A glimpse back at what made the British boxing headlines in 2008.
The year saw the best and then the last of Joe Calzaghe, who was grabbing the main headlines after defeating Bernard Hopkins in April before going on to out-point another ring legend in Roy Jones Jnr. Before calling time on his illustrious 46 fight unbeaten career.
Calzaghe decided that he wouldn’t risk his legacy by continuing to fight on against the likes of Chad Dawson and fellow British super middleweight Carl Froch, who were calling Calzaghe out to face them at the time. Froch has gone on to replace Calzaghe as our leading world super-middleweight. Leaving the question of just what would have happened if they had faced each other in 2009?
It was the year David Haye knocked out Enzo Maccarinelli in the second round at cruiserweight to add the Welshman’s WBO world strap to his own WBC world title.
Haye then moved up to heavyweight and beat Monte Barrett in the November, on what was the start of his quest to join Evander Holyfield as a cruiserweight and then heavyweight champion, this year will see if Haye can match Holyfield’s amazing achievements of being the two weight undisputed champion, when he takes on the Klitschko brothers in 2011.
Joe Calzaghe Vs Roy Jones Jnr.
Ricky Hatton came back to the ring in May, after his loss to Floyd Mayweather the previous year. Hatton fought Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium, before a crowd of over 50,000 fans roaring the Mancunian warrior to a hard fought 12 rounds decision, the fight being the championship distance for the IBO light-welterweight title. Hatton went on to defend the title in Las Vegas in November via a 11 round KO against Paulie Malignaggi, to round off a great 2008 for the hitman and British Boxing.
Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi
Amateur boxing in Britain was and still is thriving. With the Beijing Olympics coming up, British boxing had it’s strongest team of talented fighters ever.
James DeGale went on to win the Gold medal at middleweight, whilst heavyweight David Price and light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries claimed a bronze each.
Khalid Yafai, Joe Murray, Bradley Saunders and Billy Joe Saunders, failed to make it into the latter stages of the tournament and Frankie Gavin had to withdraw from the games, because he failed to make the weight.
At the 2008 Boxing Awards Luncheon. The British Boxing Board of Control, BBBofC, presented their yearly awards to –
Boxer of the Year 2008 was Joe Calzaghe.
Presentation of the Special Award (for services to boxing) to Former Star Referees John Coyle and Larry O Connell.
Presentation of Exceptional Award to David Haye, World Cruiserweight Champion and John Conteh Former World, British, European and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion.
Dean Powell and Frank Maloney accepted the Contest of the Year Award on behalf of Kevin Mitchell and Carl Johanneson
Presentation of Exceptional Award to Bernard Hart by John Morris Bernard Hart, Lonsdale International Sporting Club, John Morris, Former General Secretary British Boxing Board of Control.
Presentation of Overseas Boxer of the Year to Timothy Bradley Jnr. of the USA.
Presentation of the Sportsmanship Award to two of the participants in the Prizefighter Tournament April 2008 Alex Ibbs and David Dolan.
Presentation of the Dennie Mancini Trophy to former World and Commonwealth Featherweight Champion Azumah Nelson.