The Top 10 British Heavyweights of All Time

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The Top 10 British Heavyweights of All Time
Associated Press
It is possible that not all these three men feature on the list.

For many years, British heavyweights suffered a dismal reputation and were the butt of jokes in America, the country which ruled the division for most of the 20th century. In more recent years, Europe has seen a great revival in its heavyweight fortunes, and Britain has had its role in that.

The poster boy for the low American perception of Brits was "Phaintin" Phil Scott, a 1920s heavy who was famed for hitting the canvas at the slightest foul and who once won three of four back-to-back fights by disqualification.

Scott made it to a de facto world-title eliminator against Jack Sharkey in Miami, but after neither the referee, nor the commission, would uphold his claims about being fouled in Round 3, his record registers a third-round stoppage loss.

This came on the back of failures by earlier British champions "Bombardier" Billy Wells and Joe Beckett, who share the distinction of being knocked out in the first round of European title challenges against Georges Carpentier.

At our lowest ebb, a Dorothy Parker witticism was twisted against our big men: “If all the British heavyweights in history were laid out end to end, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.”

However, over the years Britain has had its fair share of European champions, if perhaps its world-title challengers have been more from the brave loser column than the glorious victor one.

Whilst it is probably an exercise in futility to try to compare fighters from different eras in a pseudo-scientific fashion, here is an impressionistic selection of the best-ever British heavyweights.

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