The recent Bridgerweight rankings announced by the WBC will see British Cruiserweight prodigy, Isaac Chamberlain (12-1, 6KOs), begin his journey to the top as the fifteenth ranked boxer in the division.
How has the youngster once tipped for Cruiserweight gold found himself in this weight class? He'll tell you himself in a moment. But first, let's explain the new division for anyone who doesn't know where the name's come from.
The Bridgerweight division has been established for boxers weighing between 190lbs and 224lbs. It now sits between the WBC's cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions.
Bridgerweight may sound odd to many, but it's been named in honour of a brave young boy from America. Six-year-old Bridger Walker risked his life saving his sister from a dog attack in a news story that went viral. Heavily scarred acrodd his cheek, Bridger told his parents: "If someone had to die, I thought it should be me".
Oscar Rivas has been installed as the number one ranked boxer in the division. He was rumoured to be Tyson Fury's next opponent at Heavyweight, but he now looks set to make his Bridgerweight debut instead, although a fight's not yet been scheduled.
Seeing as the number two ranked boxer at Bridgerweight is Ryad Merhy, we could well see Merhy vs Rivas in early 2021, with the Colombian, once beaten by Dillian Whyte, almost certain to be installed as an odds on favourite. Whether it's Rivas, Chamberlain or Fury you want to back in the future, checking popular bonuses from bookies at places like bonus-codes.com might come in handy. A prime example was when BetVictor offered new customers odds of 100/1 on Tyson Fury to beat Wilder by KO, or TKO in their rematch!
Isaac Chamberlain, or simply IC to many, is still one for the future despite coming unstuck at Cruiserweight against Lawrence Okolie back in February 2018. The bookies were spot on with this one as the heavy 4/9 favourite, Okolie, beat 7/4 outsider Chamberlain on points after knocking him down twice on his way to victory.
IC ended that year with a points victory against then 13-1 Luke Watkins at the Copper Box. He only returned to the ring back in August and now has three wins on the spin since his sole defeat, but, in an interview earlier this year with Sky Sports, the Brixton youngster was just grateful to be back as he recalled his hardship growing up:
"When I was 16 to 18 or 19, I used to sweep the floors at Miguel's Gym (Brixton, South London) just to get some money. We were poor. I didn't want to sell drugs. A man called Delroy used to give me five pounds at the end of the day. And I'd buy my food with that. I'd get sardines or pilchards, water, a protein shake and if I had anything left over, I'd get a Snickers. That's how I used to live every day."
His hunger for the sport has returned after two years away.
It took a defeat against Lawrence Okolie for Isaac Chamberlain to realise he had to take control and responsibility for his own career going forward. After a break away to rediscover his desire, IC has chosen trainer Mick Hennessy as the man to reignite his career and propel him towards a world title:
"'I suffered contractual problems, broken promises. I was given 'take it or leave it' ultimatums so told them to shove it! While I want to be the best I can be, I refuse to be used as a pawn. In the past, I've headlined at the O2 Arena. I sell tickets. But Mick has a great plan for me. There's real structure and now I'm so motivated."
Hennessy primed him for two fights in two weeks back in August. He won both with ease and is now setting his sights on a belt in the near future:
"It's all up to Mick. I think he's looking more at an international belt to get me going, increase my appeal to the casual fan. Basically, whatever can fast track me to a world title. That's the dream."
It remains to be seen just how well Chamberlain will do in the next few years, but under the tutelage of Mick Hennessey and Rasel Hechadarria, a former coach with the Cuban national squad who is assisted by Bobby Miltiadous, he's in good hands. The initial signs are extremely promising too after back to back wins in the Summer.
If anyone's interested in exactly how a bus journey at 12 years old changed his life, the BBC have an eye-opening four minute video on it. It's well worth a watch.
The Bridgerweight division has just one Brit in the top 20, and he's eager to rise to the top as quickly as possible. That person is Isaac Chamberlain. Remember the name.