5 Best British Boxers to Never Win a World Championship Belt

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Great Britain has enjoyed some great boxers over the years but we take a look at the nearly-men of the sport and the five best never to have won a world belt.

A pair of boxing gloves sits in the corner of the ring.

British boxing is buzzing at the moment and there is no shortage of world title contenders from these shores.

However, it’s still an incredibly difficult task to become a world champion, even in the four-belt era, and here we take a look at the best British fighters never to have won a world title.

Kevin Mitchell

Kevin Mitchell was a slick and gifted boxer and looked destined for world glory. The Hammer challenged fellow Briton Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight title in 2012, but Mitchwell was stopped by the Scot in the fourth round.

The Dagenham dueller was given another shot, this time against Jorge Linares in 2015. The Hammer floored the Venezuelan in the fifth round and it looked like he would stop the WBC champion to claim the title.

However, Mitchell was unable to get the stoppage and Linares turned the fight around to win it in round ten at the O2 in London.

That loss left its mark on Mitchell and he was unable to reach that level again.

Martin Murray

If world titles were awarded for determination, desire and effort, Martin Murray would have been a world champion many times over. However, Murray unsuccessfully challenged at the top-level five times and the St Helens puncher was unable to force a victory.

Murray didn’t have much help from the judges either. The St Helens man was unfortunate not to get the decision when challenging Felix Sturm for his WBA belt and the same can be said for his bout against Jorge Navarro.

Murray only lost six times in his career and five of those defeats came in world title fights.

Herol Graham

Herol Graham was undefeated in the first 38 fights of his career and is a former British, Commonwealth and European champion.

The Sheffield southpaw had his first shot at a world title against Mike McCallum, but Graham lost the fight on a split-decision. The Bomber would go onto challenge at world-level on two more occasions, but was unable to secure a top-level belt.

Alan Rudkin

Alan Rudkin traveled the world in the pursuit of a world title. The British bantamweight challenged for a top-level belt in Japan, Australia & Mexico, but was beaten on all three occasions.

Rudkin was beaten on points by Masahiko Harada in 1965 and went down on a close decision to Australian Lionel Rose four years later, although he was decisively beaten by Ruben Olivares in a second-round knockout in 1969.

Michael Watson

Michael Watson will always be remembered for his duels with fellow British boxers Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. It was a golden age for the middleweight division and the Force was a major player.

Watson unsuccessfully challenged for a world title on three occasions, twice against Eubank and once against Benn, but the Londoner was unable to secure a victory.

The Force had his career cut short after sustaining an injury during a loss to Eubank in 1991, but Watson has since gone on to receive an MBE for his services to disability sport.

An experienced sports journalist, Henry’s knowledge spans across a number of different areas, including darts and snooker.
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