Blogs & Opinion


Brits will bounce back

Plenty to look forward to in 2012, says Johnny

Johnny Nelson Posted 20th December 2011 view comments

British boxing ends this year with just one fighter holding a world title - but there's plenty to be optimistic about in 2012.

Yes, some big names have been defeated in 2011 - David Haye, Amir Khan and, last weekend, Carl Froch have all lost their world titles - but in the next 12 months there will be some exciting match-ups involving British fighters to look forward to and I can't wait to see how they pan out.

Defeated: But Johnny expects Khan and British boxing to come again in 2012

Defeated: But Johnny expects Khan and British boxing to come again in 2012

Now's a good time to reflect on the year and, looking at 2011 from a positive angle, we've seen a lot more British fighters get a shot at world titles than in many years previously.

Matthew Macklin, Matthew Hatton, Ryan Rhodes and John Murray are just a few of our talented domestic fighters who've had a shot at the biggest titles.

Unfortunately some of our fighters have come up against outstanding boxers this year. Saul Alvarez, for instance, ended the challenge of Hatton and Rhodes. Similarly Froch was at the top of the tree until he came across Andre Ward, who appears to be very special.

There are plenty of exciting fights to look forward to domestically in 2012 - and that says a lot about the state of British boxing.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

Froch, though, will have learnt a lot from that experience and he will bounce back in 2012, I'm sure, with a mouth-watering clash with Nathan Cleverly a possibility if 'the Cobra' steps up a weight division. There are plenty of other exciting fights to look forward to domestically - and that says a lot about the state of British boxing.

Dream fight

Froch v Cleverly is a dream fight. So is George Groves v James DeGale, part two. There's the potential return of Haye, too - he turned a spotlight on the heavyweight division this year and the razzmatazz he brings to boxing is the reason Vitali Klitschko is in talks to bring him out of retirement. Then there's Khan v Kell Brook, which could be a huge fight towards the end of the year.

I really believe Khan v Brook can happen in 2012 and, held on British soil, it would be absolutely massive.

Kell Brook made his US debut on Saturday and produced the goods, defeating Luis Galarza. He attracted so many new fans with that performance in the States and is now on the brink of achieving an ultimate goal. Brook is going to be a star of tomorrow and he is someone we can all look out for next year.

Meanwhile, Khan remains a class act. The only reason he's a former world champion is because he took Lamont Peterson too lightly - and so did I.

When you're a world champion it's the unknown fighters you have to watch out for. Peterson ate, drank and dreamed Amir Khan for months and delivered in front of his home fans to make his life into a movie. Peterson will never box that well again.

I know Khan will still feel bitter and hurt by the loss but he's been absolutely brilliant this year and impressed against Zab Judah and Paul McCloskey. I fully expect him to return to the top in 2012 - and then face Brook in front of a full-house in the UK.

These fights aren't just great for us domestically but are also outstanding match-ups on a world stage - and show the strength of British boxing.

Comments (3)

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Leo Chang says...

kell brook looked very good in the US however a fight against khan would be too quick for him. Carl Froch can move up a division and im pretty sure he can take cleverly out quite easily. Degale and Groves!!!!! most overated grudge match of all time. Degale will make it further in his boxing career, doesnt need to fight groves as of yet.

Posted 11:24 27th December 2011

Paul Emmett says...

Mouth watering year to look forward to. All we need now is for Pacman to hook up with (the released) Mayweather and the year will look very special indeed!

Posted 09:32 24th December 2011

Joseph Rossiter says...

Words well said although there isn't much a mention about the number of poor decisions being made by judges/referees in todays boxing that has effected the careers of so many british boxers. Who can forgot Mathew Macklin's convincing victory over Felix Sturm only for the German judges to hand it to the home favourite and then there was Tyson Fury's inspirational bout with Helenious which also ended in defeat for the 'real' victor. And most recently is the disgracefull docking of points from Amir Khan to take away his hard earned titles. Boxing has seen its ups and downs this year for british boxers, George Groves being the greatest achiever. but we have also witnessed the birth of some potential class acts, such as Kell Brook, Calr Frampton, Billy Joe Sanders, Ricky Burns and a one to watch Chris Eubank Jnr. I just hope 2012 is as exciting 2011 has been in the world of boxing

Posted 15:15 23rd December 2011

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