Luke Blackledge is expecting a wave of all-British world title contests to flood the boxing scene sooner rather than later.
There are 13 fighters that proudly represent the United Kingdom at the highest level at present but there is also a gang of challengers on the periphery.
Jamie McDonnell, Lee Haskins, Lee Selby, Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, Ricky Burns, Kell Brook, Liam Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale, Tony Bellew, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury currently hold office across the five governing bodies and 17 weight classifications.
Brook faces Gennady Golovkin at the O2 Arena this weekend in the hope of usurping the Kazakhstan pugilist as the WBC, IBF and IBO World middleweight champion.
Blackledge, the former Commonwealth king at 168lbs, is predicting victory for the current incumbent. However, with Brook’s welterweight strap not on the line, that could still pave the way for a huge domestic dust up.
Though ‘Special K’ is reluctant to meet Amir Khan the match up remains a possibility. And then there’s Liam Smith, who defends his WBO super welterweight crown against Saul Alvarez on September 17th.
“I think Kell Brook will need to keep his distance on Saturday,” said Blackledge. “Even so, Golovkin will catch up with him eventually.
“Brook has put a lot of size on so we’ll have to see how he adapts to that. We’re used to seeing his fast hands, he’s razor sharp and explosive with plenty of power but you have to wonder if he’ll feel more sluggish.
“He’s carrying a lot more weight and over 12 rounds that can make a difference. It’ll be tough because he’s not fighting at his natural body weight.”
Blackledge, who is set to tackle Callum Smith for the Lonsdale Belt, added: “I think he’ll cause GGG problems, he’ll be awkward, but I don’t think we’ll see the same version of Brook. I think the extra weight will pull him down.
“GGG will cut off the ring eventually, get on his chest and mix it up with straight jabs, upper cuts and body shots. In the end I think Brook will be stopped. It’s a win-win situation for him though. He’s got everything to win and nothing to lose.”
At bantamweight there’s scope for McDonnell and Haskins to unify after the latter makes a successful defence against Stuart Hall.
Moving through the ranks there is scope for an interesting triangular battle between holder Selby, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg.
Terry Flanagan and Anthony Crolla will surely cross paths eventually in a unification bout at lightweight while Luke Campbell continues to climb through the ranks.
At 160lbs, Chris Eubank Jr and Saunders continue to talk the talk as the public waits with bated breath as to whether the pair will re-walk the walk.
George Groves and Callum Smith will threaten DeGale’s reign at super-middleweight - with Blackledge keeping an eagle eye on how things pan out - and in the heavyweight division Bellew (cruiserweight), David Haye, Joshua and Fury have all thrown their hats in to the ring.
“There will definitely be some big British battles on the horizon,” Blackledge said. “There are so many British lads involved in world title fights. It would be great if we can have a few all-British contests.
“There are fighters coming through the ranks who will challenge and they’re proving that they’re good enough. There’s a lot of up-and-coming talent.
“There are some big fights that could happen. It was huge when Eubank and Benn fought back in the day. It’s massive for British boxing.”