Boxing history-makers: South Yorkshire's greatest EVER fighters

Being a reigning champion, at British, European or world level, is a prestige achievement in the sport of boxing.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 6:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 7:11 am
Victory salute for Naseem Hamed after victory over Freddy Cruz

In South Yorkshire, we are lucky to have two global champions in Sheffield’s Kell Brook and Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell.

But how good must if feel to have your name in the a roll of honour containing the BEST EVER British fighters?

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The website The Kingmaker has compiled such a list - and there are nine Sheffield-area or locally trained pugilists among the 500 they have come up with.

Our fighters rub shoulders in the list with the likes of Henry Cooper, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Lennox Lewis.

The locally-trained banger with the most wins is Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham.

He is known as the best world champion that never was, after falling just short.

Kell Brook takes on the great Gennady Golovkin

The KO kings amongst the elite South Yorkshire group are Naseem Hamed and Ryan Rhodes, who both have 31 stoppages to their name and were flamboyant characters in the ring.

Here Bob Westerdale, Head of Sport, relays the locals on the revered list - and adds a couple of names that might end up joining them in future.

But has anybody been missed out?

Who are your top three British boxers of all time? And tell us about your one local hero - why is he your favourite?

Ryan Rhodes with Ricky Hatton

Email: bob.westerdale[email protected]


Clinton Woods, aged 44.

IBF light-heavyweight title 2005 - 2008.

Antonio Tarver, right, follows through on a punch to Clinton Woods, of England, during the sixth round of the IBF/IBO Light Heavyweight Championship boxing match on Saturday, April 12, 2008, in Tampa, Fla.

42 wins 5 losses, 1 draw. 25 KOs.

Runs a gym in Westfield.

Herol Graham, 57.

European, British, and Commonwealth light-middleweight titles

48 wins 6 losses. 28 KOs

Worked in the fitness industry.

Junior Witter and Johnny Nelson with Brendan Ingle

Jamie McDonnell, 30.

WBA World Bantamweight Title.

29 Wins 29, 2 losses. 1 draw. 13 KOs.

Current campaigner.

Johnny Nelson, 50.

WBO cruiserweight title

45 wins 12 losses 2 draws. 29 KOs.

TV presenter/pundit.

Junior Witter, 42.

WBC light welter title title 2006 to 2008.

Wins 43 Losses 8 Draws 2. 23 Kos


Kell Brook, 30.

IBF welterweight title 2014-now

Wins 36 Losses 1. 25 KOs.

Current campaigner seeking a shot at Amir Khan.

Naseem Hamed, 42.

Multiple world championships at featherweight.

Wins 36 Wins Losses 1. 31 KOs.

Retired. Living near Wentworth golf course, Surrey. Occasional visitor to Sheffield.

Paul Jones, 50.

WBO Light Middleweight Title

Wins 31 Losses 12 Draws 1. 11 KOs

Health campaigner/ambassador for Heart Research UK.

Ryan Rhodes, 40.

European, British light-middleweight titles. Challenged once for a world title.

W 46 Losses 6 KO 31

Gym owner.


Gavin McDonnell, 30.

Fights for the WBC World super bantamweight title on February 25.

W 16 L2. 4 KOs.

Current campaigner, going for gold.

Barry Abdul Awad (Kid Galahad,) 26.

W 21 L0 12 KOs

Won various super bantamweight title.

A champion in the making.


Brian Anderson, 55.

British middleweight champion

Wins 27 Losses 9 Wins KOs 14

Prison governor.

Esham Pickering, 40.

British, Commonwealth and European super bantam.

Wins 34 Losses 11. KOs 13.

Still involved in the game.


Al Foreman

Al Phillips

Alan Minter

Alan Rudkin

Albert Finch

Alex Arthur

Alex Buxton

Alex Ireland

Alex Murphy

Alf Danahar

Alf Kid Pattenden

Amir Khan

Andy Holligan

Andy Nance

Anthony Crolla

Arthur (Ginger) Sadd

Arthur Boy Edge

Arthur Danahar

Arthur Donnachie

Arthur Howard

Arthur Killeen

Bandsman Dick Rice

Battling Jim Hayes

Ben Duffy

Benny Caplan

Benny Lynch

Benny Sharkey

Bermondsey Billy Wells

Bernard Pugh

Bert Gilroy

Bert Jackson

Bert Kirby

Bill Ladbury

Billy Calvert

Billy Charlton

Billy Clinton

Billy Cooke

Billy Davis

Billy Fry

Billy Hardy

Billy James

Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Jones

Billy Marchant

Billy Nash

Billy Rafferty

Billy Schwer

Billy Spider Kelly

Billy Tansey

Billy Thompson

Billy Walker

Billy Walker

Blaine Logsdon

Bob (Young) Fielding

Bob Fitzsimmons

Bobby Fisher

Bobby Neill

Bombardier Billy Wells

Boy McCormick

Brian Cartwright

Brian Curvis

Brian London

Brian Magee

Brian Rose

Bruce Scott

Bruce Woodcock

Bugler Harry Lake

Bunny Sterling

Bunty Doran

Callum Smith

Carl Frampton

Carl Froch

Carl Thompson

Charley Brown

Charlie Hazell

Charlie Hill

Charlie Magri

Charlie Nash

Charlie Squire

Chic Calderwood

Chris Eubank

Chris Finnegan

Chris Okoh

Chris Pyatt

Cliff Curvis

Clinton McKenzie

Clinton Woods

Colin Dunne

Colin Jones

Colin Lynes

Colin McMillan

Colin Powers

Cornelius Carr

Crawford Ashley

Curley Walker

Dai Dower

Damaen Kelly

Dan McAllister

Danny Frush

Danny Morgan

Danny O’Sullivan

Danny Williams

Darren Barker

Darren Hamilton

Dave ‘Boy’ Green

Dave Charnley

Dave Coventry

Dave Crowley

Dave Finn

Dave Magill

Dave McAuley

Dave McCleave

David Barnes

David Haye

David Starie

Dean Francis

Del Bryan

Dennis Andries

Dereck Chisora

Derek Angol

Derry Treanor

Dick Burke

Dick Corbett

Dick Richardson

Dick Turpin

Dickie O’Sullivan

Digger Stanley

Dom Volante

Don Cockell

Don Davis

Don McTaggart

Duke McKenzie

Eamonn Loughran

Eamonn Magee

Eddie Avoth

Eddie Carson

Eddie Phillips

Eddie Smith

Eddie Thomas

Elky Clark

Enzo Maccarinelli

Eric Boon

Eric Marsden

Ernie Roderick

Evan Armstrong

Floyd Havard

Frank Bruno

Frank Hough

Frank Johnson

Frank Lucas

Frank Moody

Frank Parkes

Frankie Ash

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Jones

Frankie Kid Bonser

Frankie Taylor

Frankie Williams

Fred Bilsborough

Freddie Gilroy

Freddie King

Freddie Mills

Freddie Welsh

Gary Jacobs

Gary Mason

Gary Stretch

Gavin Rees

Geoff McCreesh

George Aldridge

George Bowes

George Davis

George Feeney

George Groves

George Marsden

George Odwell

George Parkes

George Turpin

George Williams

Ginger Foran

Ginger Stewart

Gipsy Daniels

Glenn Catley

Glenn McCrory

Gordon Hazell

Gus Foran

Hamilton’ Johnny Brown

Harry Brooks

Harry Corbett

Harry Lazar

Harry Mason

Harry Mizler

Harry Orton

Harry Reeve

Harry Scott

Henry Akinwande

Henry Carpenter

Henry Cooper

Henry Hall

Henry Wharton

Herbie Hide

Herbie Hill

Herol Graham

Horace Notice

Howard Winstone

Hugh Cameron

Jack ‘Kid’ Berg

Jack Bloomfield

Jack Bodell

Jack Carrick

Jack Gardner

Jack Hood

Jack Hyams

Jack London

Jack Lyden

Jack Morris

Jack Petersen

Jackie Briers

Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown

Jackie Bryce

Jackie Paterson

Jackie Rankin

Jackie Turpin

Jake Kilrain

James Cook

James DeGale

James Hare

Jamie McDonnell

Jamie Moore

Jason Booth

Jason Cook

Jawaid Khaliq

Jerry Delaney

Jim Berry

Jim Brady

Jim Campbell

Jim Driscoll

Jim Higgins

Jim Maharg

Jim McDonnell

Jim Sullivan

Jim Watt

Jimmy Anderson

Jimmy Bell

Jimmy Berry

Jimmy Bray

Jimmy Brown

Jimmy Carson

Jimmy Chick Stewart

Jimmy Davis

Jimmy Gill

Jimmy Lydon

Jimmy Molloy

Jimmy Moore

Jimmy Newman

Jimmy Pearce

Jimmy Quinn

Jimmy Revie

Jimmy Stubbs

Jimmy Walsh

Jimmy Warnock

Jimmy Wilde

Jock McAvoy

Joe Beckett

Joe Bowker

Joe Cairney

Joe Calzaghe

Joe Conn

Joe Curran

Joe Erskine

Joe Fox

Joe Hardy

Joe Lucy

Joe Symonds

Joe Young Connelly

John Conteh

John Davison

John Farrell

John H Stracey

John Kelly

John L. Gardner

John McCluskey

John McCormack

John O’Brien

Johnny Basham

Johnny Boom

Johnny Brown

Johnny Butterworth

Johnny Caldwell

Johnny Clark

Johnny Cooke

Johnny Curley

Johnny Cusick

Johnny Cuthbert

Johnny Frankham

Johnny Hill

Johnny King

Johnny Mantle

Johnny McGrory

Johnny McManus

Johnny McMillan

Johnny Molloy

Johnny Morrisey

Johnny Nelson

Johnny Owen

Johnny Peters

Johnny Pritchett

Johnny Sullivan

Johnny Summers

Johnny Summers

Johnny Williams

Jon Thaxton

Junior Witter

Kell Brook

Ken Barrett

Ken Buchanan

Ken Shaw

Kevin Finnegan

Kevin Mitchell

Kid Broad

Kid Milo

Kid Socks

Kirkland Laing

Larry Paul

Lee Haskins

Lee Selby

Len Beynon

Len Davies

Len Hampston

Len Harvey

Len Johnson

Len Wickwar

Lennie Williams

Lennox Lewis

Les Allen

Les McAteer

Les Pickett

Llew Edwards

Lloyd Honeyghan

Mark Hart

Mark Kaylor

Mark Prince

Mark Rowe

Martin Murray

Matt Skelton

Matt Wells

Matthew Macklin

Maurice Core

Maurice Cullen

Maurice Hope

Maxie Smith

Michael Ayers

Michael Brodie

Michael Gomez

Michael Watson

Mick Leahy

Mick McAdam

Mickey Flanagan

Mickey McGuire

Mike Honeyman

Murray Sutherland

Naseem Hamed

Nathan Cleverly

Neil Sinclair

Nel Tarleton

Neville Brown

Nicky Cook

Nicky Piper

Nigel Benn

Norman Lewis

Norman Tennant

Ola Afolabi

Ovill McKenzie

Owen Moran

Paddy Ryan

Pat Barrett

Pat Cowdell

Pat McAteer

Pat Palmer

Paul Hodkinson

Paul Ingle

Paul Jones

Paul McCloskey

Percy Jones

Peter Bates

Peter Culshaw

Peter Fallon

Peter Kane

Peter Keenan

Peter McLaren

Peter Waterman

Phil Bloom

Phil Edwards

Phil Milligan

Phil Scott

Phineas John

Pierce Ellis

Ralph Charles

Randolph Turpin

Ray Cattouse

Ray Close

Rendall Munroe

Richard Dunn

Richard Williams

Richie Woodhall

Ricky Burns

Ricky Hatton

Rinty Monaghan

Robbie Regan

Robert McCracken

Robin Reid

Rocky Kelly

Roland Todd

Ron Barton

Ron Johnson

Ronnie Clayton

Ronnie Draper

Ronnie James

Ross Hale

Ryan Rhodes

Sam Kellar

Sammy McCarthy

Sammy McSpadden

Sammy Reynolds

Sapper Jack O’Neill

Scott Harrison

Scott Quigg

Seaman Arthur Hayes

Seaman Nobby Hall

Seaman Tommy Watson

Shea Neary

Sonny Lee

Spider Jim Kelly

Spike Robson

Stan Hawthorne

Stan Rowan

Stephen Smith

Steve Boyle

Steve Johnson

Steve Roberts

Steve Robinson

Syd Parker

Tancy Lee

Ted Kid Lewis

Ted Moore

Teddy Baldock

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Brian Anderson and Herol Graham
Jamie McDonnell
Paul Silky Jones
Kell Brook takes on the great Gennady Golovkin
Ryan Rhodes with Ricky Hatton
Antonio Tarver, right, follows through on a punch to Clinton Woods, of England, during the sixth round of the IBF/IBO Light Heavyweight Championship boxing match on Saturday, April 12, 2008, in Tampa, Fla.
Junior Witter and Johnny Nelson with Brendan Ingle
Brian Anderson and Herol Graham
Jamie McDonnell
Paul Silky Jones