Hellraiser Boxing - A British pound for pound top ten list by Chris Waddams, has he picked controversially? Who's missed out?
Hellraiser Boxing News | British Pound For Pound Top Ten: Chris Waddams
A British pound for pound top ten list by Chris Waddams, has he picked controversially? Who's missed out?

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British Pound For Pound Top Ten: Chris Waddams

by Chris Waddams

I’ve been meaning to do this domestic P4P for a while, so long in fact the list has changed since my first draft! This list is obviously my own and many of you will not agree with it, but that’s what makes this process so much fun! I love hearing about everyone else’s list and opinions, so if you don’t agree with me, please let me know (in a diplomatic way)

I’ll just try and explain my thought process as to how I’ve picked my top 10:

- The fighter has to be active; having had a fight in the last year or have one scheduled

- Win records do play a role, but just because a fighter is unbeaten doesn’t necessarily put them above a guy with losses on their record

- Excitement to a fighter does play a role in the process as well, but if a guy is blowing away journeymen for the better part of their career it doesn’t mean they’re going in at number one over someone who has beaten better quality opposition on points

- Personal preference (after all it is my list). If I think the fighter is a bit of a prick it could affect where they find themselves on my list (if at all)

I will also say that my P4P list isn’t solely down to the excitement value. If that was the case Anthony Joshua would probably be my number one as he’s blown away all of his competition so far. But this isn’t to say my list is a boring list!

So without further ado, here is my domestic p4p top 10:

10. Billy Joe Saunders

Here’s one fighter who didn’t make my list when I was first asked to think of one, and it wasn’t down to his talent, it was because of his inactivity. But with a dominant win over Willie Monroe Jr our Middleweight World Champion sneaks into my list ahead of some big names that have missed out. A classy operator in the ring, Saunders also has the mouth to build a fight, which has possibly hurt his reputation with certain sections of the British Boxing Public. With the win over Monroe, let’s hope we get more big named defences for him rather than those against the likes of Artur Akavov.

9. Terry Flanagan

Lacking a big coming of age fight in a huge division, both domestically and worldwide, has resulted in Flanagan having such a low ranking in my top 10. Flanagan has been a world champion now for over 2 years and could/should have had a unification fight or a big gut check fight by now. But it may not have been his fault. When Anthony Crolla was the WBA champion many mouths watered at the prospect of an all British unification fight. We can’t really blame Crolla for taking on Linares, as it was technically a unification and for the Lineal title as well. But it’s hurt Flanagan. Maybe a fight with Linares or even Campbell who put in a good account of himself against Linares could change the fortunes for “Turbo” and propel him up this list

8. Anthony Joshua

I can imagine this decision to put “AJ” at number 8 is going to p*ss everyone off, for different reasons. There will be those of you who will say he hasn’t done enough to warrant a place in a P4P top 10 and there will be those of you who can’t believe that he isn’t number 1! So let me explain:

AJ wasn’t even in my list a few months ago! His back and forth KO win over Wladimir Klitschko has got him into my top 10. Even at 41, Klitschko was regarded as at least a top 5 heavyweight, and arguably the best heavyweight without a belt to claim. He took Joshua to depths we’d never seen him go, and to his credit he made it through those depths! Now to counter that argument, Klitschko was arguably Joshua’s first meaningful test at world level. All the other opposition haven’t been of the same calibre or level (at the time of their fight) to say they were a top level challenge. So there is why AJ is my number 8!

7. Tony Bellew

Bellew is a bit of a marmite fighter, but you can’t discredit his accomplishments. Tony Bellew won the WBC World Cruiserweight championship against a fighter many believed was going to be one of the top guys at 200lbs. Plus Bellew got rid of him in spectacular fashion. His only defeats have come against legitimate world champions at Light Heavyweight so there’s no shame in having those defeats on his record. I’m not going to go too far into his win against David Haye, but a win in their rematch in December would propel Tony up this list in my opinion.

6. Scott Quigg

How close Quigg was to being a lot higher up on this list. Only dropping a Split Decision loss to Carl Frampton resulted in his only loss as a professional and also resulted in him losing his WBA World Super-Bantamweight title in the process. But give the Bury man his credit; he fought the majority of that fight with a broken jaw! So no one can say he’s not as tough as nails. Since the loss Quigg has stepped up to Featherweight like his nemesis Frampton and has gone unbeaten in the process, winning a world title eliminator in his last outing at Wembley. If he keeps this form up he’ll see himself move up this list as well.

5. Jamie McDonnell

I was so so tempted to put Jamie McDonnell further up my list. But his last fight, although a win, has hurt his reputation a bit. To McDonnell’s credit if it wasn’t for boxing politics he would/could/should have been the unified IBF WBA and WBO world Bantamweight champion, having been stripped of his IBF title for no apparent reason and then Tomoki Kameda was stripped of his WBO title ahead of their first fight back in May 2015. A dominant win in his rematch against Liborio Solis next month would push him back up this list and also open the future to some big fights in the future.

4. Lee Selby

Lee Selby has suffered a bit from the “Terry Flanagans” in the sense that he’s still waiting on his career defining fight. But this isn’t all his own fault. He was looking to have fought a big name by the middle of this year, but the rearranged fight against Jonathan Victor Barros scuppered those chances to at least the end of the year. Carl Frampton seemed to be an obvious choice but now Frampton has signed with Frank Warren it’s more likely that he will be pushed toward one of the other governing body titles (my guess would be the WBO title, don’t ask me why). Lee will again have to wait for his big fight. He could get a big domestic fight in the near future though, if Josh Warrington wins his next fight he will be Selby’s mandatory. So things could be looking up for the Welsh wizard.

3. George Groves

When Groves picked up a version of the world title in his 4th attempt last May, he fulfilled the bags of potential he had shown over the years. Unlucky in his first attempt at the world title against Carl Froch there was no argument in their second. And a lacklustre performance against now 2 weight world champion Badou Jack saw him fail at his third attempt as well. But look at the calibre of the fighters he has lost to. Both were arguably the best in the division at the time of their fights (both arguably because of Andre Ward’s inactivity) so there’s no harm in falling short as long as you learn from those shortcomings. Groves for me would put himself as number 1 P4P if he wins the WBSS and Muhammad Ali trophy, although any of our British quartet would do that with a victory in the tournament. So watch this space.

2. James DeGale

I could have easily have put Groves at number 2 and DeGale at 3, such is the similarity to their ability and skills. Injury has held DeGale’s career up in my opinion and a seemingly inability to do 12 rounds at his best (whether that is due to injury is up to interpretation). If he’d beaten Badou Jack back in January I’d have made him my number 1 on this list, but as it stands he’ll have to settle for number 2. Injury may hurt him because it resulted in him not participating in the Super Middleweight WBSS, which could mean DeGale is forgotten about in the Super-Middleweight shake up. A fight with Gilberto Ramirez, David Benavidez or Tyrone Zurge would see him take on the best of those not involved with the WBSS, or even a fight with Rocky Fielding would keep him in the public eye domestically.

Before I get to my number 1 I’ll give you some of the fighters who almost made this list (in no particular order):

- Callum Smith

- Kal Yafai

- Ryan Burnett

- Chris Eubank Jr

- Luke Campbell

- Kell Brook

- Ricky Burns

- Anthony Crolla 

1. Carl Frampton

Quite a surreal thing to put my number 1 as someone coming off a loss, but such have been Carl Frampton’s accomplishments it’s enough to keep him as my number 1! A unified Super-Bantamweight champion after he edged past Scott Quigg, he stepped up to Featherweight and beat Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA Super World Featherweight title. He dropped the title back to Cruz in their rematch and the verbally agreed rubber match never materialised. But Frampton is undoubtedly a world level operator. Time will now tell whether his team up with Frank Warren was the right one, but expect to see him shoot up those WBO rankings in the near future and potentially get a shot at Oscar Valdez in the not too distant future!

So there you have my domestic p4p top 10! Let me know what you think and what your top 10 would be?

Adam Thorn's P4P top ten can be read here.

Posted: 3rd Oct 2017

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