Do Sheffield's Kell Brook and 13 other world champions get the credit they deserve?

Eddie Hearn and Kell Brook
Eddie Hearn and Kell Brook
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Eddie Hearn believes British boxing's strength in depth has led to the crowning of new world champions being overlooked.

Carl Frampton impressively became a two-weight champion when he defeated Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA featherweight title in New York on Saturday.

He became Britain's 14th reigning world champion, and perhaps was given such recognition only because of the quality of his opponent, the competitive nature of the fight and the fact it came at a higher weight.

Much of the reason for such indifference owes largely, of course, to the existence of the four world titles recognised in each division. Their number dilute their significance and ensure champions cannot always be regarded as the weight's best.

Yet even if those were taken out of consideration, the competition to be Britain's leading fighter is at its greatest ever.

A figure of the calibre of the great Joe Calzaghe or Ken Buchanan may be absent, but in the division that traditionally attracts the greatest attention, there are three significant heavyweights - Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and David Haye - each vying for money and respect.

Sheffield's Kell Brook, similarly to Amir Khan against Saul Alvarez in May, has admirably chosen to step up two weight divisions to middleweight to challenge Gennady Golovkin, a bigger fighter and devastating puncher.

James DeGale is the world's finest super-middleweight.

But, after his victory over Santa Cruz came hot on the heels of a win over Scott Quigg, Frampton could yet prove himself the fighter of the year.

It is little wonder fellow champions Anthony Crolla, Terry Flanagan, Ricky Burns and Lee Haskins are not celebrated as they once might have been, that Billy Joe Saunders and Liam Smith almost seem to suffer from neglect.

"In British boxing right now, if you're a world champion it's a pat on the back and a 'Welcome to the club'," Hearn told Press Association Sport.

Hearn's profile began to grow in late 2010, when Haye was the WBA heavyweight champion and when, beyond him, only Carl Froch and Khan were in contention to be Britain's leading fighter.

"You've got to do something beyond that to be recognised as a great. Frampton took a step towards that. Fury, beating (Wladimir) Klitschko, took a step towards that.

"Crolla's trying to do it against (Jorge) Linares. Now Brook's trying to do it. Everyone's competing to try and be the biggest star they can, which is great.

"When Kell won the (IBF welterweight) world title, I think (Britain) had four world champions, something like that, so it was 'Wow, Britain's got a world champion!'.

"Now it's like, 'Britain's got another world champion. Who is it? What's his name?'"