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10 of the best world champions to come from Yorkshire, England

Brendan Ingle with Naseem Hamed
Action Images
Kell Brook, the former IBF champion who fights this Saturday, is just one of the many talented fighters to emerge from Yorkshire and win boxing gold

1. Naseem Hamed

As a featherweight, Hamed won WBC, IBF and WBO versions of the title and, before losing to Marco Antonio Barrera in 2001, defeated former champions such as Kevin Kelley, Tom Johnson, Manuel Medina, Steve Robinson, Paul Ingle, Cesar Soto, Wayne McCullough and Wilfredo Vazquez.

2. Johnny Nelson

Despite losing his first three pro fights, Nelson displayed admirable perseverance in winning British and European honours, as well as the WBO world cruiserweight title, a belt he would go on to defend 13 times, in 1999.

fight
Nelson did things the hard way (Action Images)

3. Kell Brook

Though a slight underdog going in, Brook ventured to America to grab the IBF welterweight champion from the clutches of Shawn Porter in 2014. He defended it three times before coming unstuck against American Errol Spence Jnr in 2017.

4. Clinton Woods

For so long an unsung hero of British boxing, Woods rounded up British, Commonwealth and European light-heavyweight titles ahead of challenging first Roy Jones Jnr and then Glen Johnson for world titles. He came up short both times but eventually beat Rico Hoye to snatch the IBF title in 2005, a belt he would then successfully defend against Johnson.

Clinton Woods
Woods celebrates victory (Action Images/Brandon Malone)

5. Josh Warrington

The pride of Leeds, Warrington is the current IBF featherweight champion and one of Britain’s premier fighters. He won the belt with a decision over Lee Selby in May 2018 and has since defended it against the likes of Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad.

6. Jamie McDonnell

Doncaster’s McDonnell was a British, Commonwealth and European champion at bantamweight before he graduated to IBF world champion status with a decision win against Julio Ceja in 2013. He then added the WBA version of the belt the following year, which he defended twice against unbeaten Japanese star Tomoki Kameda.

Jamie McDonnell
McDonnell lands a right on Komeda

7. Paul Ingle

Known as the ‘Yorkshire Hunter’, Ingle was a British, Commonwealth and European featherweight champion whose 1999 defeat to Naseem Hamed acted as the springboard for him to claim world honours the following year. Wins over Manuel Media and Junior Jones showed his potential before his reign was cruelly cut short by Mbulelo Botile in his first title defence.

8. Junior Witter

Awkward and dangerous, Witter used his switch-hitting style to bag a vacant WBC super-lightweight title against DeMarcus Corley in 2006. Defences against Arturo Morua and Vivian Harris followed before he was dethroned by Tim Bradley.

9. Paul Jones

Jones rallied back from an inauspicious start to his pro career to shock Verno Phillips and win the WBO super-welterweight belt in 1995. He lost to fellow Yorkshireman Ryan Rhodes in his next fight but only the British title was on the line.

10. Nicola Adams

Double Olympic champion Adams turned pro in April 2017 and picked up the interim WBO flyweight title the following year. The title then became the full version by the time she defended it, with a draw, against Maria Salinas in her next bout.

Nicola Adams
Adams is held to a split draw at the Albert Hall (Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge)

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