The YouTube video I put together when I first started Southpaw Jab, of my personal top 10 K.O’s from British and Irish boxers, has recently had a lot of attention. The original article was published on Boxing Britain’s now defunct website back in 2015, and because there’s a lot to explain about my choices I thought I would just re-do my article again!
There were rules that I put upon myself when picking my favourites which were: I decided that I would have it as knockouts from boxers from the UK and Ireland only, and those knockouts favoured the guy I was backing in that specific fight (except for one fight, where I didn’t have a favourite, but I just couldn’t leave it off my list). Each fighter could only appear on this list once, too. So here it goes, my top 10 Knockouts from UK and Irish fighters:
10. Derry Matthews vs Tommy Coyle
This knockout is included just for its WOW factor. Matthews was behind by a country mile and all Coyle had to do was box his way to a significant win. But you could never count out “Dirty” Derry Matthews. On the ropes with Coyle attacking, Matthews connected with a counter out of nowhere and Coyle was out before he hit the canvas!
9. Tony Bellew vs Danny McIntosh
Bellew was coming off the first defeat of his professional career and had a point to prove. Prove it he did. McIntosh wasn’t just a journeyman for Bellew to get back to winning ways, he was a boxer with his own ambitions and if “Bomber” had taken him lightly it could have proved costly. Bellew had actually took a thumb to the eye just before he delivered the knockout, which I think made McIntosh dive in for an advantage that wasn’t there because Bellew connected with a brutal punch, leaving McIntosh in a heap on the canvas.
8. Michael Sprott vs Audley Harrison
There wasn’t much skill in this, both were wildly swinging at each other, but Sprott caught Harrison with a peach of a left hook, which sent the 2000 Olympic Gold Medallist sprawling to the canvas. I was at this event, and it was a brilliant atmosphere if not a brilliant fight. Harrison was booed to the ring and I’ve never seen a whole venue cheer when one guy was K.O’d in such a brutal fashion. I remember once Harrison had come to, he thought the fight was going to continue, where in reality Sprott had been celebrating for a minute or two already. Harrison did get a measure of revenge, knocking out Sprott for the European Title a few years later
7. Carl Frampton vs Kiko Martinez 1
Frampton was only a prospect when he got a crack at the then European champion Kiko Martinez. However he showed why he was actually the real deal when he stopped Martinez in the 9th round of this fight.
6. Carl Froch vs Lucian Bute
Before there was 80,000 at Wembley, before there was George Groves, before there was Froch Kessler 2: There was Froch vs Bute. Carl Froch was coming off a lopsided defeat to Andre Ward and many didn’t actually give him a chance against Bute. I thought if Froch was to win it would come in the late rounds. My friend I was watching with thought Bute would win within 5 rounds. (My wife actually called it spot on, and since then she thinks that makes her a boxing expert…)
Bute was considered the number one Super-Middleweight in the world and it was seen as an uphill task for Froch to win. In a fight where Froch seemed in the zone and where he proved why he has the nickname of the Cobra, Carl stalked and attacked his opponent with such viciousness that it made Bute look amateurish. When the end came Bute was done for, and Froch was again the champion of the world.
5. Andy Lee vs John Jackson
This gets the nod over Lee’s stoppage of Korobov just for its sheer one punch devastation. Lee was reeling backwards and looked to be on the verge of being knocked down himself when he delivered a peach of a short right hook that left Jackson on the canvas with no chance of getting back to his feet. Lee knew it was all said and done as he was celebrating seconds after he connected with the punch!
4. Kevin Mitchell vs John Murray
What a war. Both of these guys gave it their all in this fight. Mitchell was coming off his first loss and Murray was trying to prove that he was the best lightweight in the country. Mitchell was the underdog coming into the fight but he controlled the majority of it and if the 7th round had been a few seconds longer would have had his man out then. The stoppage, however, came in the 8th and it was brutal. Mitchell delivered a devastating left hook which floored the game Murray, who made it back to his feet just to ship three more hurtful shots before the ref stepped in.
3. Lennox Lewis vs Hasim Rahman 2
This was revenge. This was bringing the Heavyweight championship back to where it belonged. Rahman had caused one of the biggest upsets in modern Heavyweight boxing history when he knocked out Lewis in the first fight. There had been excuses made for Lewis saying that he hadn’t trained properly, as he’d been busy filming a fake fight vs Wladimir Klitschko for a film. In the rematch, though, he was on point. Lightning wasn’t going to strike twice for Lennox. When Lewis delivered the devastating left right combo that floored Rahman that was all she wrote. Rahman tried to make it to his feet but couldn’t and Lewis was once again the Heavyweight Champ!
2. David Haye vs Enzo Maccarinelli
This was billed as a 50/50 fight. The first to connect with their power punch would put the other to sleep. Haye was the WBA/WBC and the Ring Cruiserweight Champion of the world, and Maccarinelli was the WBO Cruiserweight Champion. Another fight I watched at home with my friends, some of whom were backing the Warren hyped Maccarinelli; others (including me) were backing the Hayemaker. It didn’t take long for the argument to be settled as Haye destroyed Maccarinelli in the second round to add the WBO crown to his WBA and WBC belts.
1. Ricky Hatton vs Jose Luis Castillo
I remember watching this fight live. If I’m right it was shown on Setanta Sport over here in the UK and me and my mate stayed up to watch it. My overwhelming support for Hatton never had me doubting the outcome of this fight, but what made it so good was the relentless attacking to the body by Hatton. When he finally floored Castillo with his trademark left hook, it sent Castillo into a twirl before he took the knee. Hatton has gone on record to say he deliberately went to the neutral corner where he could make eye contact with Castillo just so he could give him the eye and let him know that was just the start of the punishment IF he got up. He didn’t and Hatton retained his IBO Light-Welterweight crown
Well there you have my top 10 knockouts from UK and Irish fighters. Comment on Facebook or tweet us what your best K.O’s are, I want to see the best knockouts so comment away!
In case you haven’t seen it, here is the vid!