Following Carl Froch’s lopsided points defeat by Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six tournament, it is now safe to say it has been a miserable year at world level for British Boxing.
We now have just Nathan Cleverley and Ricky Burns (albeit Interim) who hold belts on the world stage.
The result was not seen as a shock with Ward a heavy favourite, coming into the fight unbeaten and significantly always fought on home turf. But the fact remains that Froch never really got himself into the position to really rough up his opponent on a consistent basis and take him ‘into the trenches’. By Froch’s own admission he (Ward) was too slick on the night.
There had been talk beforehand about Ward’s punching power (or lack of), but with the speed he employed for the first ten rounds of this contest it’s safe to say it shouldn’t be an issue in future fights.
I’d still like to see Ward fight Andre Dirrell, as I believe his switch-hitting style can cause him problems and I also think Dirrell carries more power in his punches.
But what for the Brits now? Amir Khan was dethroned last weekend by Lamont Peterson, David Haye retired after a dour performance against Wladimir Klitschko, with Darren Barker, John Murray and Matthew Macklin all failing in world title attempts.
Is this now reality check time for our fighters? Do we need to be based across the pond to compete with what is being offered there?
In some cases it would be good idea, certainly Khan will remain stationed in America for a possible rematch with Peterson or to start his rebuilding job, with Macklin now based stateside and slated to face Sergio Martinez next year.
Haye claims a summer showdown with Vitali Klitschko could happen if he takes care of another Brit Dereck Chisora (in March), but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one, or a Haye victory if it did happen.
On a more positive note, expect Cleverley to be given a big push next year as WBO Light Heavyweight champ and look at taking on the likes of Chad Dawson, Bernard Hopkins (after their rematch of course) and Jean Pascal.
Ricky Burns can also expect a major payday with fights against Kevin Mitchell or Juan Manuel Marquez if he can keep up his astonishing momentum over the past 18 months.
Are there any other fighters who can break onto the world scene and make an impact though?
‘Special K’ Kell Brook needs to get into the World title stratosphere over the next 12 months to take advantage of the head of steam built up since moving to Eddie Hearn’s camp. He took care of Luis Galarza in his US debut last night, and had talked about a showdown with Khan but with his lack of titles this may prove a harder sell. There is no doubt he has talent, but he needs to face quality opposition and not human punchbags to show how far he can go.
Martin Murray also surprised many with his draw against Felix Sturm in Germany, and he can certainly mix it with that calibre in 2012. Coincidentally it was Sturm who controversially outpointed Macklin earlier in the year despite a poor performance.
Tony Bellew showed a lot of maturity in his close points defeat to Cleverly and could get a shot a the European Light Heavyweight title before looking at world level again.
Unless Chisora can produce a massive upset and dethrone Vitali Klitschko, the heavyweight scene looks bare for the foreseeable, with Tyson Fury looking more erratic every fight, and David Price not given the push yet to mix it in higher levels.
Still we always have the return or ‘redemption’ as he says of Audley Harrison in 2012, isn’t that just enough to keep you glued to your screens right?