Two British boxers are combating for the suitable to be the no.1 heavyweight on the planet this weekend – and regardless of the end result of Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte, we’re in a golden period of UK huge males.
All impartial prime 10 world rankings function at the very least 4 British heavyweights, and just one – undefeated Joe Joyce – doesn’t make talkSPORT.com’s record of the perfect British heavyweights of the previous 50-odd years.
There’s additionally nonetheless time for ‘The Juggernaut’ to gatecrash this record within the coming years and, frankly, talkSPORT will not be even going to rule out 57-year-old John Fury both. At least, to not his face anyway.
On with the countdown…
10. Herbie Hide (1989-2010)
W: 49 (43 KOs), L: 4
The 6ft 2in ‘Dancing Destroyer’ was unlucky to be energetic at the beginning of the super-heavyweight period because the skilful, sharp-punching, fleet-footed Hide may by no means match as much as the giants. Knocked out Michael Bentt at Millwall’s The Den in 1994 to win the then calmly regarded WBO title. But a step as much as elite degree got here subsequent and, whereas Hide had no downside hitting Riddick Bowe, he couldn’t take the American’s return hearth and was stopped in a courageous effort. KO2 by a younger Vitali Klitschko in 1999 ended Hide’s top-level aspirations.
9. Henry Akinwande (1989-2008)
W: 50 (30 KOs), L: 4, D: 1
The London-born ‘Henry the Hugger’ appeared the half, with peak, a powerful physique and strong fundamentals. Akinwande constructed up a 32-0-1 document and picked up the WBO belt earlier than incomes a shot at true champion Lennox Lewis in 1997. Unfortunately, that could be a contender for ugliest ever heavyweight title combat as Akinwande the octopus held, held and held some extra, earlier than being disqualified in spherical 5. Remained a sturdy contender for years after that however, understandably, there was little public need to see him get one other world title shot.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte – All it’s essential to know forward of giant heavyweight combat
8. Dillian Whyte (2011-present)
W: 28 (19 KOs), L: 2
It might sound odd to put ‘The Bodysnatcher’ above two males who held a heavyweight world title (even when it was solely the WBO model). But in beating prime contenders comparable to Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas and Derek Chisora, Whyte has proved himself a top-five heavyweight in a aggressive period. Has improved since his loss to Anthony Joshua and, whereas the (avenged) KO defeat by Alexander Povetkin was an enormous setback, it at the very least got here in a combat Whyte was dominating. Tough, rugged with a robust left hook and has earned his world title shot.
7. Joe Bugner (1967-1999)
W: 69 (43 KOs), L: 13, D: 1
The physique of a Greek statue, however with fewer strikes (copyright: Hugh McIlvanney) was the tough, humorous tackle the Hungary-born Brit. Bugner appeared the half and owned a terrific chin, going the gap with Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali (twice). He may field, too, however appeared content material to coast in fights. Unpopular after controversially outpointing 37-year-old Henry Cooper in his retirement combat, Bugner ultimately cashed in on his panto villain standing by returning with Australian citizenship (aged 37 himself) to lose to Frank Bruno in 1987.
6. Sir Henry Cooper (1954-1971)
W: 40 (25 KOs), L: 14, D: 1
The solely British boxer to be knighted, beloved of the general public and – if this record was about pound-for-pound items – he’d be a number of steps increased. Our ’Enry was a small heavyweight even by Nineteen Sixties requirements and had a bent to chop. However he owned a vicious left hook, ’Enry’s ’Ammer, which famously sat Ali (then Cassius Clay) on his bottom at Wembley. Challenging for the world title – within the period of 1 heavyweight champ – was as shut as he acquired, however Cooper received each different belt as much as European degree, in addition to the hearts of everybody he met.
5. Frank Bruno (1982-1996)
W: 40 (38 KOs), L: 5
The solely heavyweight who can rival Cooper for public affection, lovable Londoner Bruno was a sculpted adonis with a harmful proper hand and the center of a lion. He was not, nonetheless, a pure boxer and will collapse when taken into deep waters by foes who had been capable of take his energy. Stopped by Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis however in 1995 lastly received his fourth world title shot, jabbing then wearily grabbing erratic Oliver McCall to defeat. A low-action combat however not one individual at an elated Wembley cared. Big Frank had performed it ultimately.
4. David Haye (2002-2018)
W: 28 (26 KOs), L: 4
Easy to overlook, given he was at his finest at cruiserweight and his profession completed with two losses to Tony Bellew, that for a spell ‘The Hayemaker’ actually was a prime heavyweight. The lithe, fast, gifted Haye carried his energy up, though his finest win was outboxing 7ft Nikolai Valuev in Germany. Losing on factors to a peak Wladimir Klitschko was not a shameful end result, however the boring combat and toe-injury excuses broken Haye’s beforehand booming recognition. Injuries later robbed him of his athleticism however the prime Haye was a harmful fighter.
3. Anthony Joshua (2013-present)
W: 24 (22 KOs), L: 2
Defeats to Andy Ruiz Jr (avenged) and Oleksandr Usyk (TBC) have understandably hit Joshua’s standing. But let’s not overlook that for a number of years, throughout Tyson Fury’s absence, he was extensively considered because the no.1 heavyweight on the planet – which no one under him on this record may ever declare. An Olympic gold medallist with a powerful array of energy pictures, AJ has received a mess of heavyweight belts whereas beating Dillian Whyte, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Wladimir Klitschko. Only 32, let’s not write him off simply but.
2. Tyson Fury (2008-present)
W: 31 (22 KOs), L: 0, D: 1
It’s a praise to Fury that the hole between no.1 and no.2 on this record is closing as he pulls away from the pack (offering he overcomes Dillian Whyte on Saturday). A large, versatile, switch-hitting, endlessly bettering one-off, Fury can be a handful for any heavyweight in historical past. Upset Wladimir Klitschko then, after nearly consuming and ingesting himself into oblivion, returned to provide us an exhilarating trilogy with Deontay Wilder. Unbeaten in his first 32 professional fights, a victory over Whyte – after which the Usyk-Joshua II winner – cements his all-time greatness.
1. Lennox Lewis (1989-2003)
W: 41 (32 KOs), L: 2, D: 1
The sheer quantity of top-level wins retains Lewis above Fury. For a person with the entire package deal of dimension, athleticism, ramrod jab, fluid expertise and KO energy, Lewis may very well be irritating. He typically fought all the way down to the extent of his opponent and twice paid the last word worth, with shock KO defeats. But he avenged each losses and likewise has wins over (deep breath) Razor Ruddock, Andrew Golota, Evander Holyfield, David Tua, Mike Tyson, Vitali Klitschko and extra. A 3-time world champ, the perfect heavyweight of his period and one of many best ever.
talkSPORT will convey you reside protection of the massive heavyweight world title combat between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte at Wembley on Saturday night time, with our protection ranging from 7.30pm and that includes knowledgeable ringside evaluation from Ben Davison