13 Best British Boxers Ever
The universe of professional boxing has known several remarkable British boxers that have become real legends of this Olympic sport.
Whether they have shocked the audiences through their boxing techniques, work ethics, or invincible natures, these British athletes have definitely stolen the show during their impressive matches.
Our team of experts from CasinoAlpha has compiled a well-researched list based on the best British boxers of all time that have made history with their stellar careers.
|Boxer||Nickname||Years of professional activity||Weight classes|
|Joe Calzaghe||The Italian Dragon, The Pride of Wales||1993-2008|| |
|Duke McKenzie||No Nickname||1982-1998|| |
|Lennox Lewis||The Lion||1989-2003||Heavyweight|
|Chris Eubank||Simply the Best||1985-1998|| |
|Nigel Benn||The Dark Destroyer||1987-1996|| |
|Naseem Hamed||Prince||1992-2002|| |
|Amir Khan||Mr. Perfectionist||2005-Present|| |
|Carl Froch||The Cobra||2002-2014||Super-middleweight|
|Tyson Fury||Gypsy King, The Furious One, 2 Fast Fury||2008-Present||Heavyweight|
|Ricky Hatton||Ricky Hitman, Ricky Fatton||1997-2012|| |
|David Haye||The Hayemaker||2002-2018|| |
|Jack ‘Kid’ Berg||The Whitechapel Whirlwind||1923-1936|| |
Fans of boxing from all over the world can attribute the rules of modern boxing today to the UK, as they were written in London in 1865 and published two years later. That’s the start of all the best British boxers’ stories.
Joe Calzaghe (The Pride of Wales)
Joe Calzaghe fighter summary
|Titles||World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation|
|Victories with KO||32|
Joseph “Joe” William Calzaghe, born 23 on March 1972, is a former professional, one of the best British boxers of all time.
He competed between 1993 and 2008 and is currently the longest-reigning super-middleweight world champion in the whole boxing history.
He has held the WBO title for over 10 years after defending 20 rivals, which makes him one of the best British boxers of all time.
Did you know?
Calzaghe was nicknamed the “Italian Dragon”, due to his mixed heritage (the dragon being both a Welsh and Sardinian symbol).
A bit of background
He began his amateur boxing career at the age of nine, reportedly having an unofficial record of 110-10.
In his last match, held on 8 November 2008, he had made a spectacular comeback after two rounds of that game, when he came close to losing multiple times.
At the end of the match, the judges declared him a winner with 118-109.
The end of the career
On 5 February 2009, Joe Calzaghe announced he shall be retiring from professional boxing, finishing with a record of 46-0, which consecrated him as the 12th World Champion boxer.
He was later described as an Undisputed Champion by the best British boxers experts.
After his retirement, he has started his own boxing company that he named “Calzaghe Promotion”, partnering with his father, Enzo Calzaghe.
Get to know the athlete
|Titles||World Boxing Organization, International Boxing Federation|
|Victories with KO||20|
The former professional boxer was born on 5 May 1964, competing between 1982 to 1998.
The Englishman is a:
- Three-division world champion
- Two-division British champion
- European champion.
He ranks among the best British boxers of all time!
He has started his career when he was only 13, being trained by the famous Sir Philip Game ABC.
He made his professional debut in 1982 with a second-round stoppage win over Charlie Brown.
It runs in the family!
Duke hails from a much successful boxing family.
He became a three-weight World Champion after beating Jesse Benavides after 12 rounds.
He later became a four-weight champion after beating John Davison for the British Featherweight title.
He has decided to retire with a career record of 39-7, in 1993.
Transition from sports
After his retirement, he became a driving force Mind ambassador to promote good mental health.
According to him, this is his most rewarding job to date.
Lennox Lewis (The Lion)
|Titles||World Boxing Council|
|Victories with KO||32|
Lennox Lewis is a former professional boxer and currently works as a boxing commentator.
Born in London in September 1965, he has been a professional player between 1989 and 2003.
He has moved with his parents to Canada at the age of 12 but returned to his native country after winning the gold medal at Olympics.
His professional career started with a bang, winning the European Heavyweight title from Jean Maurice Chanet, as well as the British Heavyweight title from Gary Mason.
Moreover, the champion Riddick Bowe refused to fight him and preferred to vacate his belt.
Why is he on the best British boxers list?
Lewis was consecrated on the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009.
Highs and lows
The legendary boxer lost his belt in an unexpected KO defeat at the hands of Oliver McCall.
He later beat his adversary in TKO in a rematch, to regain his title.
He only decided to retire after beating every man he has ever faced in a match.
Chris Eubank (Simply the Best)
|Titles||World Boxing Organization|
|Victories with KO||23|
The British boxer had a reputation for being arrogant, flamboyant, and aloof among the general public, but he slowly gained popularity with the masses as he won several matches.
Less known facts
Despite being perceived as an upper-class snob, he spent his early life in absolute poverty.
Life & career
He had a tumultuous childhood, being suspended 18 times in one year from school, and then ultimately expelled.
His father convinced him to move to America, where he discovered a passion for boxing in the infamous South Bronx district of New York.
He had a stellar career beginning, winning his first 28 fights that fueled his professional career. He earned the WBC title in 1990, after defeating his opponent Reginaldo Dos Santos in 20 seconds.
He retired with a record of 45-5-2, being a never defeated Middleweight, and a World Champion for more than 5 years.
His son, Chris Eubank Jr., is a professional boxer, too.
Nigel Benn (The Dark Destroyer)
Nigel Benn facts
|Titles||World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council|
|Victories with KO||23|
Benn is a former professional, one of the best British boxers, who competed from 1987 to 1996, having an impressive amateur career with a 41-1 score.
A twisted nickname
He had the nickname “The Dark Destroyer”, which was plausible, as he earned world titles at two different weight classes.
He is considered to be one of the best British boxers among British boxing enthusiasts and international supporters.
In his early career, he succeeded to have 22 consecutive KO wins.
Champion vs. champion
His greatest rivalry was with the popular boxer, Chris Eubank. Benn was fundamentally more popular with the general public, though, adopting an image of a working-class hero.
Benn has been part of a PR scandal when he defended his opponent, the American Gerald McLellan in 1995.
After suffering multiple injuries, McLellan was transferred to the hospital with a blood clot in his brain and remains in a wheelchair to his day.
The Crying Hero
During one of his matches with Eubank, the Dark Destroyer was reduced to tears after being stopped by his adversary.
Most recent updates
After two failed attempts at earning the world title against Steve Collins, the boxer decided to put an end to his career.
He has entered into the World Boxing Council and the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013, being honoured together with Joe Calzaghe as the WBC’s greatest super middleweight winner in recent history.
Naseem Hamed (Prince)
|Titles||World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Council|
|Victories with KO||31|
Born on 12 February 1974, Naseem Hamed is a former professional boxer who competed between 1992 and 2002.
Being nicknamed “Prince” Naseem Hamed by the general public, he was especially renowned for being part of the best British boxers of all time in terms of entertainment.
During his career, he has made many spectacular appearances in the ring, which made him famous among the masses, who considered him to be one of the best British boxers of all time.
His unusual entrances included being carried to the ring on a palanquin, entering on a flying carpet, as well as reenacting the “Thriller” music video of Michael Jackson.
He has started his professional boxing career in 1992 and soon began rising through multiple racks, while knocking out several opponents, including Enrique Angelas and Juan Polo Pérez, both within just two rounds.
He had his last match in May 2002, against the European Champion Manuel Calvo.
The winning was declared as a unanimous decision
During an interview with BBC Radio, the boxer stated that his retirement was linked to having chronic problems with his hands, multiple fractures, and even surgery.
Amir Khan (Mr. Perfectionist)
Amir Khan quick facts
|Titles||World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation|
|Victories with KO||21|
Amir Iqbal Khan was born 8 December 1986 and is part of the current British boxers, working also as a promoter, and a philanthropist.
He is a former unified light-welterweight world champion, as well as a former WBC Silver welterweight titleholder.
The international public considers him to be one of the best British boxers of all time.
Early career achievements
He started his career at 17, winning an Olympic silver medal, followed by a professional world title earned at 22.
Until he became a professional player, he compiled an amateur record of 101-9.
Outside of boxing, he works at his own-established charity organization, the Amir Khan Foundation, as well as being a co-owner of India’s Super Fight League and Super Boxing League.
He is more of an underground boxer – widely loved by the international public, but mostly denied by his home country.
Turns out racism may play a factor in him not getting the level of approval the international masses may otherwise expect.
Carl Froch (The Cobra)
Career summed up
|Titles||World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation|
|Victories with KO||24|
Carl Martin Froch is a former professional boxer, who competed from 2002 to 2014.
Most important moments
He began his boxing career at the Phoenix ABC in Gelding, Nottingham.
During his amateur career, he has won two ABA middleweight titles and a bronze medal at the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
He fought the Canadian boxer, Jean-Pascal, for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title and won with a unanimous decision after twelve rounds.
Injuries that ruined everything
After the fight, the media revealed that Froch had a perforated eardrum and cracked rib in his final sparring session.
During a re-match with George Groves, Froch got his adversary pinned against the ropes and delivered a hard blow with his right hand that left Groves unconscious.
This punch was later named the “Knockout of the Year” by The Ring in 2014.
Froch passed down his legacy to his two sons – Connor and Harley, both becoming professional boxers.
Tyson Fury (Gypsy King)
Tyson’s main points
|Titles||World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization|
|Victories with KO||22|
Tyson Fury is among the current British boxers, being a two-time world heavyweight champion, earning the WBC and The Ring magazine titles.
During his career, he has represented both England and Ireland. Many consider him to be one of the best British boxers of all time.
He self-proclaimed himself with the nicknames of “Gypsy King”, as well as “The Furious One” and “2 Fast Fury”.
From passion to profession
Fury has won the ABA super-heavyweight title in 2008 when he defeated Damien Campbell.
He has made his professional debut at the age of 20 on 6 December 2008.
After winning this match, he decided to turn professional, as he felt “disillusioned” with amateur boxing.
His first professional match was held against the Hungarian fighter Bela Gyongyosi, who he defeated easily in the first round, using a fighting combination of head and body.
His career was also surrounded by lots of controversies based on some statements he made before becoming popular, including for having said that he would “hang” his sister if she ever became promiscuous.
Ricky Hatton (Hitman)
|Titles||World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization|
|Victories with KO||32|
Richard “Ricky” John Hatton is a former professional boxer from Great Britain, who took part in competitions between 1997 and 2012.
His own timeline
During his career, he held multiple world championships at light-welterweight and one at welterweight, which made him be part of several charts featuring the best British boxers of all time.
Hatton had a quite short amateur boxing career, that won him 7 British titles.
He represented his country at the 1996 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.
His elimination in the semi-finals caused an uproar from the public, as 5 judges awarded the match to Hatton, while the fifth judge gave the match to Hatton’s opponent by 16 points.
During his professional career, he reached his peak in 2005 by defeating Kostya Tszyu for the IBF, Ring, and all the lineal titles.
In 2011, he announced his retirement, only to come back in 2012 for his last match, which ended up in a loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko, which made him retire for good from sports.
Hatton is renowned for having a very loyal and vocal fanbase that travelled miles to see his matches. The main chant they used to encourage him was a modified version of “Winter Wonderland”, a popular Christmas song.
His first nickname, “Ricky Hitman” was given by his coach who told him: “Look at him, look how evil he is. He’s a little Hitman”.
He was also known as “Ricky Fatton” because he let himself gain significant weight when not training for a fight. He is considered to be one of the best British boxers of all time.
Anthony Joshua (A.J.)
|Titles||World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization, International Boxing Organization|
|Victories with KO||22|
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born on 15 October 1989 and is an active professional boxer from Great Britain, having held the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles from 2019 to 2021.
His knockout-to-win percentage stands at 91.67%, while the industry’s average for professional boxers is 63.64%
During his amateur career, he represented England in 2011 during the World Championships in the super-heavyweight division, which won him his first silver medal.
He also represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, which won him a gold medal. Due to his success, he decided to turn professional one year later.
Although widely loved by the public, he has been involved in several racism allegations, although having black heritage himself. The most prominent criticism was ignited after he called the heavyweight boxer Eddie Chambers a “disgrace to the superior black race” on his Instagram account.
A year after turning professional, he was named “Prospect of the Year” by The Ring magazine.
Forward to his victory over Wladimir Klitschko, he was named Fighter of the Year by the same magazine.
Moreover, BoxRec ranked him to be among the top 10 heavyweights in the world in 2014. At the beginning of 2017, he ranked as number one in the same chart.
David Haye (Hayemaker)
David Haye statistics
|Titles||World Boxing Association|
|Victories with KO||24|
Overview of the fighter
David Deron Haye is a British professional boxer that competed between the years 2002 and 2018.
Born on 13 October 1980, the boxer held several world championships in two weight classes. The general public considers him to be one of the best British boxers of all time.
Amateur days are over
During his early amateur career, he was the first British boxer to reach the final of the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2001, which won him a silver medal.
Haye’s amateur record was 83-13.
He decided to turn professional when he was only 22, in December 2002.
In 2008, he started to take part in heavyweight matches, winning the WBA title in 2009 after the defeating of Nikolai Valuev.
His winning was particularly impressive to the public since Valuev had an advantage of 23 cm in height over Haye, and 45 kg in weight.
As of September 2021, BoxRec declared Haye to be the 12th best British boxer of all time.
Jack 'Kid' Berg (The Whitechapel Whirlwind)
Old school data
|Titles||World Boxing Association|
|Victories with KO||61|
Jack ‘Kid’ Berg, born Judah Bergman, was a renowned English boxer from the East of London.
Between 1923 and 1936, he took part in 192 professional fights, which turned his boxing style into an inspiration for all aspiring boxers nowadays.
Career across The Pond
In 1931, he decided to move to America, where he won 64 out of the 76 matches, he held there.
He had the great opportunity of being coached by the famous Ray Arcel.
He had the nickname “The Whitechapel Whirlwind”, because of his combative fighting style, which was neither boxing nor punching.
Berg fought Tony Canzoneri in Chicago, in 1931, in a match that would bring controversy to his career.
Being the current champion of light welterweight, he denied being defeated in the fight, despite the decision of the jury, and continued to claim himself as champion.
His decision of retirement came in place in 1945, after he won his last two matches.
His brother Teddy was a boxer two, and the two siblings fought on the same bill in 1941.
After creating a top of the Best Female Boxers of All Time, we found it relevant to debate the subject of the most memorable British boxers that have left an eternal legacy to the world.
All the British boxers that were chosen for our list have taken the world by storm with their spectacular matches, which consecrated them among the best British boxers of all time.
They are celebrated by the sport’s fans and by the aspiring boxers altogether as being real-life inspirations towards chasing your dreams and never giving up.