Boxing Prospects From The UK That We Think Can Be Household Names In The Next Few Years
The future of the sport in the UK is looking bright. With four ‘big’ promoters on four different platforms, fights almost every weekend, and a host of prospects that should see the British scene climb to new highs over the next decade. In part one of this two-part series we’ll showcase some of the future stars in the heavier weight classes.
Heavyweight (200+ lbs) – Moses Itauma (1-0, 1KO)
18-year-old Moses Itauma is one of the most highly touted prospects that this country has ever seen. Unbeaten as an amateur, winning multiple international youth titles along the way, Moses was highly sought after.
The 6’5 southpaw signed with Frank Warren’s Queensberry in January and made his debut as chief support on the Beterbiev vs Yarde show. The talk of beating Mike Tyson’s record of youngest Heavyweight Champion ever seems like a tall order, but Itauma certainly seems the most likely man to break it since Iron Mike set it in the 80s.
Itauma will be back out on the 25th of March, in Telford on the undercard of Nathan Heaney vs Jack Flatley 2 live on BT Sport.
Cruiserweight (200lbs) – Viddal Riley (8-0, 5KOs)
Riley will be most known for being the former boxing trainer of YouTuber KSI, however, the former West Ham ABC representative is much more than just a social media star. 25-year-old Riley had a stop-start beginning to his professional career, fighting in Mexico, The US, and The UAE in his first four outings.
The 6’1 boxer-puncher has since found a home with Ben Shalom and BOXXER, fighting live on Sky Sports. Despite not really achieving anything so far in eight professional fights, Riley has a tremendous amateur pedigree, holding wins over current WBA regular Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Dubois and former British, Commonwealth, and European Cruiserweight champion, Chris Billam-Smith.
Light Heavyweight (175lbs) – Ben Whittaker (2-0 2KOs)
Ben Whittaker had been talked about in high regard by the British boxing fraternity even before the Tokyo Olympics. Whittaker claimed the silver medal at the games and was at the centre of a bidding war between all of the major promoters in the UK, as well as some interest from America.
Whittaker eventually inked a deal with BOXXER, and made his debut last summer in Bournemouth, getting an impressive stoppage. ‘B£NZ0’ followed this up with a points victory on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2, in Saudi Arabia. Whittaker has since been out with injury and is expected to return and fight for titles this year.
Super Middleweight (168lbs) – Callum Simpson (10-0 8KOs)
The latest BOXXER signing Callum Simpson has come up a different way than most others on this list. Simpson has had hardly any mainstream exposure throughout his career, fighting on untelevised small hall shows, mainly in the north of England. The 26-year-old Barnsley man won the English Title last time out, knocking Ben Ridings in the 2nd. The power puncher has eight straight stoppages and will make his BOXXER and Sky Sports Debut on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie vs David Light, on the 25th of March in Manchester.
Middleweight (160lbs) – Hamzah Sheeraz (17-0 13KOs)
Ilford man Hamzah Sheeraz has looked electric since moving up to middleweight, winning all three of his fights by knockout. Sheeraz turned pro at 18, signing with Frank Warren from debut. Despite being a former light middleweight, Sheeraz seems huge for 160 lbs and is riding an 11-fight knock-out streak.
Sheeraz won the commonwealth title in his last outing against River Wilson-Bent. Injury has since struck the 23-year-old, and he is likely to return this summer in June or July, with a fight against British Champion Denzel Bently targeted for next winter.
Although not strictly a prospect, the potential for Sheeraz is huge and he is still in the development stage of what could be a storied career.
Light Middleweight (154lbs) – Junaid Bostan (5-0 5KOs)
Hard-hitting Junaid Bostan is being heralded as one of Matchrooms’ premier prospects. Bostan is surrounded by top talent in the Steel City Gym, with world champion Sunny Edwards, British champion Dalton Smith, and welterweight contender Florian Marku. The 21-year-old from Rotherham made his debut 11 months ago and has reeled off 5 straight stoppages. There is no rush for Bostan, so expect him to be nurtured and moved along slowly. However, his ceiling is extremely high if he realises his potential.