This Saturday night, IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook, 36-0, 25 KO’s looks to defy the odds and upset Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 35-0, 32 KO’s for the WBC, IBF and IBO Middleweight titles. The British challenger is attempting to “shock” the boxing world by moving up two weight classes to dethrone a seemingly unbeatable champion Golovkin. “GGG” is recognized as the third-best fighter in the world at this time, and will be looking to defend his crown for the seventeenth time. With an upset win, Brook, rated as the tenth-best fighter in the world, can join the list of other great fighters from the United Kingdom. Here is a list of the current top ten UK fighters of all-time:
10) Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, 45-3, 32 KO’s held multiple world titles at light-welterweight and one at welterweight, as well as the lineal light-welterweight title. He defeated the great Kostya Tszyu for the unified IBF, Ring, and lineal light-welterweight titles.
9) “Prince” Naseem Hamed 36-1, 31 KO’s was the Featherweight Champion (1995-2000) as he held multiple world championships at featherweight, including the WBO title from 1995 to 2000; the IBF title in 1997; and the WBC title from 1999 to 2000. “Prince” Naseem had a very awkward style where he threw punches from all sorts of odd angles. Among his list of notable wins include Kevin Kelley, Wilfredo Vasquez and Tom Johnson.
8) Chris Eubank, SR. 45-5-2, 23 KO’s held the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles (1990-95), scoring victories over six world champions. Eubank, SR. was said to have a “granite” chin when facing some of the biggest punchers of his era. Notable wins came against Nigel Benn and Michael Watson (twice).
7) Ken Buchanan, 61-8, 27 KO’s was the Lightweight Champion (1970-72). His footwork, timing and jab were solid. Ken defeated Ismael Laguna for the Undisputed World Lightweight belt before succumbing to the great Roberto Duran.
6) Jimmy Wilde, 138-5-2, 100 KO’s (13 no-decisions) was the World Flyweight Champion (1916-23). The Welsh fighter is recognized as being one of the hardest punchers ever in the history of boxing. Among his long list of victims include the likes of Johnny Rosner, Young Zulu Kid and George Clarke.
5) Freddie Welsh, 78-5-7, 32 KO’s was the World Lightweight Champion (1914-17). The “Welsh Wizard” had a style that centered around his footwork, his elusiveness and the ability to avoid punishment. Among some of his most wins in the ring was his victory over Willie Ritchie for the title.
4) Lennox Lewis, 41-2, 32 KO’s was a three-time Heavyweight Champion (1993-94, 1997-2001, 2001-03). He had a superb jab and knockout power in both hands. He fought tall and used his long reach but he also fought well on the inside for a big man. Lewis was able to avenge his two losses by knockout, and defeated the likes of Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, David Tua, Tommy Morrison, Frank Bruno and Ray Mercer.
3) Joe Calzaghe, 46-0, 32 KO’s held the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, Ring magazine and lineal super-middleweight titles, as well as the Ring light-heavyweight title (1997-2008). .Joe won his first World Title on 1997, when he knocked down Chris Eubank, SR. in round one and went on to score a unanimous decision win for the WBO Super Middleweight Title. Calzaghe defended the 168 pound crown 20 times and then defeated Bernard Hopkins for the Ring light heavyweight title and then he defended it against Roy Jones, JR.. Calzaghe had great reflexes and very fast hands to go along with an intense work rate. Among his other victims included Mikkel Kessler, Jeff Lacy (who he defeated to unify super middleweight titles), Robin Reid and Charles Brewer.
2) Bob Fitzsimmons, 68-8-4, 59 KO’s was the World Middleweight Champion (1891-’97) World Heavyweight Champion (1897-99), World Light Heavyweight Champion (1903-’05). This Irish boxer was boxing’s first ever three – division champion. Some historians have compared his jerky- jerky style to the likes of Michael Spinks. He worked the body like no other during his time. He beat Nonpareil Jack Dempsey and James Corbett during his title reigns.
1) Ted “Kid” Lewis, 193-32-14, 80 KO’s was two-time World Welterweight Champion (1915-16, 1917-19). Lewis was a master of the jab who would win bouts by just sticking, feinting and moving all fight. Biggest wins came against Johnny Britton, Steve Latzo, Johnny Griffiths and Frank Moody.
Notable fighters not to crack the top ten list include Randy Turpin (Undisputed Middleweight champion) and Nigel Benn (two-time world champion).
Prediction for the fight is that Gennady Golovkin is facing the best fighter in his career, and will not be able to knockout the British fighter. Kell Brook has the ability to pull off the upset, and if so, add his name to list of all-time UK boxing greats.Contact the Feature Writers