The Big Question: Which current British boxer is most likely to end up in the Hall of Fame?
With British boxing booming, the question we asked Boxing Monthly's online team this week is which current UK boxer they believe is most likely to end up in the Hall of Fame at Canastota.
In regards to 'the eye test', Anthony Joshua would be the obvious name for most. Regarding tradition, James DeGale has the potential to pick up where former British super middleweight greats like Joe Calzaghe, Carl Froch, and numerous others before them, left off. If Kell Brook can rebound from his first professional loss and go on to find success at junior middleweight, perhaps he enters the discussion.
But the most proven candidate at this point is Carl Frampton, who has unified world titles (122lbs), claimed titles in multiple divisions (122lbs and 126lbs), taken “0’s” from quality fighters like Leo Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg, and is the leading candidate for Fighter Of The Year in 2016. Should he go on to unify titles with the likes of Lee Selby, Oscar Valdez, or Gary Russell next year, Frampton would be well on his way.
Honorable mention for Amir Khan, whose career accomplishments fall short of hall of fame consideration, but has set the tone for this new generation of British boxing in regards to class, determination and willingness to fight the best. - Michael Montero
At present, I wouldn't say any active British boxer has a Hall of Fame worthy résumé. Carl Frampton looks the most likely to retire with a record that would secure his place in Canastota. The fact that he's fighting in the U.S. will certainly strengthen his case for induction. However, an outside bet is Jamie McDonnell. If he can secure a win over another top five rated bantamweight before moving up to 122 lbs, he'd give himself a chance - particularly if he could beat Shinsuke Yamanaka. - John Angus MacDonald
That’s a tough one. We are in a flux period of time at the moment. The Hattons, Calzaghes and Frochs have sailed into the sunset and whilst British boxing is having a boom period, I don’t think any of the current crop jumps out.
Perhaps Ricky Burns? He is a three-weight world champion. Regardless of how allegedly ‘easy’ it is to pick one up, the Scot still deserves credit. His longevity in the game and his ability in the ring will hopefully be recognised.
Another strong candidate would be Carl Frampton. The Barry McGuigan protégé is already a two-weight world champ and holds some superb wins over rivals at home and abroad. His popularity, fan-friendly style and, above all, technical proficiency should garner him a spot. Still young, I hope he adds to his legacy in the coming years, as I don’t even think he has reached his ceiling in terms of performance and opponent. - James Oddy
At this stage, I'd have to say Frampton. Joshua has the potential for greatness, but until he goes up against the other title holders he's a few steps away from contention. - Paul Zanon
This one has the potential to be really bothersome. With so many belts available, is being a belt-holding world champion for four to six years Hall of Fame worthy? He's not British, but Sven Ottke had the IBF super-middleweight title for six years, and retired undefeated at 34-0. Is he IBHoF worthy?
Being an undefeated belt holder should not be the basis for any Hall of Fame argument, nor should being a multi-weight champion. Did you fight the best available opposition throughout the majority of your peak years, and how did you get on against them? That is where I would start.
Having said that, Frampton is a star, travels overseas and seem genuinely interested in taking risks to participate in big events. - Martin Chesnutt
Now, the question was "Boxer" (singular), so while Frampton has a chance and is the obvious choice ... I'm going for Anthony Joshua. It's exciting that he has many years and many fights ahead of him, and I see him being the most worthy when the gloves are hung-up by all the current active fighters. - Colin Harris
It really is a tricky one, not least because IBHOF membership criteria appears so imprecise. How, for example, is Brendan Ingle and all the incredible opportunities he's created, not recognised? I called their office once to find out, only to find the number was dead and my fax (how's that for old school?) wasn't returned!
Anyway, from today's active fighters, Amir Khan is an outside bet given the Olympic silver medalist has unified at light-welter and beaten good fighters in Maidana, Kotelnik, Barrera (yes, I know, miles past his best), Malignaggi, Alexander and Judah. Even his losses, at least those lasting more than a round, have been dramatic and full of action. Khan is also around the same age, 29, as Carl Frampton.
Prior to recent events I would pick Tyson Fury, but his immediate future appears very uncertain. Although I don't consider any of the current crop to have done enough yet, I agree with Colin that Anthony Joshua is as good a bet as any to finally pick up his ring from Canastota. His 'world' title opposition has been poor thus far, but there is a good crop of heavyweights around right now and indications are the talented, dedicated and hard-punching 26 year old will start mixing with them imminently. - Chris Williamson
Tyson Fury is the UK’s only lineal champion since Ricky Hatton and so he must stand a chance (providing he fights again). James DeGale, though, has the opportunity to equal that feat, should he establish 168 lbs superiority against Badou Jack. DeGale, an Olympic Gold medallist, has performed well in the U.S., too, which is likely to find favour with voters when they’re mulling over their ballot papers. If DeGale can defeat Jack (and he is heavily favoured to) and then put in a solid stint as divisional boss, he’d be a good outside bet (revenge over George Groves would also garnish his credentials). - Andrew Harrison
In what is seen as a boom period for British Boxing with a record number of world champions, it's hard to find an active fighter who's a lock for the IBHOF.
This isn't so much a reflection on the fighters themselves, but more so on the current state of boxing, Ricky Burns is a three-weight world champion but wouldn't be mobbed walking down Oxford Street. Today 'world' Titles are given out like copies of the Evening Standard, Burns and the aforementioned Anthony Joshua are evidence of that.
I think Amir Khan is a good shout, he's fought the majority of his World Championship fights in USA and hasn't ever failed to entertain in those fights. I think he would need one more big win to sew it up though. The other name that comes to mind is David Haye, he was the unified and lineal champion at cruiserweight. If he was to win another belt at Heavyweight then I think that would make him a certainty for his first year of eligibility. - Callum Rudge
Carl Frampton is the best bet right now, I'd say. However he is far from a lock and needs some more big wins, or an extended period dominating one weight division, to bolster his case. The Hall of Fame loves heavyweights. so Tyson Fury will also have a chance, regardless of where his career goes from here. Hopefully he will get healthy again and resume his reign as heavyweight champion - at his best I'd pick him against every other heavyweight out there at the moment, so he certainly has the potential to string together a series of Hall of Fame worthy victories. - Luke G. Williams