British boxing has had a brilliant Bantamweight run at the highest level. Ryan Burnett, Paul Butler, Lee Haskins, Stuey Hall and Jamie McDonnell have all held World Titles inside the last six years.
Among those aspiring to match their achievements are Ukashir Farooq and Iain Butcher, who meet in an all tartan showdown in Glasgow on Friday, live on BoxNation.
Farooq will be making the first defence of his British Title and both men will be desperate to show they can compete with the best. Here, BoxNation pundit Steve Lillis names his top 10 domestic Bantamweights.
1: RYAN BURNETT
(Belfast) 19-1, 9 KOs
Burnett was desperately unlucky to lose his WBA World Title to Nonito Donaire last month. Ryan was making the third defence of his belt and the fight was finely poised when he suffered a serious back injury in the fourth round. He was in obvious agony and trainer Adam Booth wisely pulled his man out when the round ended.
Burnett unified in October 2017, beating WBA Champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov and then relinquished the IBF crown he already held.
2: LEE HASKINS
(Bristol) 35-4, 14 KOs
He hasn’t boxed since he easily outpointed Issac Quaye almost 12 months ago, his only fight since losing his IBF Title on points against Ryan Burnett. Haskins, 35, has been a pro for almost 16 years and is likely to make one last World Title assault before calling it quits.
3: JAMIE MCDONNELL
(Doncaster) 29-3-1, 13 KOs
McDonnell has been one of the unsung heroes of British boxing making six defences of the WBA crown. His reign ended in May when Japanese terror Naoya Inoue tore apart the weight drained Yorkshireman in the first round. He is expected to move out of the Bantamweight division.
4: PAUL BUTLER
(Ellesmere Port) 27-2, 14 KOs
He held the IBF strap briefly after winning a decision against Stuey Hall, but never defended. He was then stopped in eight by Zolani Tete in a IBF super-flyweight title challenge. At the time it was considered an upset.
Butler got another crack at the vacant IBF 118lb belt in May after Ryan Burnett relinquished, but never recovered from a poor start and was outpointed by Emmanuel Rodriguez, but showed remarkable resilience.
5: JOSH WALE
(Barnsley) 27-10-2, 13 KOs
Wale is better than his record suggests. He relinquished the British Title to fight for the European belt, handing Farooq his chance. He was desperately unlucky not to be crowned European Champion last month when he was robbed by the judges and dropping a decision to Georges Ory in France.
6: UKASHIR FAROOQ
(Glasgow) 10-0, 4 KOs
What a way to become British Bantamweight champion in September when he dropped fellow Scot Jamie Wilson three times and storming to victory in just 73 seconds.
Wilson was down inside 13 seconds and never recovered. Farooq became the first Scot to hold this title since Drew Docherty more than 21 years ago.
Ukashir Farooq destroyed Jamie Wilson inside a round to become British Bantamweight Champion in September 💥— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) November 27, 2018
He makes his first defence against Iain Butcher on Friday's @MTKGlobal show 🇬🇧 #FarooqButcher pic.twitter.com/IYV1du9Sk7
7: LEE MCGREGOR
(Edinburgh) 5-0, 5 KOs
Promoter Barry McGuigan looks sure to be pushing the 21-year-old’s claim to be the next mandatory challenger to the winner of Farooq v Butcher.
It’s easy to see why he is tipped for the top judging by his Commonwealth Title winning performance against Thomas Essomba last month, who he knocked out in round 12.
8: KYLE YOUSAF
(Sheffield) 14-0, 6 KOs
He has barely lost a round and 2019 should bring his British Title chance. Although he has won the English Fyweight crown, most of his fights have been at Bantamweight. He trains alongside other top little men Charlie and Sunny Edwards, who both sing his praises.
9: IAIN BUTCHER
(Motherwell) 18-3, 5 KOs
‘Baby Butch’ has won two on the spin since failing to make weight in 2017 for a British Super-Flyweight Title challenge against Charlie Edwards, which he lost on points.
His best win came in 2016 when he outpointed former Commonwealth Champion Thomas Essomba. He last fought in June, outpointing Brett Fidoe, who has been bang in-form since.
10: MARC LEACH
(Salford) 11-1-1, 3 KOs
Leach trains under Jamie Moore at his star-studded gym in Worsley on the outskirts of Manchester, and training with the likes of Carl Frampton is paying off.
He lost his professional debut against former Commonwealth Champion Bobby Jenkinson, but the 24-year-old is unbeaten since. In September he stopped former British Flyweight Title challenger Louis Norman inside two rounds.