Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Ricky Hatton, Carl Frampton and Carl Froch among York Hall graduates
The famous faces that will inspire Friday’s NXTGEN prospects to shine
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 14/03/17 2:44pm
York Hall in Bethnal Green, east London, has helped to build the careers of many future world champions…
Anthony Joshua's only appearance at the venue (and now, probably the sole time he will grace the hallowed hall) came in his third fight. Just a month into his professional career, having already smashed his way through two opponents inside less than three rounds combined, he was pitted against Hrvoje Kisicek (5-6) in November 2013.
Perhaps there were signs of what awaited in Joshua's future with a quick glance around ringside. Larry Holmes and Michael Watson were just two of the legends who had come to watch Britain's latest prodigy.
Joshua didn't let them down. The 24-year-old Olympic gold medallist was dominant in the first round, then dropped Kisicek in the second before the referee called a halt.
The highlight of Carl Froch's seven victories at York Hall was a one-punch knockout of Brian Magee in 2006, to extend his burgeoning record to 19-0.
Froch was defending his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles but, more pertinently, showcasing his potential to fight for a world title. He floored Magee inside the first round but then suffered a cut. A controversial 10th round knockdown in Froch's favour was followed by a thunderous uppercut in the next period which ended Magee's night.
Beating Magee was a second consecutive outing at York Hall for Froch, having already stopped Dale Westerman in his 18th fight. The Nottingham puncher's first four career outings, plus his seventh, were also at the London venue.
How many boxers can claim to have fought at Madison Square Garden and in Germany before York Hall? It's a peculiar quirk of Ricky Hatton's early career that he was whisked off to New York for just his second pro fight, before competing in Germany and New Jersey by the time he was 9-0.
In fact, Hatton boxed in 15 different towns and cities inside his first 20 fights but extending his record to 21-0 against Giuseppe Lauri at York Hall represented the end to his constant travelling. At the turn of the millennium, Hatton held the inter-continental version of the WBO light-welterweight belt, and earned the WBA equivalent by stopping Lauri in five rounds.
The Northern Irishman's second and most convincing appearance at York Hall was his 12th fight, five years ago, in a defence of his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title.
Frampton stopped Scotland's Kris Hughes in seven rounds after dropping him with a powerful right hook. Earlier in his career, Frampton improved his record to 4-0 at York Hall with a four-round decision win against France's Yoan Boyeaux.
One of David Haye's most important victories, over Giacobbe Fragomeni, came at York Hall and propelled him towards his first world championship.
Haye had already lost to Carl Thompson and then won the European cruiserweight title when, in 2006, he defended the belt in Bethnal Green against Fragomeni, an opponent who had beaten him as an amateur. Haye was bloodied and exhausted but exacted revenge with a ninth round stoppage, improving his record to 18-1.
Haye is unbeaten in five York Hall fights, including his pro debut, and notably a European title defence against Lasse Johansen that took his record to 16-1.
You can watch a live stream of this Friday's NXTGEN show from 7pm on Skysports.com and live coverage starts at 10pm on Sky Sports 1.