By Eddie Ikin
Prior to his eagerly-anticipated January rematch against Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton was regarded as Britain’s pound-for-pound best fighter.
Undefeated in 23 bouts, and undisputed super-bantamweight champion of the world, life was sweet for the Irishman.
So when that rematch ended in a first professional loss for the ‘The Jackal’, did it knock him off the top spot?
Lets take a look…
Firstly, his status at the top of the pile was already up for debate, even after a superb win against Mexico’s Santa Cruz in New York.
Critics claimed Barry McGuigan’s protégé hadn’t fought a real world-class opponent. Instead, the fighters he’d faced, especially early on in his career, were there to take a beating.
But who can blame his team? A young talent destined for stardom; why risk an early loss on his record?
The Belfast man’s first noted scalp came in the form of Englishman Scott Quigg.
An underwhelming contest in Quigg’s native Manchester saw Frampton win via a split decision.
His win over Santa Cruz also failed to receive a unanimous verdict from the judges. Perhaps the manner of those victories didn’t satisfy British fight fans and the media.
Top pound-for-pound fighters should be strolling to victory, right?
In an era when British boxing is thriving and competition is strong, one slip-up could mean dropping not just one place in the rankings, but two or three.
So, if not Frampton, who else could take top spot?
Like Frampton, the Sheffield-born fighter has only recently lost his unbeaten record.
The 30-year old’s well documented two steps up ended in heartbreak as he was stopped by Kazak superstar Gennady Golovkin.
Despite this loss, Brook has shown what a world class fighter he is.