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Boxing Analysis: British Cruiserweight Roundup

There have been some excellent fights in the world cruiserweight division in the recent months. The most important of which was the surprise victory of O'Neil Bell, who took the title of undisputed divisional champion away from the highly rated and favoured Frenchman Jean Marc Mormeck via a tenth round KO. But there has also been some major action in the UK, such as the recent thriller between WBU Champion Enzo Maccarinelli and British and Commonwealth kingpin Mark Hobson on the undercard of the Joe Calzaghe – Jeff Lacy unification bout. Both boxers produced a full showing of their armoury and Hobson, despite getting knocked down early on, recovered to take the fight to the Welshman and eventually lost a close decision after twelve action packed rounds. Just this past Friday, European Champion David Haye and Lasse Johansen provided an excellent fight for the fans, ending in the powerhouse Haye scoring a technical knockout in the eight round.

So now after recent events, the cruiserweight division appears to have laid weight to the claims that it is currently one of the most potential filled divisions in boxing, and the fights which have been made are certainly full of quality. David Haye, young and full of power at 25 years of age, has finally put the ghost of the Carl Thompson fight behind him, going eight rounds against Johansen and proving that he is a real contender for a world title. Haye is ranked fourth by the WBC and sixth by the IBF and WBA; surely a shot at one of those titles is not far away?

Next up is Enzo Maccarinelli, touted to be a future champion Maccarinelli's knockout ability and power are considered to be in the same class as that of David Haye. Also, as we saw against Mark Hobson, the WBU boss also has the heart of a warrior, although his chin may not be the greatest, and we will have to see if it can take the power of the major world champions yet. Maccarinelli is the WBO's number one ranked contender and will hopefully fight that organisation's champion Johnny Nelson in the near future.

Failing that, it's anyone's guess as to whom Haye and Maccarinelli will challenge for genuine world honour. Right now, current undisputed champion O'Neil Bell hold three of the four major belts and will certainly be a tough customer should either British slugger get their opportunity against him. With 26 wins (24 early) and only one loss along with a draw, Bell has certainly got the looks of a dominant champion on paper.

The other champion in the division is Brit Johnny Nelson, longtime holder of the WBO belt, of which Maccarinelli is the number one contender. Nelson is undefeated since 1995 but is also 39 years of age and currently out with a knee problem, which has left his future unclear.

In this division worldwide, there so many great fights that could and should be made. Throw in such quality men as Guillermo Jones, Dale Brown and the ageless Carl Thompson to the fighters already mentioned in this article and it should become clear as to just how deeply laden with talent the cruiserweights are at the moment. It is hoped that all of these fighters will face one another to really prove who the real champion is.

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