Tomorrow in Denmark, British featherweight king Ryan Walsh attempts the near impossible task of eclipsing the brilliant performance that twin brother Liam delivered last weekend.
He collides with Dennis Ceylan for the European strap and BoxNation screen live.
Glynn Evans considers where the Brothers Walsh might fit in a list of post-war Britain’s finest fighting siblings.
7) Cliff and Brian Curvis
These Swansea southpaws battled with each other more fiercely than they battled their opposition. However, hardened by internal squabbles, both acceded to the British and Commonwealth welterweight title.
Cliff, elder by 10 years, turned pro as a 16 year old flyweight and exited the profession, aged just 25, following a contentious disqualification loss when attempting to upgrade to continental king in France.
Brian, generally acknowledged as the more able, lost just four of 41 and bagged a Lonsdale Belt outright. However he was nudged out over 15 rounds by brilliant Virgin Islander Emile Griffiths in a 1964 bang-up for the undisputed world welter title at Wembley’s Empire Pool.
6) Jamie and Gavin McDonnell
The 30 year old identical twins from Doncaster both raced to British and European honours; Gavin adding an InterContinental belt at super-bantam, Jamie collecting a Commonwealth title at the weight beneath.
Unbeaten Gavin – older by nine minutes – is world rated by the WBC (2) so likely to get a go against formidable champ Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan over the next 12 months.
Joltin’ Jamie has already scaled the final rung and is an impressive 6-0 in gigs for the IBF or WBA world championships.
5) Michael, Liam and Ryan Walsh
Hot on their heels to make history as the first British twins to score world titles are Cromer crowdpleasers Liam and Ryan Walsh.
Shown the way by elder sibling Michael who crushed 11 straight (five in the opener) before succumbing to external pleasures, the twins became the first of their kind to hold British titles simultaneously last year and now eye the biggest prize.
Switch hitting super-feather Liam has already cemented a gig against IBF boss Jose Pedraza after his picture perfect points win over Andrey Klimov in a final eliminator last Saturday. Ryan, more cautious but no less able, seeks to upgrade the WBO and IBF world ratings he already holds and collect the continental featherweight gong for good measure, when he squares off with unbeaten Dane Dennis Ceylan in Frederikshavn tomorrow.
4) Ricky and Matthew Hatton
The ‘Hitman’ from Hyde requires little introduction having served as the dominant British fighter of the noughties.
Roaring Ricky raged to four world title belts across two divisions, tamed eight world champions and became the first Brit to land Ring magazine’s Fighter of the Year (2005).
A few were more gifted but none more popular and tens of thousands pilgrimaged across the Atlantic to lend support for his superfights against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
‘Magic’ man Matt trailed in his shadow but was himself a formidable force at welterweight where he gained and retained the European crown. Blessed with an uncrushable spirit and iron chin, he survived the full trip with both Canelo Alvarez and Kell Brook.
3) Chris and Kevin Finnegan
The fighting Finnegans from Iver, Bucks, by way of the Emerald Isle, fought hard and drank harder.
In 1968, elder brother Chris claimed Olympic middleweight gold in Mexico whilst moonlighting as a hod carrier and was rewarded with an MBE. In the paid field, operating at light-heavy, the slick southpaw foxed his way to British, Commonwealth and European glory. Alas, he fell just short in a valiant 1972 tilt for the undisputed world title when potent punching Alberquerque sheriff Bob Foster levelled him in round fourteen of Ring magazine’s Fight of the Year.
Kevin, junior by four years, was an industrial tough middleweight who bagged the domestic title three times and continental crown twice. He dropped three wafer thin, bitterly contested decisions to future world champ Alan Minter and twice gave Hall of Famer Marvin Hagler all the bother he could handle before being betrayed by his brittle eyebrows.
2) Dick, Jack and Randolph Turpin
Ground breaking middleweight Dick became the first fighter of ‘colour’ to claim a British title when he outfoxed Eastleigh’s Vince Hawkins over 15 rounds before 40,000 at Villa Park in 1948. Based in Leamington Spa but of British Guyana origins, Dick previously landed the Commonwealth crown and later coached his brothers.
Featherweight Jack was a good grade circuit fighter who went to battle 125 times between 1942-54, triumphing on 82 occasions.
But the jewel of the family crown was clearly Hall of Famer Randy, a strong and skilled middle who conquered at home and in Europe then shook up the world in July 1951 when, just 23, he outhustled the incomparable Sugar Ray Robinson (128-1-2) over 15 at Earl’s Court Arena.
Alas, fame did not sit comfortably with him. He conceded the crown after just 64 days and, after falling into bankruptcy, committed suicide in 1966.
1) Paul, Liam, Stephen and Callum Smith
All mentioned before must genuflect to the world class quartet from Kirkdale, Liverpool.
Pace setter Paul, a Commonwealth Games medallist (like Stephen and Callum) in his teens, won the British super-middle crown twice and came close to global glory when he took Germany’s Arthur Abraham right to the wire in a September 2014 WBO challenge.
Slightest sibling Stephen, a two time ABA champ, nabbed the Commonwealth featherweight crown plus British titles at both 126 and 130 lbs and seeks to claim a world championship at the second go against New Jersey’s Jason Sosa in Monte Carlo next month.
Youngest of the clan Callum, 26, already wears British and European belts and awaits his mandatory shot at WBC boss Badou Jack. Ultimately, he could eclipse all the others.
However, current head of the family table is third brother Liam, the least decorated amateur but only member of the brood to score a world title. Previously British and Commonwealth king, the sizzling super-welter won and twice defended the WBO crown before courageously conceding to ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in a Texas super-fight.