By News Team
1st June 2020
There might not have been, and may never will be, an all-British boxing fight as big as Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury.
Two British heavyweights battling it out for the title of undisputed heavyweight champion; there can be no higher achievement in boxing.
But the sport is no stranger to an all-British showdown, and we’ve seen some spectacular battles over the years. We’ve picked out three of the best.
Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank
A grudge that transcended boxing, the two fights between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank were monumental occasions in British sporting history, capturing the imagination of the wider public during a time that boxing in general could not.
Like chalk and cheese, Benn and Eubank could not have been further apart in personality back in their heyday – Benn the working-class loudmouth brawler, and Eubank the eccentric.
Their first fight in Birmingham in 1990 ended in a Eubank stoppage, with the second in Manchester in 1993 a controversial draw as Eubank held on to the world title in a bout that many thought he should have lost.
The two fighters have grown to become friends over time, despite the fact a third fight was never made. The two fights were nothing short of a brutal war.
David Haye vs Tony Bellew
David Haye and Tony Bellew were two fighters at two very different stages of their careers when they met for the first time in 2017.
Haye was on a comeback after a four year lay-off between 2012 and 2016, with two fights under his belt. Bellew had just completed his first world title defence in the cruiserweight division against BJ Flores.
Bellew relinquished his title to fight Haye, who he had trash talked into taking the bait, and all the pre-fight talk was unsurprisingly dominated by how Haye would take out Bellew with ease. It wasn’t to be.
Bellew looked comfortable throughout the 2017 fight in London, with Haye snapping his achilles in the later rounds, and it was Bellew who took the win in a defining moment for his career.
The pundits wrote him off in the 2018 rematch, but his performance here was more decisive than ever.
Haye couldn’t live with Bellew’s sharp jab and quick feet – his body had caught up with him – and Bellew took him out with an emphatic stoppage, knocking him down three times before the referee stopped the fight in the fifth.
Bellew’s legacy was secured, Haye’s tarnished.
Lennox Lewis vs Frank Bruno
Billed as the ‘Battle of Britain’, Lennox Lewis was scheduled to fight Frank Bruno for a defence of his WBC heavyweight title in Cardiff in 1993. The fight was the first time that two British-born boxers had fought for the world heavyweight title.
Bruno, who had lost both of his two previous world title fights, attempted to get in the head of Lewis in the pre-fight build up, calling into question his dual nationality (Canadian-British), stating that: “Nobody cares about Lennox Lewis in Britain.”
The fight was competitive, and by the sixth round, all judges had scored the fight 57-57, with a draw on the cards. However, the tide was to turn in the seventh.
Lewis looked to have started slow, with Bruno reeling off a series of punches, but Lewis grew into the round, and with one looping left hook his opponent’s legs had gone.
Lewis took Bruno out after a break in the round, with the referee wading in to stop the onslaught to crown Lewis the victor. Lewis later said: “He thought he had me… but actually I just lost my footing. I saw every punch coming.”
Bruno would later go on to win the world title, but Lewis remains Britain’s most successful heavyweight fighter, and the last fighter in history to become undisputed heavyweight champion.