Ricky Hatton: My predictions for Great Britain’s next world champions in 2022

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Lyndon Arthur

Zach Parker and Lyndon Arthur both in prime positions (Picture: Getty)

In his latest column with Metro.co.uk, the British boxing legend assesses who will be in the frame to win their first world title next year and looks ahead to another big night for Fightzone.

Zach Parker in an excellent position

We are coming towards the end of 2021 and Jack Massey could become Great Britain’s latest world champion when he takes on Bilal Laggoune for the IBO cruiserweight title in a few weeks on Fightzone.

This year, we’ve seen Lawrence Okolie, Sunny Edwards, Maxi Hughes, Chantelle Cameron and Hannah Rankin pick up their first world titles and there are plenty more who can follow in their footsteps in 2022.

Zach Parker has a very good chance of doing just that given his position as the no1 ranked fighter with the WBO. He will be confident of landing his shot at that super-middleweight title. I think current champion Canelo Alvarez will vacate the belts now and move up to light-heavyweight after his win over Caleb Plant at the weekend.

Parker dropped Morrison three times en route to a fourth round stoppage win (Picture: Getty)

This is no disrespect to Zach, but he might not be a big enough name yet for Canelo. Canelo will fight whoever is put in front of him but I think the TV companies might object to Zach. But that gives him an even better chance of getting that world title. He is the no1 contender and has shown massive potential so far. Last Saturday he took care of business again against Marcus Morrison, doing a better job on him than Chris Eubank Jr did earlier in the year.

The potential is certainly there and the way he won against Morrison showed he has got the ability to improve further. I always say you can gauge fighters on how they breeze through the domestic level and for him to blitz through Morrison shows he has got plenty more in the tank and will be able to bridge the gap to that world class level.

Zach Parker is definitely up there as one of our next world champions and with Frank Warren behind him, he’ll get him in for that WBO belt. He could be in the mix with people like Daniel Jacobs and David Lemieux if Canelo does vacate and he will be well capable of winning those fights.

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Joe Joyce ready for a world title

I also believe Joe Joyce has a world title in him. Joe has so many good attributes, he is very heavy-handed, he’s has an absolute rock solid chin, he has that amateur pedigree and on top of it he has that sort of herky-jerky style. He is so hard to get a read of and it makes him so effective. It all depends on what happens elsewhere in the heavyweight division though.

Joyce the mandatory challenger for the WBO title (Picture: Getty)

Joe is the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt but who knows when his turn will be. Dillian Whyte meanwhile could be made the mandatory Tyson Fury’s WBC belt so it ultimately depends on what happens with those big names.

Mandatories are being fulfilled and rematches clauses are here there and everywhere, it means nothing is straight forward in the division. But ultimately, you have to put Joe Joyce and Dillian Whyte in that bracket.

It all depends on the politics of the division, but those two are right up there in the conversation.

Lyndon Arthur leading light-heavyweight hopes

There are four potential world champions from the UK in the light-heavyweight division but I would have to say Lyndon Arthur is the closest in my opinion.

Anthony Yarde has already proven his worth at world title level when he came up against Sergey Kovalev, giving a very credible performance that night. Considering Lyndon went onto beat Yarde after that, that makes Lyndon top of the tree for me.

Arthur and Yarde meet in a rematch in December (Picture: Getty)

Joshua Buatsi could be the best of the lot given a little bit more time but I think he has a lot more to offer. He will get better and better in the coming years, he is in there amongst it. Callum Johnson could be a dark horse now he is active again but any of those have the potential to win a world title next year.

A lot will depend on how Lyndon Arthur and Anthony Yarde get on in their rematch in December. I’ve always like Yarde’s style, Lyndon is very underrated though and probably has the worst style for Yarde in my opinion. If I’m going for one of those to be top of that pile and within touching distance of getting a world title next year, I’m going with Lyndon. But let’s have it right, they are all capable of being world champions.

Conor Benn closing in

As far as Conor Benn is concerned, next year might be just a little bit too soon for him. In the world of promoting fighters, it is all about making the right moves at the right time, you never know what is going to come up.

Conor for me is an absolute certainly to win a world title, but whether it is in the next 12 months I don’t know. There are some outstanding champions in the welterweight division at the moment. But given his age and the rapid improvements he is making, he will be in that bracket soon enough.

Fightzone heads to Aberdeen

After a brilliant show in London last week that saw Hannah Rankin claim two world titles after beating Maria Lindberg, Fightzone heads north of the border for a cracking evening of action in Aberdeen.

With Sam Kynoch working with Dennis Hobson for this show, the very talented Dean Sutherland is hoping to take another step in the right direction when he takes on Michele Esposito for the WBC international silver title.

These are credible titles for his fighters and they must have high hopes for him. Dean put in a brilliant performance in July when he broke down a tough Mexican with just one loss on his record in Jose Antonio Delgado in seven rounds.

This is another good step up for him, coming up against a tough opponent with loads of experience and it will no doubt push him up the rankings. He is another one who could have a very exciting 2022.

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