George Hennon lists his top 10 all-time British welterweight champions

Published On Tuesday, September 29, 2015By
 ; Unbeaten welterweight prospect George Hennon listed his all-time top 10 British champions. Currently at 1-0 and in the middle of his debut year as a professional boxer, Hennon trains with Johnny and Frank Greaves at the Peacock Gym in London, which has seen many champions grace it's doors over the years. The Kent boxer is a big fan of British boxing and has dreams to one day add his name to this prestigious list of British titlists.    
  1. Johnny Basham (61-15-7)
johnny_basham Johnny was a Welsh boxer who became British and European champion at both welter and middleweight.   His professional career spanned over 20 years, from 1909 to 1929, and fought most of his bouts in Liverpool.   Aptly-named Basham was the first welterweight to win the Lonsdale Belt outright, successfully defended his British welterweight title on two occasions and also took the Commonwealth welterweight title in 1919.   His career was defined not only by his successes, but also through the death in the ring of opponent Harry Price, which saw Basham face manslaughter charges, and his failed contests with the formidable Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis towards his career's end.  
 
  1. Johnny Summers (97-40-31)
Johnny Summers Middlesbrough boxer Summers was the first British welterweight champion to successfully defend the title three times.   He fought his first nine professional contests in Australia winning eight of them. He first won the British featherweight title in 1906 and, in 1909, challenged the legendary Freddie Welsh for his British and European titles, failing on a points decision over 20 rounds which was for the first ever Lonsdale Belt at that weight.   He secured the British belt at 147lbs by defeating Arthur Evernden for the vacant title. He then defended it successfully against Sid Burns twice, as well as Arthur Evernden again, eventually losing the strap to Tom McCormick.   He finally retired in 1920 after over 200 bouts in what was a 20-year long career.
 
  1. Harry Mason (145-53-15)
Harry Mason Born in Bethnal Green, London, famous for its boxing ties, Mason was a British champion at lightweight and welterweight and was the first British welterweight titlist to regain the championship for a second time.   Astonishingly, his professional debut in August 1920 was a 10-round contest and later took part in a 20-round championship fight successfully defending his British and European lightweight titles against Ernie Rice at the Royal Albert Hall.   In October 1925 he moved up to welterweight to challenge Johnny Brown for the vacant British title, losing a 20-round points decision, although he won a rematch the following month to take the title. He lost the title to Jack Hood in May 1926.   He continued to fight until 1937, losing his final fight to Jack Kid Berg. His career record included 145 wins (26 by knockout) from 215 fights.   Mason was known for his showmanship, and often played violin or recited poetry from the ring before a fight. In 1926 he appeared in vaudeville at the Holborn Empire, singing, dancing, and conducting the Miami Band. 
 
  1. David Barnes (29-3-2)
David Barnes Former holder of both the British light-welterweight and welterweight titles.   Barnes made his professional debut in July 2001 and after compiling an undefeated ledger of 12-0 just two years later in July 2003, he was given the opportunity to fight for the vacant British welterweight title against the experienced Jimmy Vincent. Barnes claimed victory with a narrow score of 115-114 from the referee John Keane in what was described by commentators as "an excellent match from start to finish".   Barnes early career suffered a hiccup when the boxer was forced to spend six weeks at an army detention centre in Colchesterfor going AWOL after having joined up as a restless 15-year-old.   Having defended the Lonsdale belt at 147lbs enough times to earn it for keeps, in March 2008 he was given the opportunity to fight for a championship again at the division below for the British light-welterweight version.   He defeated former European champion Ted Bami on points becoming the first boxer to have held the British title at welter and light-welterweight.   Remarkably, at 34-years-old, he is still active, having defeated the previously unbeaten Liverpool light-welterweight prospect Andy Colquhoun in July this year.
 
  1. Kirkland Laing (43-12-1)
kirkland-laing Nicknamed, ‘The Gifted One’, Laing fought 56 times in a twenty-year career, the highlight of which was a shock split decision win over Roberto Durán in September 1982. The fight was selected as Ring Magazine's upset of the year.   He was a two-time winner of the British welterweight title and won the EBU welterweight title in 1990, with a second round knockout of Antoine Fernandez at the Wembley Conference Centre.   Laing continued to fight until he was 40, and retired after a stoppage loss to future world champion Glen Catley.   After retiring, Laing continued to live in Hackney, and fell from his balcony in 2003 in circumstances that remain unexplained.
 
  1. Ernie Roderick (112-24-4)
Ernie_Roderick Ernie was a British champion at both welterweight and middleweight, and European champion at welterweight.   Born in Liverpool, Roderick only suffered one defeat in his first two years as a pro.   In 1935, he went on a remarkable unbeaten run, winning seventeen and drawing one fight which included victories over Len ‘Tiger’ Smith and Pat Butler.   In March 1939 he faced Kilrain for the British welterweight title, winning via a seventh round knockout.   He is most noted for his strength in opposition, having fought the legendary Henry Armstrong for the World welterweight title in May 1939, losing on points.   Not long after, he challenged another ‘Hall of Famer’ in Jack ‘Kid’ Berg, winning on points at the Royal Albert Hall.   He also achieved another incredible feat by beating Vince Hawkins for the British middleweight title, vacated by Jock McAvoy, to hold two British titles simultaneously.   He then added the European welterweight title and successfully defended his British welterweight title twice later that year, against Gwyn Williams and Eric Boon.   He finally conceded the title in November 1948 to Henry Hall on points, ending a nine-year reign as champion!
 
  1. Brian Curvis (37-4)
Brian_Curvis Brian Curvis from Swansea, Wales had a relatively short career, only active from 1959 to 1966.   However, within that time he achieved greatness by becoming British welterweight champion in 1960 and retaining the title for a whopping five years.   He retired as undefeated champion and is the only welterweight to have won two Lonsdale Belts outright. The four defeats in his professional career were all at the hands of foreign boxers; he was never beaten by a British boxer.
 
  1. Kell Brook (33-0)
Kell Brook Lonsdale Belt Present King of the 147lbs division, Brook is the current IBF world champion. He won the vacant British welterweight belt in his 17th bout in 2008 with a seventh round stoppage of Barrie Jones.   He then defended it a further four times, relinquishing it to take the IBF world title route to success in 2011.   Brook was the underdog going into the world title fight against Shawn Porter and it had been 28 years since a British fighter had won a world title from an American in the States. The champion came out aggressively but Brook showcased formidable defensive attributes and strength along with clean punching and technical ability to win at the StubHub Center in Carson, California by a majority decision.
 
  1. Lloyd Honeyghan (43-5)
Lloyd Honeyghan titles ‘The Ragamuffin Man’ was a former undisputed welterweight champion of the world.   Born in Jamaica, he was WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champion from 1986 to 1987 and WBC welterweight champion from 1988 to 1989.   He produced one of the greatest upsets in British boxing history when he went to Atlantic City and upset heavily favoured American Donald Curry – considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world at the time – in what has become one of the most memorable fights in British boxing history.   Honeyghan then became only the second British boxer to regain a world title, thus making history for a second time – the first being Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis.   During his career, he fought everyone that was there to be fought, shying away from no one, even in the early stages of his fledgling career.   For example, he outpointed the future British light-middleweight champion over 10 rounds in an eliminator for the British welterweight title then added the Southern Area strap in his next fight doubling up as a final eliminator, finally securing the Lonsdale Belt in the fight after that.   He reached 31 fights unbeaten adding the European and Commonwealth titles at 147lbs to his hoard in 1986 just before he took over the world for the next four years.   Even at the end of his career, in early 1993, he was still good enough to win the Commonwealth title at light-middleweight by defeating the useful Mickey Hughes.
 
  1. Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis (227-40-23)
Ted Kid Lewis Boxrec The Aldgate Sphinx won the British welterweight title, along with the Commonwealth and European straps, in 1920 – the same year that he also won the British middleweight title.   The Kid turned professional at the age of 14, and within five years had won the British and European featherweight World Titles. Lewis was renowned for his relentless, punishing and attacking style of fighting.   Lewis moved to the United States and earned acclaim by winning the world title twice and taking part in a legendary 20-fight rivalry against Jack Britton.   In his first conquest over Britton, Lewis became the first Englishman to win a world title in the US.   After the First World War, Lewis would return to England and win six more British, European and World titles.   ‘The Kid’ retired with a career record of 227-40-23 and won nine world titles ranging from featherweight to middleweight.   He was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 and Mike Tyson described Lewis as, “probably the greatest fighter to come out of Britain.”
Honourable Mentions:   Jack Hood (39-6-6) ‘Gentleman’ Jack defeated the legendary Harry Mason twice to secure the British welterweight title and regained a second time, adding the European strap to it.
Michael Jennings (36-3) A British welterweight champion, WBU holder, and major world title challenger, Jennings only losses came from Young Mutley, Miguel Cotto, and Kell Brook.
Delroy Bryan (32-19-1) Del twice won the British welterweight title, defeating the legendary Kirkland Laing to become champion first time around and defending it three times to keep it the second time around. 
Harry Dhami (17-5-1) Dhami was the first British Asian to win a Lonsdale belt. GH Next Fight   To follow George Hennon on Twitter click here @georgehennon12 George Hennon would like to thank his sponsors Business Buddy Group and NCQ Psychotherapy and PR Manager Tim Rickson