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5 British heavyweight boxers for the future

David Adeleye


5 British heavyweight boxers for the future

5 British heavyweight boxers for the future

The big men of British boxing have inhabited the higher echelons of the heavyweight division for the best part of a decade and it is a trend which shows no sign of reversing.

Tyson Fury leads the way with Joe Joyce – a horrendously tough night’s work for any heavyweight on the planet – positioned firmly in any sane person’s top five list. Anthony Joshua is preparing to begin another rebuild but remains a box office attraction. Dillian Whyte still lurks around the top ten. And as the WBA’s mandatory challenger, explosive Daniel Dubois is working on his craft and biding his time.

Moses Itauma is at the opposite end of the scale. He is barely 18 years old and whilst he has ambitions to break Mike Tyson’s record and become the youngest ever heavyweight champion, he has spent less than a minute in the ring so far. We will leave Moses to his own devices for the time being.

There seems little chance of British boxing losing its grip of the heavyweight scene anytime soon. David Adeleye makes his latest appearance this weekend and is part of a vibrant mix of fighters competing in and around British title contention. All of them have the ability to be successful at domestic level; we are looking for clues as to who will continue to win once they begin…

DAVID ADELEYE – 10-0 (9 KO’s)

David Adeleye

Adeleye fights the unbeaten Dmitro Bezus this weekend live on BT Sports on Friday night. A victory over the 6ft 6in tall Ukrainian will be another impressive step forward for the 26-year-old. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

The Londoner had an early career scare when he scraped past Kamil Sokolowski but learned from the experience. He has been a dangerous man since, stopping all four of his opponents. Adeleye has spent a lot of time training alongside Tyson Fury and has clearly been taking notes. The Londoner has become a student of the game, taking time to experiment and figure out his ideal fighting weight and studying how the boxing business works outside the ropes.

Last time out Adeleye put in his best performance, looking a real well-rounded heavyweight prospect when demolishing Elvis Garcia. At 6ft 4in tall and hovering around the 230lb mark, Adeleye is big enough to make an impact at heavyweight and is smart and charismatic enough to cope with the unique demands of boxing’s blue riband weight class.

FABIO WARDLEY – British champion – 15-0 (14 KO’s)

Fabio Wardley has been given sensible tests and passed every one of them.

In November, Wardley picked up some early facial damage from a confident-looking Nathan Gorman. But rather than shrinking away from the challenge, Wardley bit down and tore through Gorman, stopping him in the third and winning the British heavyweight title. It was an impressive display of character; the kind of vital quality a fighter can’t be sure they possess until they are called to display it.

For a fighter who cut their teeth on the white collar circuit, winning a Lonsdale belt is a tremendous achievement but the way Wardley stepped up to the the plate against Gorman hints that he may not have hit his ceiling. The biggest challenge may be putting the brakes on Wardley. He will want to continue pushing on but he doesn’t need to be leaping into European class just yet. Wardley has proven himself to be a heavyweight with potential and has plenty of time to continue learning.

FRAZER CLARKE – 5-0 (4 KO’s)

British heavyweight boxers

Clarke is the most accomplished of the new breed of heavyweights but he is also the oldest and his progress is the most frustratingly slow for the simple reason that we already know Clarke can fight. At 31, Clarke is hardly studying retirement plans but was talented enough to win an Olympic bronze medal and competed successfully at the highest level of the amateur sport for years.

It was anticipated that he would be matched ambitiously and aggressively to make up for lost time. Matching heavyweights is one of the most difficult tasks in professional boxing. Match him too softly and learning fights become blowouts and nobody – fans, coaches or the fighter themselves – learns anything. Match them too tough and a potential gravy train can be derailed before it really leaves the station. Clarke has been vocal about wanted to kick on and this year we may just see him rise to the head of this particular class.


British heavyweight boxers

Dacres is the dark horse of the group. At the moment, the unbeaten 6ft 5in tall 29-year-old has a lower profile than many of his counterparts but is steadily establishing himself as a solid future contender.

Dacres passed the Kamil Sokolowski test in just his third fight but had to work for every second of a ten round decision over Argentinean warhorse Ariel Bracamonte last time out. Having boxed for team GB and fought in the prestigious World Series of Boxing this fighter has an abundance of talent; he just needs to fully figure out how to transfer those skills to the professional side of the sport.

Dacres fights the unbeaten Robert Ismay for the English title in a couple of weeks in a sensible and meaningful fight. Dealing with the expectation and added pressure of that first title fight is an important hurdle for any prospect to overcome.

JOHNNY FISHER – 7-0 (6 KO’s)

British heavyweight boxers

Fisher has quickly created one of the biggest fanbases in British boxing. His career has been played out on a large promotional platform but experience-wise, he started out at the bottom, having only four amateur fights. Although boxing was always a part of his family, he spent far more time on the rugby pitch than in the ring. Fisher is big, strong and enthusiastic and still raw but improving. He seems to hit hard – a crucial quality for a successful heavyweight – but is a work in progress.

Fisher is only 23 years old and he has shown a willingness to further his education by sparring a who’s who of British heavyweight boxing over the past couple of years. His trainer, Mark Tibbs, will know exactly which path to chart to ensure Fisher goes as far as his talent will carry him. That fanatical support will also help to ensure he isn’t thrown into too difficult a fight too soon.

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