The 10 Best Wins for British Boxers Abroad
Tyson Fury produced one of the most memorable performances of all time from a British fighter on foreign soil as he defeated Deontay Wilder inside the distance in Las Vegas, USA to become WBC Heavyweight Champion. But where does it rank in the history of Brits picking up wins in foreign rings? Here are the 10 best victories for British boxers on their travels.
Ricky Hatton vs Luis Collazo – 13 May 2006
This was not a huge shock as Ricky Hatton travelled to Boston in 2006 with a record of 40-0 to take on WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo. However, he was stepping up to 147lbs for the first time against a tough and talented champion. The Hitman made a great start, dropping the champ early, but the American fought back hard and Hatton had to grind out a gritty unanimous decision to become a two-weight world champion on his first big US show.
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz – 30 July 2016
Carl Frampton wasn’t going into Leo Santa Cruz’s backyard when he took on the Mexican in Las Vegas, but it was still a daunting trip to the States for the Northern Irishman. The Jackal was 22-0 and a unified super-bantamweight champion but he was stepping up to featherweight to take on the bigger, stronger Mexican who was 32-0-1 at the time. Frampton turned in a masterful display of boxing to clearly win the fight, although only score a majority decision, to claim a world title in a second weight class.
Kell Brook vs Shawn Porter – 16 August 2014
It seemed like forever that Kell Brook was waiting for a world title shot and when he eventually handed it, against Shawn Porter in California, things did not look too promising. Porter has faded since, but at the time he was an imposing, undefeated welterweight who had just obliterated Paulie Malignaggi in worrying fashion. Brook was a notable underdog, but proved his immense technical ability to out-point Porter on home soil and rightfully win the decision to claim the IBF belt via majority decision.
Nigel Benn vs Doug DeWitt – 29 April 1990
This was Nigel Benn’s first crack at a world title and he won it in dramatic fashion, dethroning WBO middleweight champion Doug DeWitt in Atlantic City with an eighth round stoppage. DeWitt already had six losses on his record at this stage, so was hardly a dominant champion, but he was experienced and had been in there with the best. Things looked bad for the visiting Brit when he was floored in the second round, but he bounced back in sensational style, dropping the champ four times en route to the stoppage to rip his belt from him.
John H Stracey vs Jose Napoles – 12 June 1975
One of the great welterweights of all time, Cuban legend Jose Napoles was sent into retirement by Londoner John H Stracey in Mexico City in 1975. Stracey was 42-3-1 at the time and had already fought in France to win the European title, but this was an enormous step-up in his first world title shot. The Brit was down in round one but responded by cutting the WBC champion badly, closing his eye and forcing the fight to be stopped in the sixth round. Napoles’ only defeat in the previous five years was to Argentine legend Carlos Monzon, and Stracey matched his achievement in the sweltering heat of Mexico.
Alan Minter vs Vito Antuofermo – 16 March 1980
The English star had won the European title on the road and had defended the British title a number of times but Alan Minter was getting his first shot at world honours when he faced Vito Antuofermo for his WBA and WBS middleweight titles in Las Vegas. It was a slug-fest, and a controversial one as the lone British judge scored it heavily for Minter over 15 rounds, but another gave it to Antuofermo. The Brit got the nod, though, despite being knocked down in the 14th and claimed the gold from a man who had drawn with Marvin Hagler in his previous bout and was fully expecting a rematch with the Marvellous one.
Ken Buchanan vs Ismael Laguna – 26 September 1970
Not only was Ken Buchanan fighting the reigning WBA lightweight champion in Ismael Laguna in 1970, but he was battling the searing heat in San Juan, Puerto Rico as the Scot scrapped for the belt outdoors. Buchanen’s only previous loss had come on the road in Spain for the European title, so he knew he had serious work to do to win a points decision and that’s exactly what he did, scraping the narrowest of split decisions to claim the gold. He scored a unanimous decision over Laguna a year later at Madison Square Garden to prove it was no fluke.
Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder II – 22 February 2020
After their first fight ended in a classic draw in December 2018, there was nothing to split Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder going into their rematch. Everyone knew Fury was the superior boxer but Wilder had the terrifying punch-power that knocked the Brit down twice in their first bout. The Gypsy King promised to ignore his back-foot style and go on the attack, looking for an early knockout. Few believed him, but he was a man of his word, and knocked the undefeated WBC heavyweight champion down twice en route to a seventh round stoppage, whilst barely taking a punch himself. With a new trainer and a brand new style, he handed Wilder is first loss in 44 pro fights under the lights in Las Vegas.
Lloyd Honeyghan vs Don Curry – 27 September 1986
The WBA, WBC and IBF welterweight champion, Donald Curry, was one of the pound-for-pound best on the planet in 1986, with a record of 25-0 and a string of impressive knockouts. He welcomed another undefeated star, Lloyd Honeyghan (27-0) to Atlantic City for a crack at his belts, but didn’t really see him as a challenger. Honeyghan had other ideas, and the British, Commonwealth and European champion added three world titles to his collection with a dominant performance as Curry failed to emerge for the seventh round.
Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko – 28 November 2015
We now know just how good Tyson Fury is, but going into his bout with Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, people were extremely sceptical of his skills. The Gypsy King was 24-0, but he looked a little clumsy, he had been floored a couple of times, and his best wins were over Dereck Chisora. Klitschko was an utterly dominant heavyweight champion, unbeaten in 11 years and holding the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts. He was either completely dominating people to points wins or knocking them out and held a 64-3 record. While from Ukraine, Klitschko had made Germany his stronghold and Fury travelled to Dusseldorf to have a crack at the champ. A masterful boxing display saw him pick up a unanimous decision win, despite a point deduction late on, and dethrone the champion in style. The vastly experienced Dr Steelhammer had no idea how to handle Fury and would never win a fight again after this chastening defeat.