By William Hill
Last Updated: 4th February 2020
The landscape of British boxing has changed in recent years, with stars such as David Haye, Tony Bellew and Carl Froch all retiring to make way for a fresh crop of talent.
It’s been a building process for many British boxers, but we are beginning to see a new set of superstars come to the fore.
We’ve broken down a list of the best current active British boxers.
It’s no doubt that Anthony Joshua has flown the flag for British boxing over the last few years.
Aside from securing mainstream superstardom through high profile world-title fights at Wembley Stadium, Joshua held three of the four recognised heavyweight title belts for over three years (2016-2019), before his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York in June 2019.
Despite the loss, he’ll have a chance to reclaim it all in the rematch on December 7 in Saudi Arabia, and a chance to catapult his name back to the top of the heavyweight division.
The lineal heavyweight champion needs no introduction. Fury made his name in late 2015 when he claimed the undisputed heavyweight world title, defeating Wladimir Klitschko and ending his 11-year reign as world champion, away from home no less.
Fury was somewhat the forgotten champion, after he took a two-year hiatus from boxing to battle mental health problems and was in turn stripped of his titles for failing to oblige his mandatory challenges.
A return to the ring was announced in early 2018, and after two warm-up fights, the Briton signed to fight Deontay Wilder for the WBC world title in Los Angeles, a bout he would go on to draw on the scorecards but win in the eyes of the masses.
A rematch with Wilder is all but secured for 2020, and a chance for him to claim his world championship status once more.
The youngest of four British boxers, including former world champion Liam Smith, Callum Smith is arguably the most successful sibling at the tender age of 29.
2018 was a coming-of-age year for Liverpudlian. Smith beat Nieky Holzken and George Groves back-to-back, winning the semi-final and final of the super-middleweight World Boxing Super Series, along with the WBA ‘Super’ super-middleweight world title and The Ring magazine world title.
It’s been a rapid rise for Smith over the past 18 months and, at 6’ 3 in height, a move up to the light-heavyweight division might well be imminent, although a colossal unification fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could yet be on the cards at 168 lbs. A big 2020 lies ahead.
Josh Warrington became a household name in 2018, winning a world title and defeating two great champions.
His first fight of the year was long-time IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby, who had no doubt in his mind he would beat Warrington, to the extent that the fight was agreed on away from home: Leeds.
What followed was one of the greatest fighting nights for the city of Leeds: Warrington became world champion, spurred on by a raucous home crowd.
Warrington’s undeniable support would help him get over the line in his next fight against Carl Frampton. Frampton had a lot to prove, and his attempt to regain the world title was valiant, but Warrington’s relentless pressure would help him across the line once more.
At 30-0 and 29 years of age, Warrington has his whole career ahead of him.
Next up? A unification fight with the best of the division.
Billy Joe Saunders
One of the lesser-known names on this list, you might know Billy Joe Saunders for his performance on the KSI vs Logan Paul 2 undercard, battling to a knock-out victory and successfully defending his WBO super-middleweight world title.
To rewind Saunders’ time in boxing would be to revisit a turbulent career.
After winning the WBO middleweight world title in 2015 with four successful defences, Saunders was stripped of his title for taking a supposed banned substance, before coming back to win a world title in his second weight class against Shefat Isufi in early 2019.
Aside from the controversy, Saunders is beyond doubt one of the most technically gifted active boxers in the world at this moment and he can pose problems for any active middleweight or super-middleweight fighter in the world.