Britain's boxing trade paper Boxing News has published regular rankings for British fighters since 14 July 1948 - these were started by Boxing News correspondent Denis Vale. In 1950 Ron Olver assisted Vale with their compilation, then from 1951 it appears Olver compiled the rankings himself.
Prior to 1948 British boxers' rankings were seldom produced. The first traceable rankings for the leading British fighters appeared in Boxing (forerunner to Boxing News) on 5 July 1933. These were compiled by boxing writer and future Boxing News Editor Gilbert Odd, who then wrote under the pen name of Neville Buckley. Odd ranked the top eight boxers for the eight weight classes then in existence.
The exercise was repeated occasionally, particularly during 1938 and '39, but it is true to say that, unlike the American ratings published monthly in The Ring magazine, no consistent and worthwhile rankings were published for British boxers prior to 1947. To remedy this omission boxing historian Miles Templeton, with the assistance of John Mudie, is compiling a full set of rankings for the period.
The rankings that appear on our pages for 1909-47 were produced by Miles and John, and are based on fight record analysis and extensive newspaper research. From 1948 the Boxing News rankings have been reproduced. Together they provide a clear picture of Britain's top boxers at every weight since the inception of the Lonsdale Belt.
(More years and weights coming soon)