Boxing: South Yorkshire’s top ranked boxers revealed

Kell Brook and Jamie McDonnell
Kell Brook and Jamie McDonnell

The South Yorkshire scene boasts 13 fighters in the top 10 British rankings in their respective divisions - evidence the county continues to box above its weight.

Kell Brook stands out in the newly-published British Boxing News rankings, Sheffield’s IBF world champion heads a domestic welterweight table with his chief rival Amir Khan rated as his number two. His highly competitive division has a place from his 41-year-old Ingle partner Junior Witter (sixth) who only boxed once last year, a 12-round European defeat to Ahmed El Mousaoui, a man 16 years his junior.

Another stand-out performer who claimed a number one placement is Jamie McDonnell. The fact he twice successfully defended his WBA World title ensured the Doncaster man was top of the nation’s bantamweight pile.

Interestingly, Adam Etches is rated the best local middleweight, despite the fact he had a self-confessed miserable year in 2015, losing his unbeaten tag to Sergey Khomitsky and suffering injury. In a table headed by Billy Joe Saunders, Etches was posted in sixth place, with Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor - who won English and Inter-Continental titles - at number 12. Sheffield’s Jez Wilson, whom Taylor effectively retired in their meeting, is listed a place below Taylor. And Dronfield’s Rod Smith, who slipped to his first defeat last year, is at 23, in the list compiled by boxing expert Andy Whittle.

The British super-middleweight rankings has Sheffield’s Liam Cameron in at nine - a division ruled by James DeGale, George Groves and Martin Murray. Light middleweight sees Rotherham’s Nav Mansouri holding down seventh place with his last conquest, Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy one place below.

Maxi Hughes (Rossington) and Andy Townend (Barnsley) are eighth and ninth respectively at super-feather and Brampton’s Josh Wale ninth at feather.

The cracking super-bantam division is led by Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, but Jamie’s twin Gavin McDonnell is now in a creditable third, with Sheffield’s highly-promising Muheeb Fazeldin in 10.

At flyweight Sheffield’s Waleed Din, who lost the Commonwealth belt to Thomas Essomba in October, is sixth with city colleague Kyle Yousaf two spots behind him.

The national heavyweight division, spearheaded by Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, has no South Yorkshire men in the top 10 - Richard Towers did not campaign in 2015.

Consibrough’s Dave Allen and Rotherham’s Kash Ali are 11th and 13th, respectively, though.

Lewis Taylor v Jez Wilson 21/11/15

Lewis Taylor v Jez Wilson 21/11/15

Some local boxers with relatively modestly positions in the rankings, like Sam O’maison, (Sheff) and Atif Shafiq (Roth) should climb up the ladder in 2016.

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Navid Mansouri v Sam Sheedy 04/07/15

Navid Mansouri v Sam Sheedy 04/07/15