We pick out six inactive British fighters and find out why they have not fought this year - including Kell Brook, Scott Quigg and Isaac Chamberlain
Using the Boxing Monthly rankings as a guide, we scoured the British men’s top five in the heaviest 13 of the 15 domestic divisions (as only six boxers are ranked in each of the other two) to identify the boxers therein who have not fought at all in 2019. Here are the six we found, including explanations for their absences.
Kell Brook (7 ½ months)
The super-welterweight insists he can still make welter but promoter Eddie Hearn has speculated the Sheffield man actually retire. Hearn feels Brook is only able to get motivated for a really big fight and these do no appear to be forthcoming right now. The long-awaited Amir Khan showdown seems as far away as ever for the ex-IBF welterweight king and Bob Arum recently dismissed the Brit as an opponent for WBO boss Terence Crawford.
Martin Ward (8 months)
“He’s a bit of a fighter who, being a southpaw and a bit awkward, he’s in the ‘Who-wants-him’ brigade,” revealed the Durham super-bantam and two-time British title challenger’s trainer, Neil Fannan. Martin’s brother Tommy Ward recently made waves in America and was signed by Salita Promotions, in addition to working with MTK. “We’re hoping that when they [MTK] come up to Newcastle again for Tommy, Martin will hopefully get a ride on that,” Fannan added.
Isaac Chamberlain (9 months)
Took a good win over Luke Watkins in October 2018, but the Brixton cruiser has not been seen since. “There were certain things to do with my contract,” Isaac told me. “I recently signed with Al Haymon, but I’m still battling with [ex-trainer/manager] Ted [Bami] through lawyers. I could be on an ITV pay-per-view show on September28 with Chris Eubank Jr vs John Ryder and Adrien Broner vs Lee Selby. I’ll be in a good fight, we’re trying to get Hizni Altunkaya, who fought for a world title against Beibut Shumenov and also fought Denis Lebedev and Krzysztof Glowacki. I’ve literally just turned 25, so I can bide my time.”
Gary Corcoran (9 months)
A long break after his gruelling vacant British welterweight title defeat to Johnny Garton last year is understandable. Corcoran remains under contract with Frank Warren but is presently without a British license, something he would need to re-apply for should he wish to return. “Fights with Gary are always a war; great for the fans but not for the trainer given he stands people on their heads in the gym,” said Corcoran’s coach Peter Stanley. “He needed a long rest after the last one and we’ll see what he decides to do.”
Scott Quigg (9 months)
Last time we saw the former WBA super-bantam boss, he came in around super-feather for a marking-time bout. He was scheduled to fight Jayson Velez in April but two weeks prior injured his left bicep tendon in sparring had to have surgery, in Los Angeles. “He’s just gone back there last week to LA, to get his arm looked at,” Paul Speak, who works with Quigg, said. “The doctor said his arm is healing well so he has started light pad work. All being well he’ll be out in November-December. He is keeping his options open regarding weight.” Quigg’s injury may mean he missed out on a shot at IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington.
Reece Cartwright (10 months)
Only 25, the Leeds middleweight won the vacant English belt against unbeaten Tyler Denny last September. He was due to defend against Jack Cullen in March but sustained an injury then withdrew from the rescheduled May 11 to take a break from the sport due to personal reasons, giving up the belt. At the time, Cartwright’s management team posted the following on social media: “It is with great regret that we announce that Leeds middleweight Reece Cartwright will take time out from professional boxing to consider his future options with immediate effect. The British Boxing Board of Control have been informed and Reece would like to thank all his fans, sponsors, family and friends for their support and kind messages over the last five years of this amazing journey. We ask now that people please respect Reece and his family’s privacy at this emotional and sensitive time.”