Boxers, Trainers & Pundits
Tony Bellew, Matthew Macklin, Johnny Nelson and Derry Mathews have their say
Last Updated: 12/10/18 4:34pm
Lewis Ritson takes centre stage in Newcastle on Saturday night, but who is the best lightweight in Britain right now? We put our pundits on the spot to select their Top Five…
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October 13, 2018, 7:00pm
The British scene is bustling at the minute and Ritson can claim European honours against Francesco Patera at the Metro Radio Arena, live on Sky Sports.
Former Olympian Joe Cordina is also soaring up the rankings, as Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla sit on the brink of world titles but, with Ricky Burns and Tommy Coyle also still well in the mix, who is leading the charge…
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1 – Luke Campbell
He’s the best of the British bunch. He put on a great performance against Jorge Linares and could’ve got it – it was very close. He boxed really well last time against Yvan Mendy as well.
Macklin on Campbell
2 – Anthony Crolla has had a great career and won a good fight against Ricky Burns. I think him and Campbell would be another great lightweight fight but I think ‘Cool Hand’ would have too much for him, especially at this stage of Crolla’s career.
3 – Lewis Ritson has looked really impressive in all his destructive performances at British title level. It’ll be interesting to see if he can walk through his opponents at European level in the same way, starting with Francesco Patera.
4 – Ricky Burns is another who has had a great career. A three-weight world champion, of course, means he is very experienced but I feel his best days are behind him now.
5 – Joe Cordina impressed me last time out against ‘Masher’ Dodd. He has good hand speed and variety. He isn’t the biggest puncher but is accurate and spiteful. It was a toss-up between Cordina and Tommy Coyle but I think Tommy’s fragility would let him down in a fight against him.
1 – Luke Campbell is on the up again. Mendy was a blip but he got his own back and although he is now under Shane McGuigan, I like a fighter who is ready to take himself away from home. He is committed and stays busy, too.
2 – Anthony Crolla
I love Crolla’s attitude and work ethic and although he is a little bit past his best, he is still good enough to be near the top.
Nelson on Crolla
3 – Lewis Ritson is very matter-of-fact, which will get him a long way. He just wants to fight and looking at him, I haven’t seen anything brilliant but all he wants to do is get the job done. He is also learning fight by fight.
4 – Joe Cordina could easily be third, because like Ritson he is growing and getting better and is a skillster. He loves the art of boxing and I love watching him display that. Give it a year and this top five could be completely different.
5 – Tommy Coyle has his limits but he knows that and all he cares about is maxing his ability and winnings. He’s always good to watch and will fight anyone – You’ve got to love Boom Boom.
1 – Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla sit alongside each other at the top. Campbell is just a quality operator, but Crolla is coming off one of the best wins of his career.
3 – Lewis Ritson is there on current form. Saturday night he becomes European champion in devastating fashion, in my opinion, and then we see where he goes from there.
4 – Joe Cordina
Joe could be the best of the lot. I rate Cordina highly, but he just needs the rounds and experience. I know he did 12 against Dodd, but he was in a low gear.
Bellew on Cordina
5 – Ricky Burns has enjoyed a fantastic career, a three-weight world champion for Scotland, and he gets all the credit in the world. We’ve all had our time, and Ricky has nearly had his.
1 – Luke Campbell is at No 1, because he battered me. He’s an Olympic gold medalist. To me, he’s the best. He’s got size, ability, and his boxing skills and punching power are top drawer.
2 – Lewis Ritson
Everyone who has been put in front of him, he’s dismantled with ease. Obviously he hasn’t boxed the likes of Crolla and Burns, but they are getting on a bit now. He’s the fresher, hungrier man.
Mathews on Ritson
3 – Tommy Coyle is third, going on recent form. The fighter he is, the spirit he’s got, and he loves big fights. Over the last couple of years, he’s always been in entertaining fights. On form, you’ve got to go with Coyle.
4 – Joe Cordina is the young hope. At the moment, I would keep him away from the likes of Ritson, let him go a different path, but I think he’s got superstar written all over him.
5 – Anthony Crolla beat Burns and has been at a higher level. He’s at the back end of his career now, but he’s still a top fighter. At the same time, there are up and coming kids, who are hungry and the likes of Ritson have got everything. I would like to see Coyle box Crolla. I’d really, really like to see that fight.
Watch Lewis Ritson’s European title fight against Francesco Patera in Newcastle, with Joshua Buatsi and David Allen, also on the bill at the Metro Radio Arena, Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.