British boxing took some knocks in 2021 with illustrious champions like Anthony Joshua, Josh Warrington and Terry Harper – hopefully temporarily.
Thankfully, there were dozens of UK-based fighters with fascinating performances and life-changing results to make up for the disappointments.
SunSport has tried to limit it to seven sensational appearances and has apologized to all the aces Trump faces in 2021.
Anthony Yarde vs. Lyndon Arthur – December 4th
Manchester’s Arthur threw a big surprise when he won a split decision over his light-heavyweight foe a year earlier.
There were lines about the rematch, contract disputes, ruckus about the rematch location, and threats between the two coaches.
When it came down to it, Yarde did everything he should have done in the first meet, sweeping away his nemesis within four rounds.
Arthur had no answer for everything that he and his corner hoped Yarde would try.
It was explosive and punishable, but also laxative to the beast of East London.
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David Avnesian vs Josh Kelly – February 20
The Nottinghamshire-based Russian was well overdue for an after-party with a high-profile dance partner and eye-catching results across Europe.
The Carl Greaves-trained welterweight had faced all the challenges and accused the big-name 147lbers of ducking him.
He got the right profile when he reached the European title and – after a few Covid-19 delays – the Kelly bout finally arrived.
Kelly was a 2016 Team GB Olympian, matchroom posterboy and Adam Booth-trained hunk, full of potential.
But a lot of boxing insiders felt that Ava was a sleeper who was capable of trouble despite being in the far corner.
But the savvy Armenian hardman systematically knocks Pretty Boy Kelly down, knocking him to the floor twice and leaving Booth in a pool of blood before pulling his bulldozer man out of the fire.
Felix Cash vs Denzel Bentley – April 24
The Tommy Sims-trained Cash was in an exciting behind-the-scenes fight with beanpole Jake Cullen in 2019, so there were question marks about his true potential.
Bentley – backed by Frank Warren and Beatty – was being tipped to kick from British level, so he lured Cash into his show and dumped him in the far corner – the grounds of an empty York Hall.
The general consensus was that it was a 50-50 fight that could ebb and flow and that judges were needed to divide them.
But Cash gets the script out of the hands of his hosts and brutalizes Bentley, who is thankfully fresh and bright enough to revisit in under just nine minutes.
It was a defining moment for Cash, who was hampered by injuries, and should be in a thrilling fight or major performance in 2022.
Sunny Edwards vs Moruti Mathlane – 30 April
Croydon’s Edwards had long lamented the lack of enthusiasm from domestic flyweight fighters to challenge him, so – when he earned his shot at the IBF world title without too much scrutiny – it looked like a big step forward. Was.
Mthalane was a seasoned champion and, rarely for such a light split, considered a dangerous KO puncture that had to be avoided at all costs.
But Edwards boxed beautifully, avoiding the KO artist and clearly enthusing him with enough combinations to score.
At times Edwards made the small ring of York Hall look like a football pitch with his expert movement, but he traded close and hit good punches to reach a unanimous decision.
And he proved it was no fluke by recreating a similar performance seven months later when he turned in an almost identical performance to UD Jayson Mama.
Sonny – the younger brother of former world champion Charlie – lacks driving force, but it makes his string of 17 wins all the more impressive as he has to concentrate fully for 36 minutes and never make an error. it occurs.
Leigh Wood vs Can Ju – July 31
When Leeds hero and former IBF Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington spent months chasing Can Ju for reunification, it was seen as a dangerous challenge.
China’s WBA boss was a relentless pressure fighter and the undefeated Warrington has to be very careful.
So when Eddie Hearn lured Xu to the UK for a warm-up fight in his Essex backgarden against Nottingham Wood, something outside Ben Davison’s gym gave the Englishman a chance.
What emerged from the heavy-handed Britain was a one-sided boxing clinch, which looked like the judges in the form of Xu would need, to his credit, a swift take.
But Wood found another gear in 12th to take off another Arsenal and force a life-changing longshot stoppage.
In 2022, the match with Ireland’s icon Mick Conlan will be a firecracker.
Josh Taylor vs Jose Ramirez – May 22
World Boxing Super Series Super-Light King dreams of emulating his hero Ken Buchanan and becoming the undisputed world champion.
The fantasy involved a packed stadium full of all the friends and family who supported him and a hellish blood and guts battle that would lead him to the depths of despair before reaching the top of the world.
Sadly he got neither.
The brutal COVID-19 travel restrictions meant he traveled to Las Vegas with a handful of his teammates to take on the Mexican-American WBO and WBC champions and their huge crew.
And the fight never threatened to turn into a classic as the Tartan Tornado simply blew up its opponent.
Taylor ticked so many boxes, she confronted Ramirez’s Twitter troll manager, who was scorched in the California sun, standing up for every old trick she encountered as a touring fighter, He got right in the face of Ramirez and then bested him in every department to score two knockdowns. And a detailed UD.
Maxi Hughes vs Jovanni Staffan – September 4th
Before 2021, featherweight was most famous for being the sparring partner-cum-painter-and-decorator of southeast Josh Warrington.
But the brilliantly modest underdog has enjoyed a life-changing five-fight winning streak, culminating in the IBO World Lightweight title win against Straffon.
It may not be one of the Big Four belts, but it is still a great achievement for 31-year-old Hughes.
Now in his record are the skulls of Jono Carroll, the Kazakh Viktor Kotochigov, Paul Hyland, the dangerous Mexican banger Straffon.
Hughes was perfect at Headingley, slipping shots and consistently pitting against the heavy favorites.
In trademark self-deprecating fashion, Hughes has since offered to move to the US and Australia to offer ‘easy’ fights to champions Devin Haney and George Combos.
And every British boxing fan hopes that this darling fellow’s Cinderella story has a few more chapters.