After Anthony Joshua added the WBO title to his collection of heavyweight gold I take a look at the other top heavyweights in Britain right now and pick my top 12 picks.
#12 Kash ‘The Flash’ Ali (12-0, 4KOs)
After being absent from the ring for well over a year through injury the Birmingham-based fighter managed to record his most impressive victory yet when he stopped David Howe in the second round of a scheduled 10.
Ali, 26 still has plenty of time on his side to make an impact and working with ex-world champion ‘Terrible’ Tim Witherspoon will have gained him valuable knowledge. Since turning pro in 2011 The Flash has competed in 42 rounds of boxing with a knockout ratio of 33%. Time away from the ring could only increase Kash Ali’s hunger but whether the 6’4” Brummie will be able to make a major impact in a tough division only time will tell.
#11 Gary ‘Highlander’ Cornish (25-2, 13KOs)
After being blasted out in the first round against Joshua back in 2015 the Scotsman has won 4 of his last 5. His second defeat came against Sam Sexton for the British heavyweight title.
The 30-year old from Inverness was hoping to set the record straight in a rematch but unfortunately for him Sexton has moved in a different direction.
Standing at 6’7” Cornish is one of the tallest heavy’s in Britain but lacks real punching power unlike some of the others on this list.
#10 Nick Webb (12-0, 10KOs)
The 30-year-old from Chertsey, Surrey has an 83% knockout ratio. The orthodox heavyweight turned pro in 2015 after winning 21 out of 27 fights as an amateur, two of those loses came at the hands of Joy Joyce.
After a busy 2016 he won all six of his fights with five coming inside the distance. Last year he had a frustrating and inactive year but he did record two back to back victories. The 6’5” powerhouse does have a solid right hand.
#9 David Price (22-5, 18KOs)
Price was supposed to be the next British heavyweight to conquer the world when in turned pro in 2009. After picking up a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics and knocking out 14 of his 15 opponents he suffered two back to back loses against Tony Thompson.
Since those damaging defeats he managed to regroup and mount a genuine challenge, only to come undone again by drug cheat Erkan Teper and Romanian Christian Hammer.
The 34-year-old was given a great opportunity on the Joshua-Parker undercard to put himself back in the heavyweight mix. Unfortunately for the scouser his dream was shattered in five rounds when he was knocked out by Russian Alexander Povetkin.
It’s difficult to assess where the Liverpudlian goes from here other than retirement unless he decides to become a gate-keeper for the next generation of British heavyweights.
#8 Dave ‘White Rhino’ Allen (12-3-2, 9KOs)
It’s hard to believe that Allen has been in the game for 10-years after turning pro at the tender age of 16-years-old. The Yorkshireman is well known for his granite chin and has only ever been stopped by Luis Ortiz. In fact he never hit the canvas and took the Cubans best shots which some of the so called best got brutally wobbled by.
Going the distance with Dillian Whyte just shows you how durable Allen is but defeat to Lenroy Thomas in a poor performance last year has dropped him down a few places in my rankings.
#7 Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois aka ‘Triple D’ (7-0, 7KOs)
Triple D is another young promising heavyweight that is blasting out guys in very little time and becoming one of the most avoided fighters in Britain and Europe.
Triple D decided to leave the amateurs for the pros at a very young age which is a shame as he would have been guaranteed a place on the plane to Tokyo 2020. In time we will find out if that was the right choice or not but for now he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.
The Londoner from Greenwich has not been past the third round yet and is knocking out decent opposition. This kid really does have dynamite in his hands and is definitely one to watch out for.
#6 Nathan Gorman (12-0, 10KOs)
Currently being guided by Ricky Hatton and so far the 21-year-old hasn’t put a foot wrong. The traveller from Cheshire was born into the fighting game, he is of course the great nephew of ‘King of the Gypsies’ Bartley Gorman.
Gorman became a professional after an 8-year stint in the amateurs accumulating a record of 11 wins in 12 fights. His controversial loss in Poland against a polish fighter still haunts him today.
Standing at 6’3” and with a reach of 73” the youngster uses his jab to good effect plus he does have a solid right hand. With Hatton passing on his wisdom look out for Nathan’s brutal shots as he is being taught by the master of the body punch.
#5 Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce (3-0, 3KOs)
The Olympic silver medallist has jumped onto my list after only three professional fights. One thing that you have to consider when looking at the 32-year-old’s record is that he did fight 16 times in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
The well decorated amateur had a record of (14-2, 6KOs) which cannot be overlooked. For those that are not familiar with the WSB format they are 5 rounds of boxing against some of the best amateurs in the world with no head guards or vests. With that in mind I consider Joyce to have a combined record of (17-2, 9KOs) when you incorporate his 3 professional wins.
#4 Sam Sexton (24-3, 9KOs)
The 33-year-old from Norfolk is the current British champion. No doubt a few eyebrows will be raised at the sight of Sexton so far up my list but he has been quietly going about his business and winning fights. In fact since being knocked out by David Price in 2012 he hasn’t lost and is on a 9-fight win streak.
His only other defeats came at the hands of Dereck Chisora, both by way of knockout. This was the ‘Del Boy’ that was undefeated at the time and ready to step into the ring with Tyson Fury for their first encounter.
Sexton was due to give Gary Cornish a rematch for the British title but has decided to really test himself against Hughie Fury instead. Personally I think we will have a new British Champion come May but you never know the Norwich boy might just prove everyone wrong.
#3 Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora (27-8, 19KOs)
Chisora is still considered to be the third best British heavy by many pundits at the moment and rightfully so when you look at his all mighty tear-up with Dillian Whyte not so long ago.
The 34-year-old did suffer a shock defeat against German Agit Kabayel last year that set him back once again but he clearly was not mentally right.
When ‘Del Boy’ is on his game and up for a fight he can be dangerous for any heavyweight in the world but those times are few and far between. The Londoner could still be back in action next month but it doesn’t look likely he will face Joe Joyce anytime soon.
#2 Hughie Fury (20-1, 10KOs)
The younger cousin of the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ and has only one loss on his professional record against former WBO champion Joseph Parker.
The 23-year-old still believes he won the fight against the New Zealander but in my eyes he lost a close decision.
The 6’6” youngster from Manchester has decided to challenge for domestic honours since his loss and is the clear favourite against Sam Sexton.
Not known for his punching power but is well schooled for someone so young. Fury has decent footwork and a good jab with plenty of time to develop.
#1 Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte (23-1, 17KOs)
There is absolutely no doubt that Dillian Whyte is the number 1 contender to Anthony Joshua’s throne when looking among the current active fighters in Great Britain and NI. The 29-year-old is ranked No.2 in the UK and is the current No.1 contender for the WBC title after his brutal knockout of Lucas Browne a couple of weeks back.
The Brixton-based fighter’s only loss came against ‘AJ’ but he is currently on a 7-fight win streak which has catapulted him up the rankings in all of the governing bodies.
Surgery on his injured left shoulder has clearly made a difference and makes the Londoner a very dangerous fight for anyone in the world right now. I do feel that he has been unfairly criticised by many pundits and boxing fans which only seems to spur Whyte on. Discard him at your peril as I believe this kid has the tools to beat Wilder and push big Josh all the way.
The other guys…
David ‘Haymaker’ Haye (28-3, 26KOs)
Many pundits and fans will feature David Haye in their list but I on the other hand consider the South-Londoner as inactive. His defeat to Bellew last year may well have been scheduled as a heavyweight clash but I cannot allow any of these two into my top 12.
If the 37-year-old can beat Bellew convincingly then I will place him back into my top 12 ranked fighters. I would love to see Fury-Haye in 2019 with the winner taking on Joshua.
Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew (29-2-1, 19KOs)
I don’t think Bellew should be ranked just like Haye. The scouser cannot be considered as a heavyweight so he will not feature in my top 12 and neither should he feature in any of the governing bodies rankings (Shame on you WBC). Bomber is a cruiserweight and he has already indicated that he will return to his rightful weight after his fight with Haye.
With that being said I still feel that Bellew deserves a mention because he did prove his doubters wrong last year (me included) when we stopped Haye in the eleventh round.
Tyson Fury (25-0, 18KOs)
The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world would no doubt be either sitting on the throne or the No.1 contender if he wasn’t currently inactive. The outrageous and brash character of Mr Tyson Fury can be quite vulgar at times but he does seem to have this marmite personality that splits the nation.
One thing that nobody can take away from Fury is he became the first man to beat Wladimir Klitschko in over a decade. It may have been a stinker of a fight but he is still The Ring and Lineal champion today. Let’s hope we get the right Tyson Fury back after his two and half year absence from the ring so we can really get this heavyweight division rocking.