The last time we had more than one heavyweight knocking on the door of the world heavyweight title was when Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno and, Gary Mason were all in or around the top 10, and Henry Akinwande and Herbie Hide were on their way up as well.
With Anthony Joshua as WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion, Dillian Whyte as the WBC No1 contender and Tyson Fury reigning as the Lineal champion, things are currently looking very positive for the British heavyweight scene.
Coming up fast behind Joshua, Whyte and Fury are Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce, Nathan Gorman, David Allen and David Price.
At least one of these guys will reach world title status I am sure, Joyce is nearly there after his 6th round stoppage of former WBC title-holder Bermane Stiverne at the O2 Arena in February, even though he has only 8 fights on his record and is 34-years-old.
Dubois is growing as a fighter in each bout. His 4th round stoppage of the game Ghanaian Richard Lartey showed that he can take a good shot and come back throwing big punches himself when needed. He has some defensive deficiencies that trainer Martin Bowers will be working on, but at only 21-years-old, the Greenwich man has time on his side.
Gorman is another that needs to take his time and gain further experience before mixing in the upper echelons of the heavyweight division. Both Gorman and Dubois would be well served by going the well-trodden European route where they would be facing fighters above domestic level but not in world class.
Matchroom Boxing has announced a match between David Allen and David Price on the undercard of the Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas bout at the O2 Arena on July 20th.
British fans are really excited about this fight, mainly because Allen appears to have got his mind on boxing and not on being a funny guy that boxing fans love to laugh at. Price is at a stage of his career that every fight could be his last, he is a massive puncher who struggles to land clean shots and runs out of stamina around the 4th or 5th round mark. To many fans it’s a 50/50 fight.
Allen’s win over Lucas Browne impressed a lot of people, the left hook that finished the fight was perfectly delivered. I doubt any heavyweight would have beaten the count, however, I had Allen losing the first 2 rounds because he was so easy to hit.
The fight might not hold a lot of interest for overseas viewers but it might well be a classic heavyweight dust-up at domestic level.
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Joyce and Dubois being the ones to reach somewhere around the top level.
Nathan Gorman has impressed, and his win over 10 rounds against old warhorse Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson showed that he can stay disciplined and box over the distance. The fight before that saw the Nantwich native outpoint former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu over 12 rounds for the WBC International Silver title.
The difference is that unlike Joyce and Dubois, Gorman lacks that clean Knockout punch. He boxes smoothly and has great balance like the well-schooled ex-amateur he is, but I think he will struggle against the top heavyweights due to that lack of a finishing blow.
Joyce is becoming hard to match. At 34-years-of-age he cannot wait long before facing the very best, but Joshua, Fury and Wilder would have so much experience over him in terms of fighting in huge events and dealing with the pressures that, that brings with it.
Is Joe ready for the experience of former world champions like Povetkin or Parker? It is this level that Joyce needs to mix in right now, In Stiverne he met a 40-year-old that has seen better days. The Joyce fight was the 3rd fight Bermane was involved in, in nearly 4 year years.
Talk of a British title fight against Dubois is a bad move for Joyce, he needs to fight one of the big names just below Joshua, Wilder and Fury. Joyce vs Dubois would be good to see, but even if Joyce won it would not get him a shot at a world title.
It will be fun to watch this batch of British heavyweights over the next 18 months or so.