As we move closer to yet another great domestic lightweight clash between Derry Mathews and Curtis Woodhouse I thought it was time we reviewed what is arguably the UK’s most competitive division.
Aside from Ricky Burns who can be classed as an elite level fighter, the rest of the division is wide open, each fighter in the top ten, on their day can beat the rest, take Anthony Crolla’s superb victory over the well fancied Gavin Rees in Bolton in June, for me, that result blew the division wide open, with Crolla now ranked highly by the WBO, does a shot at Burns appear likely? Ricky takes on Mexican Raymundo Beltran on the 7th of September and sports.bwin.com/en/boxing have him down as their favourite.
We also witnessed a great fight in Hull between Derry Mathews and Tommy Coyle, talking to Derry after the fight, he was honest enough to admit that Coyle was beating him soundly until “that punch” again this increased the competitiveness in the division with Tommy Coyle almost certain to bag another major title shot in the near future, what was clear from that fight is that Coyle belongs in that company and can be satisfied that his stock has risen considerably. Also, we were reminded yet again, that you can never write Derry Mathews off, if he is still standing, he is always dangerous
We can also add Curtis Woodhouse into the mix, his win over Joe Elfidh was more convincing than even I expected, Elfidh has proven durable in the past but was completely overwhelmed by the intensity of Woodhouse who looked quick, and powerful in his second fight at lightweight, the clash with Mathews now looks to be one that will leave boxing fans happy, neither takes a backward step and both respect each other massively, credit has to go to Eddie Hearn for getting this fight on Sky and of course to Dave Coldwell for making the fight.
Not to be forgotten is the current prize-fighter champion Terry Flanagan, who was superb when winning the tournament at the Olympia, since then he added the scalp of Nate Campbell on the Amir Khan undercard in Sheffield.
Martin Gethin will also be looking to defend his British title after losing his world title eliminator to Ammeth Diaz, there are certainly plenty of fighters in line for, and worthy of a shot at the moment. I would like to see Kevin Mitchell move along quickly now he is under the Matchroom stable and will have the opportunity to raise his profile once again with Sky.
We also have to remember that the talented John Murray is due to make a long awaited return, some 18 months after his loss to Rios, I’m personally excited about the return of Murray who will no doubt be challenging for domestic titles very soon.
Rendall Munroe has also moved up to lightweight with his next outing pencilled in for Doncaster in September. I look forward to seeing how he fairs at the higher weight.
Let’s not forget that Ricky Burns has no easy fight against Ray Beltran, who is underrated in my opinion, I would like to see some of the undoubted talent at Lightweight in the UK step up and challenge Burns sooner, rather than later.
What other British Lightweights do you admire and how do you see the division panning out?