Kell Brook-Frankie Gavin to join list of all-British/Irish title fights
Kell Brook will look to make the second defense of his IBF welterweight title when meets fellow Brit Frankie Gavin on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London.
It will be the latest all-British (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) world-title fight in the modern era. The first was back in 1980, when Jim Watt beat Charlie Nash to defend his WBC lightweight belt.
Here’s a run-through of each bout. (We’re only counting RING, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles; interim championships aren’t included. Also, note that some fighters were not born in the U.K. but are included because they were considered eligible to fight for the British title by the BBBofC.):
March 14, 1980 Jim Watt TKO 4 Charlie Nash – Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland. In the first ever all-British world-title fight, Scotland’s Jim Watt climbed off the canvas in the opening round to exact revenge for his countryman, Ken Buchanan, who Nash had beaten in his previous fight for the European title.
Sept. 10, 1986 Dennis Andries TKO 9 Tony Sibson – Alexandra Pavilion, London. Andries (was born in Guyana but is classed as British having won the British title), the natural light heavyweight, was handily ahead on the scorecards before punctuating the victory by dropping Sibson three times in the ninth before the action was halted.
June 7, 1989 Dave McAuley UD 12 Duke McKenzie – The Arena, London. McAuley unseated McKenzie to annex the IBF flyweight title, winning a unanimous decision.
Nov. 18, 1990 Chris Eubank TKO 9 Nigel Benn – National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England. In a classic grudge match, Eubank got off the canvas in the ninth round whilst behind on two of the scorecards. He rallied to hurt Benn and force the stoppage in the same round, relieving Benn of his WBO middleweight strap in the process.
April 18, 1991 Chris Eubank TKO 6 Gary Stretch – Olympia Grand Hall, London. Male model/actor Stretch led on all three scorecards after five rounds, but was dropped twice and stopped in the sixth.
June 22, 1991 Chris Eubank MD 12 Michael Watson – Earls Court Exhibition Hall, London. In a hotly contested fight, Eubank won a disputed majority decision 116-113, 115-113 and 114-114.
Sept. 21, 1991 Chris Eubank TKO 12 Michael Watson II – White Hart Lane, London. Just three months after their first contest they met again, this time up at super middleweight. Both fighters were on the canvas. Going into the final round, Watson was ahead on all three cards before Eubank’s grandstand finish won him the fight. Watson went into a coma after the fight and to this day is partly paralyzed.
Sept. 19, 1992 Pat Clinton UD 12 Danny Porter – Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. Clinton outpointed Porter unanimously to successfully retain his WBO flyweight crown for the first time.
Dec. 12, 1992 Nigel Benn TKO 11 Nicky Piper – Alexandra Pavilion, London. The Welshman gave Benn all he could handle before succumbing in the penultimate round, in what was “The Dark Destroyer’s” first defense of his WBC super middleweight championship.
April 17, 1993 Steve Robinson UD 12 John Davison – Northumbria Centre, Tyne and Wear, England. On 48 hours’ notice, “The Cinderella Man” traveled to Tyne and Wear to upset hometown favorite Davison to win the vacant WBO featherweight title in one of the most unlikely of boxing stories.
May 15, 1993 Chris Eubank D 12 Ray Close – Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. Eubank held onto his title with a draw against Ray Close, dropping the Irishman in the 11th round.
June 26, 1993 Nigel Benn TKO 4 Lou Gent – Earls Court Exhibition Hall, London. Benn had a relatively easy time taking apart Gent.
July 10, 1993 Steve Robinson KO 9 Sean Murphy – National Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales. Robinson successfully stopped then-British champion Murphy in nine rounds.
Oct. 1, 1993 Lennox Lewis TKO 7 Frank Bruno – Cardiff Arms Park (Now the Millennium Stadium), Cardiff, Wales. Lewis had to endure some rough early moments at the open-air venue before hurting Bruno in the seventh, teeing off on a hapless Bruno until the referee intervened.
Oct. 9, 1993 Nigel Benn D 12 Chris Eubank II – Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England. Three years after their first meeting these two sworn enemies met again at the home of Manchester United F.C., billed as “Judgement Day” in front of a sellout 42,000. Though it failed to live up to the savagery of the first fight it was hotly contested until the final bell. Though many perceived Benn to be the victor, the fighters couldn’t be separated on the scorecards.
Oct. 23, 1993 Steve Robinson UD 12 Colin McMillan – National Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales. Again the underdog Robinson got the upset over a former champion.
Feb. 26, 1994 Nigel Benn UD 12 Henry Wharton – Earls Court Exhibition Hall, London. Benn won a hard-fought unanimous decision.
March 12, 1994 Steve Robinson TKO 12 Paul Hodkinson – National Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales. Robinson was ahead on points but was able to add the final-round knockout over the the former WBC 126-pound champion as an exclamation point.
March 19, 1994 Herbie Hide KO 7 Michael Bentt – Millwall Football Stadium, London. After a brawl at the press conference the two met inside the ring. Hide was to relieve Bentt of his title just five months after he stunned Tommy Morrison in eye-catching fashion.
May 11, 1994 Steve Collins TKO 5 Chris Pyatt – Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, England. Collins was to win his first world title, stopping Pyatt in five rounds.
May 21, 1994 Chris Eubank SD 12 Ray Close II – Kings Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland. A little over a year after their first bout, Eubank narrowly kept his WBO 168-pound crown with a split decision.
Aug. 27, 1994 Chris Eubank TKO 7 Sam Storey – International Arena, Cardiff, Wales. Eubank retained his crown with relative comfort, stopping Northern Ireland’s Sam Storey in seven rounds.
Oct. 1, 1994 Steve Robinson KO 9 Duke McKenzie – National Ice Rink, Cardiff, Wales. McKenzie was the pre-fight favorite and looking to become a four-weight world champion. However, the Welshman had other ideas and landed a debilitating bodyshot that ended the argument.
Dec. 10, 1994 Chris Eubank UD 12 Henry Wharton – G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester, England. Wharton put up a sterling effort, though lost a unanimous decision.
March 18, 1995 Steve Collins UD 12 Chris Eubank – Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, Ireland. In the build-up, Collins got into Eubank’s head by spreading rumors that he had a phychiatrist hypnotize him into thinking he couldn’t be hurt or bleed. On St. Patrick’s Day both men hit the canvas but Collins became the first to beat Eubank, doing so by close unanimous decision.
Sept. 9, 1995 Steve Collins SD 12 Chris Eubank II – Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork, Ireland. Collins repeated his victory, winning a split decision in another keenly contested bout.
Sept. 30, 1995 Naseem Hamed TKO 8 Steve Robinson – Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales. “The Prince” won his first world title ending Robinson’s fairytail run, stopping him in eight one-sided rounds.
Nov. 25, 1995 Steve Collins UD 12 Cornelius Carr – The Point, Dublin, Ireland. In his first fight after the rematch with Eubank, Collins was to win a unanimous decision over the Yorkshire man.
March 9, 1996 Steve Collins TKO 11 Neville Brown – Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, Ireland. Comfortably ahead on points, Collins twice dropped Brown before getting the stoppage.
July 6, 1996 Steve Collins TKO 4 Nigel Benn – Nynex Arena, Manchester, England. Having beaten Chris Eubank, Collins set out to beat his biggest rival, Nigel Benn, doing so when Benn sprained his ankle, forcing him to retire at the end of the fourth frame.
Nov. 9, 1996 Steve Collins TKO 6 Nigel Benn II – Nynex Arena, Manchester, England. Four months after their first meeting they met again with a similar result when Benn failed to come out for the seventh round.
Jan. 11, 1997 Henry Akinwande UD 12 Scott Welch – Nashville Arena, Nashville, Tennessee. Buried deep on a Don King undercard headlined by Felix Trinidad against another Brit, Kevin Lueshing, Akinwande met Welch and won a near shutout decision to keep his WBO heavyweight title.
May 3, 1997 Naseem Hamed TKO 1 Billy Hardy – Nynex Arena, Manchester, England. Hamed’s power was too much for the former two-time bantamweight world-title challenger.
May 3, 1997 Robin Reid MD 12 Henry Wharton – Nynex Arena, Manchester, England. Paired with Hamed-Hardy. This was the only time in history two all-British world-title fights took place on the same card. Reid won a majority decision to foil Wharton’s thrid attempt at winning a world title.
July 12, 1997 Lennox Lewis DQ 5 Henry Akinwande – Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada. Lewis proved to be levels above the previously unbeaten Akinwande, who vacated his WBO belt to pursue this title opportunity only to be thrown out for constant holding.
Oct. 11, 1997 Joe Calzaghe UD 12 Chris Eubank – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England. When Steve Collins retired ahead of fighting Calzaghe, Chris Eubank stepped in. It was to be the birth of a star. Calzaghe dropped Eubank twice en route to a wide points win that he later acknowledged as one of the toughest of his career.
April 18, 1998 Carl Thompson UD 12 Chris Eubank – Nynex Arena, Manchester, England. Eubank valiantly attempted to unseat WBO cruiserweight boss Thompson on his own patch, dropping Thompson in the fourth, but was unable to stop his bigger adversary from losing a close fight on the cards.
July 18, 1998 Carl Thompson TKO 9 Chris Eubank II – Despite Eubank leading on two of the cards, he was pulled out on the advice of the ringside physician with his left eye completely closed.
Sept. 5, 1998 Richie Woodhall MD 12 Glen Catley – Ice Rink, Telford, England. In front of his hometown fans Woodhall was to eke out a majority decision over future WBC titlist Catley.
Oct. 31, 1998 Naseem Hamed UD 12 Wayne McCullough – Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey. The all-British grudge match of Hamed’s power vs. McCullough’s chin met on Halloween. Hamed dramatically entered to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Although Hamed was unable to drop or stop McCullough, he won a wide unanimous decision.
Feb. 13, 1999 Joe Calzaghe SD 12 Robin Reid – Telewest Arena, Newcastle, England. It wasn’t vintage Calzaghe – he hurt his hand and struggled at times with the former WBC 168-pound boss – but he won a split decision.
March 27, 1999 Johnny Nelson TKO 5 Carl Thompson – Derby Storm Arena, Derby, England. Nelson goaded Thompson into fighting him, then made good on his promise to rip the title from his grasp following a barrage of punches in the fifth.
April 10, 1999 Naseem Hamed TKO 11 Paul Ingle – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. The valiant Ingle had to rise from knockdowns in the first and sixth before finally being stopped in the 11th frame by Hamed.
May 15, 1999 Johnny Nelson UD 12 Bruce Scott – Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, England. Nelson’s maiden title defense was in his hometown, winning a routine points decision over Jamaican-born Scott, who was the reigning British and Commonwealth champion at the time.
Jan. 29, 2000 Joe Calzaghe UD 12 David Starie – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. As chief support to Mike Tyson’s British roadshow beating the hapless Julius Francis in just two rounds, the crowd was subjected to this track meet – Starie refused to engage and was happy to see the final bell.
Dec. 16, 2000 Joe Calzaghe TKO 10 Richie Woodhall – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England. A meeting of friends, Calzaghe started slowly before stopping Woodhall in the 10th round.
March 22, 2003 Scott Harrison UD 12 Wayne McCullough – Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland. Harrison was too young, fresh and strong for “The Pocket Rocket,” winning a near shutout decision to retain his WBO featherweight strap.
June 3, 2005 Scott Harrison KO 4 Michael Brodie – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. On the eve of Kostya Tszyu-Ricky Hatton at the same venue, Harrison took on Brodie in his hometown and stopped him in four rounds.
Oct. 14, 2006 – Enzo Maccarinelli TKO 1 Mark Hobson II – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. The two met again seven months after Maccarinelli won a close decision. This time for a world title, it didn’t take long before Maccarinelli’s power caught up with Hobson.
March 8, 2008 – David Haye TKO 2 Enzo Maccarinelli – O2 Arena (Millennium Dome), London. There was no love lost between two devastating punchers in a fight that in hindsight was a one-horse race. It allowed Haye to unify Maccarinelli’s WBO title with his WBC and WBA belts.
Sept. 6, 2008 Nicky Cook UD 12 Alex Arthur – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. A severely weight-drained Arthur lost his title by unanimous decision on the undercard of Amir Khan’s stunning first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott.
Nov. 13, 2010 David Haye TKO 3 Audley Harrison – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. Haye easily brushed aside the former Olympic gold medalist to retain his WBA heavyweight title in three one-sided rounds.
April 16, 2011 Amir Khan TD 6 Paul McCloskey – M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, England. A homecoming for Khan, who had fought his past two fights in America. His speed was too much for a game McCloskey, whose southpaw style kept him out of trouble until a clash of heads cut him and the fight was halted on the advice of the ringside doctor.
July 16, 2011 Ricky Burns TKO 1 Nicky Cook – Echo Arena, Liverpool, England. Cook was farcically allowed to fight for the WBO 130-pound title after just one fight in over 2 years. An old back problem quickly reared its ugly head, forcing the action to be stopped in the opening round.
Oct. 15, 2011 Nathan Cleverly MD 12 Tony Bellew – Echo Arena, Liverpool, England. Another grudge match. Cleverly won a majority decision in front of Bellew’s home fans.
Sept. 22, 2012 Ricky Burns TKO 4 Kevin Mitchell – Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. An eagerly anticipated “Battle of Britain” looked even money going in. However, Burns hurt and dropped Mitchell twice before a flurry forced the referee to stop the contest, allowing him retain his WBO lightweight championship.
Nov. 23, 2013 Carl Froch TKO 9 George Groves – Phones 4u Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester, England. The highly anticipated encounter sold out in just 11 minutes. Groves lived up to his pre-fight boast, dropping Froch heavily in the opening round, and won many of the early rounds. Credit to Froch, who stayed in the fight and eventually scored a controversial stoppage in the ninth round.
March 29, 2014 Stuart Hall D 2 Martin Ward – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England. These two north-eastern fighters met for Hall’s IBF bantamweight crown, only for an accidental head clash in the second round to curtail the action before it got going.
May 31, 2014 Carl Froch TKO 8 George Groves II – Wembley Stadium, London. Froch erased any doubt left from their first fight. In front of 80,000 people, Froch spectacularly knocked Groves out in the eighth round.
June 7, 2014 Paul Butler SD 12 Stuart Hall – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England. Butler stepped up from 115 to claim the IBF 118 title, narrowly outpointing the reigning champion.
May 30, 2015 Kell Brook vs. Frankie Gavin – O2 Arena, London, England. ???
Sources / Boxrec.com & Wikipedia.