The countdown is on to Saturday night’s crunch cruiserweight clash between domestic rivals Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew and we for one can’t wait!
The world title ambitions of both the Welshman (evens to win on Saturday) and the Liverpudlian (5/6) are on the line at the Liverpool Echo Arena with the winner expected to go and fight for the top honours in the division.
But with a stacked card on Merseyside, and another huge night of boxing in London on November 29, there are plenty of other British fighters, including James DeGale, George Groves, Billy Joe Saunders and Dereck Chisora, whose dreams of world title glory are firmly being tested.
Here Oliver Yew picks out five names who have the potential to go on and be crowned world champion following their crunch clashes in the coming weeks…
Chunky is the current mandatory for Carl Froch’s IBF super-middleweight title and with the Cobra’s future plans up in the air, it looks like DeGale will be fighting for the vacant title early next year.
But first the 2008 Olympic gold medallist puts all that on the line against Marco Antonio Periban in Liverpool.
The 28-year-old is the overwhelming 1/8 favourite to beat his Mexican opponent but the Londoner cannot afford to take his eye off the ball against a lively challenger.
DeGale has the class to succeed though and our money is for him to fulfil his dream by becoming the first British Olympic gold medallist to win a world strap.
The unbeaten heavyweight’s world started to collapse when David Haye pulled out, not once, but twice from a huge domestic heavyweight showdown.
Those cancellations were huge setbacks to the 26-year-old’s world title ambitions but now he is just one step away from a shot at world heavyweight king Wladamir Klitschko.
Standing in his way is British rival Dereck Chisora but the Manchester fighter is 4/11 to pick up a second career victory over the 30-year-old.
Ladbrokes News are backing Fury for a routine win in London but he’ll need all the luck in the world facing the toughest assignment in world boxing against Dr. Steelhammer!
Great Britain’s great heavyweight hope! It’s a good job the 2012 Olympic gold medallist is built like an Adonis because he is carrying the nation’s hopes for a new British world heavyweight champion firmly on his shoulders.
But rightly so in our opinion as AJ has all the attributes to succeed and that is backed by none other than the current undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Wladamir Klitschko.
There’s still a long way to go though and a number of domestic tests along the way in David Price, Chisora and Fury, but Joshua, who is 6/4 to become a world champion before 1st January 2017, can follow in the footsteps of Lennox Lewis and go all the way to the top.
Chris Eubank Jr
Bad Blood is the name of the Frank Warren show at the ExCel Centre on November 29 and it certainly exists between Chris Eubank Jr and Billy Joe Saunders.
The pair’s grudge clash is capturing the public’s imagination and while the British, Commonwealth and European titles are on the line, the winner will certainly be in line for a shot at the WBO world title.
Saunders, who represented Team GB at the Beijing Olympics, is rightly the favourite for this clash but Eubank Jr – despite not being tested so far – looks to have something special about him.
And after the tales of sparring with the likes of super-middleweight king Carl Froch and his pretender James DeGale, the 25-year-old looks value at evens to beat Saunders and then go on to emulate his esteemed father as a world champion.
The Liverpudlian fighter is one of the most exciting prospects in world boxing but faces his toughest test on the undercard of Cleverly v Bellew II in the form of Nikola Sjekloca.
The Montenegrin has taken WBO world champion Arthur Abraham and former WBC word title holder Sakio Bika 12 rounds and this fight represents a huge step up in class for Smith.
But the 24-year-old is ready to announce himself on the world stage and this WBC super-middleweight title eliminator is the perfect step towards world honours.
Back the Scouse star at 8/15 with Ladbrokes to win by KO on Saturday and firmly put himself on the trail of WBC mandatory challenger George Groves and a world title shot.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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