Also published in the Hartlepool Mail and Newcastle Chronicle
So how was 2015 for you?
The latest issue of esteemed fight magazine, Boxing News (Jan 7 2016) has its updated, end-of-year, British Ratings and there’s a healthy contingent of regional fighters within all bar two divisions (no middleweight or featherweight ranked fighters).
Fighting Chance fighters head up the two main divisions with Jone TK ranked 21 in the heavyweights and Jon-Lewis Dickinson ranked 7 in the cruiserweight class; both divisions have two further fighters keeping them company with TK joined by Tyneside duo Michael Dixon (33) and James Barnes (35). whilst Dickinson sees Sunderland’s Warren Baister (39) and fellow Fighting Chance fighter Paul O’Hagan (45) just about holding their own.
Light Heavyweight and Super Middleweight has good regional representatives with four apiece, the former consisting of Jonson McClumpha (10), Sam Best (34), Scott Westgarth (37) and Steve Cooper (49) all holding a top 50 spot; whilst the latter sees Andrew Buchanan (25), Jordan King (28), Richard O’Neill (54) and Danny Wall (57) included.
There’ll be confusion with the ratings however as Fighting Chance duo of Paul O’Hagan (inactive) and Andrew Buchanan (retired) have not appeared for some time. O’Hagan had his first bout in sixteen months (February) against Tony Cruise and was stopped in the third round whilst nursing injuries, and Buchanan, who retired towards the end of the year for medical reasons, has not fought since February’s six round win over Mark Till. There is also no light heavyweight placing for the recently retired Travis Dickinson.
The Super Welterweight and Super Lightweight divisions also hold three regional fighters apiece with low placings for Lewis Scott (41), Basi Razaq (79) and Billy Snaith (99) in the former, Snaith however has only recently made his professional debut so expect that to change somewhat this year; and Anthony Hardy (36) sandwiched between the Saunders brothers, Bradley (9) and Jeff (45) in the latter.
As with O’Hagan and Buchanan in the higher divisions there’ll be confusion surrounding the placement of Sedgefield’s Jeff Saunders. Most outlets are still registering him has having had four fights when he has inn fact had five, and won all five, with his last being an impressive four round success in South Africa against Willis Baloyi.
The welterweight division is the busiest with eight fighters currently battling it out, three of whom hold a top 35 slot in Glenn Foot (7), Lee Mould (22) and Robert Dixon (23). Outside of the top 50 there is the upcoming Area title clash duo of Tom Whitfield (68) and Daniel Cope (69) as well as the recently-returned Gary Fox (52), Sunderland’s Isaac MacLeod (65) and Cope’s stable-mate, Liam Cammock (88).
With no Featherweights in the regional the lighter weight classes still has a good body of fighters although Mark White (44, Super Featherweight), Stuart Hall (4, Bantamweight) and Anthony Nelson (4, Super Flyweight) are presently lone soldiers.
In the Lightweight division there are five fighters fronted by Teesside’s Cameroon Olympian, Abdon Cesar (26) alongside tough duo and fellow Area title combatants John Green (30) and Peter Cope (31), other fighters ranked in the division include Lewis Ritson (37) and Jordan Ellison (81).
The final two divisions sees the Ward’s, Martin (5) and Tommy (8) holding court in the Super Bantamweight, joined by Paul Gidney (23) and the lightest division, the Flyweight’s, has Thomas Essomba (5) and Gary Reeve (14).