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The Twelve Champs Of Christmas

Professional boxing has helped put the ‘Great’ back in Britain in 2015, giving us fans no less than a dozen reigning World Champions to celebrate.

What a year for British and Northern Irish boxing. And how better to celebrate our record haul of championship belts at this time of year than with a carol?

You know the original Twelve Days of Christmas tune, but how well do you know our Twelve World Champions?

Queue the music …

Our 1st champ of Christmas, he won all but WBC, a heavyweight Tyson Fury.

Our 2nd champ of Christmas, atop the Lightweight tree – Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 3rd champ of Christmas, at Middleweight just beat Andy Lee – Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

For our 4th champ of Christmas, British Boxing gave to me – Bantamweight, Jamie McDonnell. Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 5th champ of Christmas, James DeGale MBE – with five golden rings. Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 6th champ of Christmas, from top fighting family – Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith. DeGale’s golden rings, Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 7th champ of Christmas, Super Bantamweight from Bury – ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg. Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings, Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 8th champ of Christmas, Battle of Britain with Scotty – Belfast’s Carl ‘Jackal’ Frampton. ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings.  Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 9th champ of Christmas, comes from Barry by the sea – Featherweight Lee Selby. Carl ‘Jackal’ Frampton, ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings.  Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 10th champ of Christmas, a Bantamweight lefty – ‘Playboy’ Lee Haskins. ‘Barry-Boy’ Lee Selby, Carl ‘Jackal’ Frampton, ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings.  Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

Our 11th champ of Christmas, hails from the steel city – Kell ‘Special One’ Brook. ‘Playboy’ Lee Haskins, ‘Barry-Boy’ Lee Selby, Carl ‘Jackal’ Frampton, ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings.  Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

For our 12th champ of Christmas, British Boxing gave to me – Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla. Kell ‘Special One’ Brook, ‘Playboy’ Lee Haskins, ‘Barry-Boy’ Lee Selby, Carl ‘Jackal’ Frampton, ‘Boring’ Scotty Quigg, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith – DeGale’s golden rings.  Jamie McDonnell, Billy Joe Saunders, Terry Flanagan and a heavyweight, Tyson Fury.

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Our deadly dozen will need to have their guards up in 2016 to hang onto their belts. Former champions and new contenders lie in wait in the new year with the challenge from these shores particularly apparent, particularly with the opportunities afforded to them by our first class promoters.

No doubt, this time next year some of our current kings will have lost their crowns but perhaps only to domestic rivals. Surely we’ll have some new champions too, perhaps we’ll end 2016 with a baker’s dozen or more and maybe spread across more of the weight divisions.

The United Kingdom proudly boasts champions from nine of the top 14 weight divisions. In Ola Afolabi (Cruiserweight), Tony Bellew (Light Heavyweight), Jack Catterall (Super Lightweight) and Keith Satchell (Flyweight) we have live contenders to possibly complete the set. With Stephen Smith and Liam Walsh dual possibilities at Super Featherweight and Kal Yafai and Paul Butler at Super Flyweight.

As we move closer to a time when each of the four top sanctioning bodies insists on its own unique champion, and unified titles become effectively impossible to hold on to, opportunities to get a World title shot have surely never been so numerous.

A couple more fights and both Anthony Joshua and David Haye will be in the reckoning for a heavyweight challenge. George Groves (Super Middleweight), Chris Eubank Jnr (Middleweight) Amir Khan (Welterweight) and Lightweights Ricky Burns and Luke Campbell can still turn things around, using the defeats on their record to their matchmaking advantage.

Reigning champions and their representatives are rightfully wary of going in with an unexposed, undefeated fighter and Britain has plenty of those. Without getting caught up in all the hype, Callum Smith (Super Middleweight), Scott Cardle (Featherweight) and Josh Warrington (Featherweight), could all get a shot in 2016. So too could Tyson’s cousin, Hughie Fury at Heavyweight.

Good luck to all our fighters in 2016 and Happy New Year to all my fellow fight fans!

Richard Coleman, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.

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