult decision and to be honest is just down to personal opinion and who you prefer. I am hesitant to make a decision between the 3 as they are all great in their own ways. If I was really forced to pick one than I would probably controversially have to go with Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch because of the level of opponent that he has faced time after time. So there you go my winner of the best British fighter of the last few decades is Carl Froch!