2007, One Of The Greatest-Ever Years For British Boxing - Come December Will It Be Even Sweeter?
11.11.07 - by James Slater: Just what is happening with British boxers right now? No sooner does one fighter hailing from the U.K capture a world title, does another one come along and prove he is the best in his weight division. British fans have been delighted by the fistic greatness put on show by the likes of Ricky Hatton and, more recently, Joe Calzaghe this year, as both men either rose to or remained at the very top of their respective weight divisions.
Article posted on 12.11.2007
And then, last night in France, things got even better for British boxing, as cruiserweight powerhouse David Haye punched out Jean-Marc Mormeck to take the number one position at 200 pounds.
Throw in the U.K's other fine world champions that are currently reigning, in Junior Witter, Clinton Woods and Gavin Rees, and it's undeniably been a super year for boxing Brits. But could the U.K's pugilistic year of 2007 get even better very, very soon?
When he climbs through the ropes in Las Vegas on December 8th, against the reigning pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton will carry with him the knowledge that his fellow countrymen have been very adept this past year at proving the experts wrong - in either winning world tiles, of defending them successfully. As such, Hatton will surely take heart and confidence with him as he tries to prove the odds makers wrong himself. Why can't Hatton do what Haye, Rees, Woods and Calzaghe have done? British boxers are on a roll! Now it's up to "The Hitman" to keep that trend going.
Sure, Ricky has what is arguably the toughest job of the lot. The trio of Calzaghe, Woods and Witter were narrow favourites in their fights, while both Haye and Rees were betting underdogs in their championship challenges. Hatton is a pretty much clear underdog, in the eyes of most people, anyway, and as such he has the opportunity to bring the best win of the year back to the U.K with him. How sweet would a Hatton win over Mayweather be for Britain's boxing enthusiasts? Would 2007 actually go down as the best EVER year for British boxing? Certainly, in recent memory at least, no year jumps out at you as having been a better one than the past 12 months - and there's still the possibility of a Hatton win at that.
As was the case over in America, people had felt, a few months back, that boxing was something of a dying sport - at least at the mainstream level. How wrong have those people been proved to be right now? Boxing is thriving in Britain, thanks, largely, to men like Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and now David Haye. Quite simply, the crowds Calzaghe and Hatton are capable of brining rival those of the U.K's number one loved sport, in football and the numbers of fans it attracts. If over 50,000 fans show up - as they did at Calzaghe's fight with Mikkel Kessler - it's obvious we are talking about anything but a fading sport.
All boxing fans in Britain can rise together and both congratulate their fighting heroes and celebrate their great achievements. These same fans can also now cross their fingers and hope Ricky Hatton keeps the good times coming. The pride and joy currently being felt by boxing supporters from these shores has already been massively felt. If Manchester's finest fighter emerges with a 44-0 record after December the 8th those emotions will be at a veritable fever pitch!
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