British boxing suffered little in 2021, with world champions such as Anthony Joshua, Josh Warrington, Terry Harper and Kid Galahad losing their world titles.
But a handful of stars like Maxi Hughes, Savannah Marshall, Leigh Wood and Sunny Edwards have grabbed the limelight with spectacular wins and performances.
But some of the best bouts don’t always result in a world title, a flawless performance, or even a packed stadium.
Up and down the UK, there are great bouts every weekend for field titles, English and British honors and good old bragging rights.
We’ve seen the underdogs spring wonder, itinerants refuse to be beaten, sparring companions become stars and distant corners get the result.
But some of the best matches require almost no results. There are times when the brave loser gets away with equal credit and respect.
There have been chess matches and all-out wars that have covered both men with blood and glory.
It’s been tough but SunSport tries to narrow it down to a handful of the best of 2021:
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Tyson Fury Vs Deontay Wilder 3 – October 9 – Las Vegas
Fight fans of this generation often feel robbed of the old glory days of Rumbles in the Jungle, Thrills in Manilas and Brawls in Montreal, but it’s a great throwback and a reminder of just how great the sport can be.
Both men were tied 2-2 for the journey to the canvas, somehow dragging their massive and broken bodies back to their feet a total of four times.
And then the Gypsy King went to the well once again to topple Wilder and retain his WBC crown and confirm his name at the top of the pile.
Wilder redeemed himself, Sugar Hill Stewart’s thrilling cornerwork later emerged as a bonus and reminded everyone why these guys – the heavyweight champions of the world – are at the peak of all sports.
Troy Williamson vs Ted Cheeseman – 9 October – Liverpool
If the Bermondsey Brave Cheeseman is now retired at age 26, to enjoy a handsome young family and varied professions, he leaves behind a stellar job that any fighter would be proud of.
The Tony Sims-trained ace went through back-to-back wars with Asinia Byfield, Sergio Garcia, Kieron Conway, Scott Fitzgerald, Sam Egington, JJ Metcalf and finally Williamson – all in the space of three breath-taking years.
His record from that amazing run reads WLDLWWL but everyone deserves to go back and watch again.
The seventh round of this barnstormer was unbelievable as both men took the bar of punishment but remained straight.
But Williamson – who bravely went to Cheeseman’s promotion and broadcaster – violently ejected him from the left hook in Round 10.
Joe Joyce vs Carlos Takam – July 24 – London
The 36-year-old Juggernaut was supposed to enjoy a fine tune-up fight against the teak-tough slugger, who had lost to Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora, but it turned out to be a hellish affair.
Joyce’s famous granite chin was tested multiple times for five opening rounds before landing and winning a contest stoppage.
It lacked the spectacle of Fury versus Wilder 3 and the bloody chess match of Williamson and Cheeseman, but the copper box was filled with gasps and groans as all UK fans worried he was going to blow up his lofty rankings in a surprise reversal. Is.
Of course the snow-soaked Putney Giant reassured everyone that everything was under control after that.
Sam Egington vs Bilal Jakitou – September 10 – Coventry
This spectacular Midlands ruck wouldn’t look out of place at Madison Square Garden or MGM, Las Vegas.
Mick Hennessy put on a thrilling headliner that was so popular, it was played in a local cinema shortly after.
Eggington – still only 28 – already has nearly three career years’ worth of contenders and he once again went to war with the unknown French.
After 12 rounds of relentless middleweight action, Broomey won in a split decision.
It was a reminder that Hennessy — who usually has to play third for Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren — can still throw a great ball when he has the right dance partners.
Anyone who saw the first clash will definitely support the rerun of Channel 5 in 2022.
Jack Cullen Vs Avni Yildrim – July 31 – Essex
The Turkish middleweight had experience of previous defeats to Chris Eubanks Jr. and Canelo Alvarez, so was the heavy favorite to travel to the UK and defeat the Englishman.
Little Livers Meets Cleaver – the man with the North Face tattoo on his shoulder after a state of intoxication – didn’t stand for it though.
A sumptuous rabble of Cullen’s friends and family paid £750 per ticket to appease their local legend.
And he paid them off with a great performance to win the wide on all three cards.
The 28-year-old Beanpole is one of Britain’s must-see boxers as he has been in great fights alongside John Harding Jr., Felix Cash, Jack Chely, John Docherty and Yildrim.
Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora - December 18 – Manchester
After a lukewarm points win for the New Zealander after the first installment last May, few wanted to see these two middle-aged millionaires swapping trash talk and punches all over again.
But 37-year-old British ring icon Chisora displayed a scintillating display of courage to survive on three counts and still end the fight on her feet and swung for the rafters.
The 29-year-old Parker, packed with 10lbs more muscle than the first struggle, landed a hat-trick of sick uppercuts that Del Boy couldn’t deal with.
One turned Finchley Ace on his knees and the other two roped him back into the ropes where Howard Foster gave him eight seconds to recover.
In fact, Parker is nowhere close to a world title, with Tyson Fury, Alexander Usik and Dillian White tying him for at least a few years.
So it just goes to show how proud the two men are for fooling each other and then sharing the five-boy burger Chisora bought for backstage.
He will be missed when the Zimbabwe-born warrior retires and it is unlikely we will ever see his likes again.
Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas – May 1 – Manchester
Nine years after these two, at the London 2012 Olympics, with Irish icon Taylor winning the gold medal, the pioneers met again as professionals.
Taylor kept his four lightweight world titles and undisputed position on the line while Liverpool’s Jonas sought revenge.
Over ten great rounds – sadly only two minutes long in the women’s code – we saw constant nip and tuck action.
Jonas fired big shots, Taylor scored more accurate points.
Eventually the judges scored it 96-94, 96-95 and 96-95 in the vacant arena.
It wasn’t elite women’s boxing, it was just elite boxing.