With the main British boxing promoters Hearn and Warren both talking openly about the return of boxing coming in June or July this year, there have been common themes about their plans of action. Both men are looking to avoid scheduling their biggest fights without fans, having admitted that the first schedule fights are likely to be local affairs, starring some of Britain’s best but lesser-known stars.
These all-British fights would have been amazing for the boxing community had they been held while it was still possible for fans to attend. But even behind closed doors, the added exposure and lack of overshadowing talent will really throw a spotlight on some of the best British boxers.
Liam Smith vs Liam Williams – Middleweight
This fight would be a great clash, with the British Middleweight title on the line courtesy of Williams. Both men have great records with 20+ wins and 2 losses and 1 draw apiece.
While it’s unlikely to happen, with Smith eyeing a match with Kell Brook or Jessie Vargas, Williams specifically mentioned this fight on Twitter, “fed up of all these idiots saying they want this fight & that fight but none of them really do.. just saying it for the clout.. the fight I really want is @LiamBeefySmith 3.. and I know he’s a proper fighting man from a fighting family so I’m sure we can work something out!”. We certainly wouldn’t say no.
Chris Billam-Smith vs Nathan Thorley – Cruiserweight
Originally scheduled for July 7th but now postponed, Billam-Smith puts the Commonwealth Cruiserweight title on the line against Thorley. Both boxers have shown exceptional boxing IQ, great positioning, and the ability to box from the outside. Billam-Smith is the heavier puncher and more likely to stop the fight early, but this is by no means an easy fight for him.
Anthony Yarde vs Lyndon Arthur – Light Heavyweight
This was already confirmed on the Dubois – Joyce undercard. Sadly, with that having been postponed and Frank Warren ruling out the possibility of Dubois – Joyce happening without fans, it’s likely the Yarde – Arthur undercard fight will have to wait too.
However, with the current situation being what it is, and Warren looking to stage British-title level events as soon as possible to keep boxing running, the Yarde – Arthur fight would make a good headliner. An all-British light Heavyweight title fight would go down well with the UK’s starved boxing fans.
Both Yarde and Arthur are exciting fighters, fast and aggressive with fearsome power. Yarde has a single KO loss, to Sergey Kovalev, while Arthur is unbeaten. Yarde has the higher KO ratio of 90%, to Arthur’s 75%, but both men can end a fight early.
Yarde’s KO loss to Kovalev was close-fought, with the Brit putting on a world-class performance. He came close to stopping Kovalev in round 8, unleashing a string of devasting power-punches that found their mark, including four unanswered hooks to Kovalev’s temples which had the WBO champion struggling to keep his feet. Had he won the fight, a domestic matchup with Arthur would’ve been completely off the cards with Yarde taking the WBO belt and decisively elevating himself to the world stage.
Stylistically it’s a good matchup too, Yarde will look to take the fight directly to Arthur, will look to neutralize his opponent’s KO power by staying outside and working the ring. Ultimately we see Arthur being heavily outboxed and outpunched, but both men will likely respect each other’s abilities and opt to box smart. Yarde by KO in the middle rounds is the most likely outcome, but it’s still anyone’s fight and one we’re looking forward to.
Which all-British fights are you waiting on most? Let us know in the comments so we can cover them with future articles.