Charlie Edwards confirmed his world class credentials in the first defence of his WBC flyweight world title at London’s Copperbox arena on Saturday night. The win means Edwards remains part of a select group of five British World Champions, but with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury heading stateside, is British boxing really booming?
Whilst promotors Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren continue to insist that British boxing is entering a new golden age, we have proof that tells us otherwise. In the last few years we have seen numerous British boxers lose their world champion status. James Degale relinquishing his IBF title in pursuit of Chris Eubank Jr, Ryan Burnett having to be pulled out of his title defence against Nonito Donaire due to injury, Jamie McDonell’s first round stoppage defeat to pound-for-pound monster Naoya Inoue, there have been so many disappointing results for British oxing fans in recent history.
Promising talents such as Josh Kelly and Joshua Buatsi are having to be fast tracked to fill the void left by the retirements of the likes of Tony Bellew and George Groves, and there seems to be a very limited amount of British boxers ready to step up to world level. Our next world title hopeful comes in the shape of an ageing Amir Khan as he takes on Terence Crawford on April 20th at Madison Square Gardens, and here lies another issue with British boxing’s supposed boom.
With our biggest stars crossing the pond more regularly than ever before, there seems to be a new obsession with boxing in America. Anthony Joshua makes his US debut on June 1st at MSG whilst this month also saw Tyson Fury sign a money spinning co-promotional deal with US giants ESPN. Matchroom have also followed suit by investing heavily into the US market in the last twelve months and all of a sudden the bright lights of Las Vegas don’t seem such a distant dream to many of the UK’s boxers.
As we continue to pin our hopes on the next crop of would be stars, the likes of Josh Warrington, Callum Smith and Charlie Edwards remain as the flag bearers of British boxing on the world scene but don’t be surprised if they are tempted by the land of hope and glory in the not so distant future.