UK enjoys hot streak as Anthony Crolla becomes 11th world champ
Anthony Crolla’s crushing world 135lb title victory over Darleys Perez means Great Britain now has eleven champions holding one of the five recognised versions with the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC and IBO.
The 29 year-old joined IBO cruiserweight title holder Ola Afolabi, IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale, 154lb champion with the WBO, Liam Smith, Kell Brook with the IBF at 147, fellow Mancunian Terry Flanagan who holds the WBO version at lightweight, Lee’s Selby and Haskins, the IBF title holders at featherweight and bantamweight, plus Jamie McDonnell who is the WBA ruler at 118lbs.
Not forgetting undefeated super bantamweight belt holders and arch-rivals Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg who collide in a blockbuster unification battle in February of next year at Manchester Arena.
Britain is enjoying a purple patch when it comes to fighter’s reaching the summit of the sport – with Matchroom boxing behind six of those reigning champions. Trainer Joe Gallagher can take plenty of plaudits as he boasts a trio with Crolla, Smith and Quigg all training under his tutelage at Amir Khan’s gym in Bolton.
The UK could conceivably have more champions added to that list soon as Tyson Fury fights Wladimir Klitschko next week in Germany, whilst brothers Stephen and Callum Smith stand on the verge of challenging for titles in 2016. There’s also the imminent return of David Haye which could breed success by the end of next year, whilst Derry Mathews and Kevin Mitchell are both in the hunt at the lightweight limit.
It really is an unprecedented time for British boxing at the moment, and with Olympians Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell pushing towards honours in 2017, sustained success could follow in the coming years.