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Amir Khan, Carl Froch & More: British Boxing Homecomings

By Donald C. Stewart

This last week in the UK, the theme has certainly been homecomings. We all watched in absolute horror as Carl “The Cobra” Froch, 28-2, 20 KO’s, lost the Super Six final to a very clever Andre Ward, 25-0, 13 KO’s.

No matter how much we all cry into our hankies, Froch has been speaking in a very humble manner of how he was out-boxed. His humility has been well admired as he took the defeat like a fighter should. Next up for Froch may be either Mikkel Kessler or Lucian Bute, both of whom have made the right noises in terms of taking on Froch. Either before that or with that in mind, Froch has spoken of his desire to the BBC to fight at his home town in Nottingham in his next fight.

Another homecoming that has been announced is that of WBO Light Heavyweight Champion, Nathan Cleverlyv 23-0, 11 KO’s. Cleverly will fight a yet to be named opponent in the third defense of his title at the Millennium Stadium in his home country of Wales. As the only UK World Champion left standing at the end of 2011, we hope his homecoming will be successful – otherwise we will have lost no fewer than 4 Champions – pretty careless.

The homecoming of Lamont Peterson, 30-1-1, 15 KO’s, continues to rumble, or is that grumble, as Amir Khan’s, 26-2, 18 KO’s, camp have formally complained. Considering the number of rematches and no contests that have happened on appeal, Khan may have a chance of getting the decision reversed or at best a no contest declared. The IBF will convene a three man panel in January to look at the result and we wait with bated breath.

The career of Floyd Mayweather, JR., 42-0, 26 KO’s, will take a lot of writers, books to delve in between as the twists, turns, the hopes and fears and the opponents and patsies who have made his career what it is. The legacy however for British fans may well revolve around his 90 day incarceration for domestic abuse. We have a Scottish campaign that states there is no excuse for domestic abuse and that is a universally held view.

In the same way that Mike Tyson’s legacy is tarnished by the rape conviction, Mayweather, JR., may find the adoring public in the UK far less adoring. I am not sure what the result of it all may be but British fans can be fickle when the private life of an athlete takes center stage.

Someone whose private life has been turned completely upside down but for wholly positive reasons is the WBC Interim Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns, 33-2, 9 KO’s.

Since winning his title in 2009, this very unassuming Scotsman has made noises in the ring and kept fairly quiet outside of it. The transformation from interim to full world champion will happen when, you guessed it, Ricky Burns comes home to fight in the Braehead Arena – near Glasgow. It will happen on the 10th March and no opponent has been announced. Names from the domestic scene that have been suggested have included Kevin Mitchell 32-1, 24 KO’s, Anthony Crolla, 23-2, 9 KO’s, and John Murray 31-2, 18 KO’s.

One fighter whose fists have caught the attention in a ring rather than his mouth out of it is Kell Brook, 26-0, 18 KO’s. Before the Ward/Froch fight the audiences in the States got a taste of what we have enjoyed over here when Brook stopped Puerto Rican Luis Galaza on the undercard. Brook has been drawing admiring glances from throughout the British Boxing scene so watch this and many other spaces as he gains ground in 2012 for a World title shot.

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