British heavyweight boxing is in a good place at the moment, with WBC world champion Tyson Fury at the top of the tree.
Anthony Joshua will attempt to regain his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles against Oleksandr Usyk later this year, while Dillian Whyte will no doubt be looking to get back in contention after his defeat to Fury.
Joe Joyce is another top-level contender, and Dereck Chisora, Daniel Dubois and Hughie Fury all have more to give. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the future, but let’s take a look back at the five best all-British heavyweight fights in history.
Frank Bruno v Lennox Lewis
There’s an obvious place to start, and that’s the 1993 Battle of Britain clash between Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis. The bout was held at the Cardiff Arms Park in Wales, and the contest generated a level of excitement that has rarely been matched.
It was the first time two British-born boxers had fought for a world heavyweight title, and it was an intriguing match. Bruno was the fans’ favourite, and few fighters have ever matched the popularity of the Hammersmith hitter. Lewis was the WBC champion, the younger man and also the more skilled performer.
“True Brit” looked to take the fight to Lewis and had the Lion rocked in the third round. However, the West Ham man hit back and eventually stopped Bruno in the seventh round. The former National Stadium at Cardiff Arms Park has since been demolished, but the memories of the Bruno v Lewis showdown live on.
David Haye v Tony Bellew I
These two brits shared the ring twice, but it’s the highly-anticipated first fight that makes the cut. Tony Bellew had spent his career boxing at cruiserweight, whereas David Haye had transitioned to the heavyweight ranks and claimed the WBA title when beating Nikolai Valuev.
Both fighters were brilliant showmen outside of the ring, and true or not, that gave the impression of genuine hatred.
Haye was the heavy favourite for the contest, but the Haymaker’s home crowd were left stunned when Bomber stopped their man in the 11th round to land a 4/1 upset at the o2 in Greenwich.
Joe Bugner v Henry Cooper
Henry Cooper is best remembered for a pair of bouts against boxing’s greatest, Muhammad Ali. “Our ‘Enry” was at the end of his career when he faced a 21-year-old Joe Bugner in a 15-round bout for the British, European and Commonwealth belts.
It was a closely-fought fight, but Bugner was awarded the verdict, and it left Cooper so aggrieved that the Lambeth man retired on the spot.
Dillian Whyte v Tyson Fury
Moving to more modern times, Dillian Whyte challenged Tyson Fury for the WBC crown in April. Many observers believed that Whyte would give the Gypsy King plenty of problems in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans at Wembley.
The fight failed to live up to the billing, well the Bodysnatcher certainly did, and it was a comfortable night’s work for Fury.
Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora II
What Dereck Chisora lacks in skill, he makes up for in determination and grit, and the Finchley fighter is a worthy addition to the list. There’s a whole host of Del Boy’s fights to choose from, but his second clash with Tyson Fury gets the nod.
Chisora struggled to make an impact on Fury, and the fight was stopped in the tenth round. However, War would continue to cause problems later in his career, and Fury has since gone on to become the dominant force in heavyweight boxing.