British boxing is in its golden age, a period where a host of British boxers are in the peak of their careers, many being world champions and yearning for greater things. Yet despite this excitement, we are yet to see the big British match-ups, the match-ups that we crave as boxing fans.
The narrative of boxing has thus far been dictated by 'potential' British match-ups without the match-ups being made a reality, a farcical show of build-up with no end product. It is time we steered the narrative towards making these British contests a reality.
Within boxing, there are British rivalries across multiple divisions, however we are yet to determine who the best British fighters in these divisions are, yet alone in the world. The British title has been strung into insignificance, and instead the big money promise of fights with foreign boxers, have lured these fighters away from what we as British boxing fans should expect.
The two rivalries in particular which I am referring to is the probable Super-Bantamweight match-up between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, and the probable yet unlikely Welterweight match-up of Amir Khan and Kell Brook.
Why haven't these fights happened yet?
Well, the reason is that it is in neither fighter's interest. They are quite comfortable setting up their own fights that suit them, the big money fights with foreign boxers rather than testing themselves against each other.
In the past, British match-ups like these would go ahead with gusto, to satisfy the longing for an outright British champion. Yet multiple belts and titles have meant that certain great fighters never get to meet, because they target their own pathways with individual belts, with very few challenging for more. What is established is an uncertainty over who really is the best boxer, when so much is said about their ability, their pedigree as champions and leading contenders in their division.
This is in the case of Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg. Much is said about Carl Frampton's boxing ability, an all round fighter, undefeated in 21 fights and managed by the great Irish boxer Barry McGuigan. Yet Barry would rather bubble-wrap his fighter, set him on his own course rather than accept the bout that would test his ability further, the bout which all boxing fans want to see, a domestic clash against fellow Brit, Scott Quigg, unbeaten in 33 fights since turning pro in 2007. The fact that neither of these great boxers can call themselves the best in Britain let alone the world is a shame. They need to fight each other to rest this case.
Another aspect of disappointment is Amir Khan's avoidance of Kell Brook. Mayweather Jr may choose never to fight either of them, because that is his choice, Brook and Khan should stop dreaming about a fight with Mayweather Jr and focus on each other, neither of them have long left in the prime of their careers, yet both remain two of the most gifted British fighters to fight in the division.
It is time we found out who is the best fighter. I would say it is in Khan's interest to try and inflict a defeat on a fighter who has remained unbeaten in 35 fights. Brook's formidable record means that pound for pound he is the best around, not Khan.
British boxers should decide who the best in Britain is, then take on the world. We can't have two world class boxers reach the end of their career without fighting one another.
It would be equally good to see a domestic clash in the Super-Middleweight division between George Groves and James DeGale, two big name fighters in British boxing. Yet this prospect continues to diminish, with Groves having lost to Badou Jack. I believe Groves would be a stern test for James DeGale and I think, should a domestic bout ensue, it would establish which of these fighters is best.
Another fight I would like to see happen is a rematch in the Bantamweight division between Jamie McDonnell and Lee Haskins, McDonnell having been beaten by Haskins before. I think should McDonnell, a fighter with so much ability, win a rematch against Haskins, he would show significant pedigree as a fighter who is able to bounce back and would be a worthy contender for the WBC and WBA titles.
Scores need to be settled, we need to find out who the best boxers in Britain are, before they become world contenders, before they become greats.