To say that the UK fight game is in the middle of a re-birth would be an understatement. Add to that the fact that we have two bona fide pound for pound top ten fighters in Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe only helps to cement this fact.
UK fight fans haven’t had it this good in years and it’s set to go from strength to strength with the likes of Olympic Silver Medallist and probably the hottest global prospect Amir Khan and cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli set to storm the US via HBO in the new year with HBO stating that they will give Khan the maximum exposure they possibly can stateside.
Amir khan has potentially the biggest appeal of any UK fighter ever to grace the US with his lightning fast hand and footspeed, deadly accuracy and Ali-like ring generalship.
Khan is already one of the most recognizable faces in UK sport, a status helped by his participation in advertising campaigns for both Reebok and Harrods. Add to this the fact that he is a British born Muslim who proudly wears the British flag on his shorts, accounting perhaps 30% of his selling strength in this day and age, and his marketability becomes even more obvious, definitely one to watch in 2007!
2007 is set to be a huge year for UK fighters and fans with Hatton fighting in January stateside and Calzaghe set to follow later in the year with a super fight against possibly Jermaine Taylor or Bernard Hopkins, two fights that are well within him to win.
Hard hitting cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli should feature on the undercard of either of these mouthwatering Calzaghe matchups after his first round win over Mark Hobson on the undercard of Joe's recent battle with Sakio Bika.
But with the amount of politics surrounding boxing these days, sadly the super fights we all crave may simply fail to materialize. In my opinion, that would be tragic for the sport in it's quest to evolve and stay popular worldwide as there really are some incredible matchups between UK and US fighters to be made, some of which would undoubtedly go down in history as truly legendary fights.
Domestically, the UK fight scene is extremely healthy with cruiserweight David Haye’s November world title eliminator against Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni at London’s legendary York Hall set to be a belter of a fight and a real grudge match as Haye lost heavily to Fragomeni as an amateur several years ago.
Haye incidentally will be guaranteed a shot at O’Neil Bells WBC title if victorious and is another fighter with huge KO power and appeal at cruiserweight.
The much anticipated showdown between WBO Featherweight title holder Scott Harrison and Nicky Cook in December is sadly still in the balance with Harrison hoping to be released from a Spanish Prison on bail for allegedly attempting to steal a car and assaulting a police officer.
Hopefully, Harrison will get bail and make the deadline set by his promoter to fight Cook, which promises to be a great matchup. But if Harrison fails to fight Cook, the WBO will strip him of his belt and looks almost certain to hand it to Mexico’s interim champion Juan Manuel Marquez.
Summing up, these are probably the most exciting UK fighters at present and the ones who’s style would most suit the US audiences, so lets hope that between the TV companies, promoters, managers and fighters that some common ground can be found in order to bring these potential super fights to our screens in 2007! Box on!