Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford and Dimitry Bivol dominate pound-for-pound lists proper now however every fighter is over 30 – and these 10 prospects are the way forward for boxing.
Every fighter under is 25 or beneath and displaying unimaginable promise: from a uncooked however thrilling heavyweight puncher to a pair of Brits to the boxer with the abilities to be the no.1 within the sport.
All the 10 under fall firmly into talkSPORT’s ‘prospect’ class, excluding fighters who’ve already challenged for full world titles. So Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson could also be among the many planet’s greatest younger boxers – however they’ve already received world championships. Which is strictly what the ten boxers under are aiming to do.
10. Adam Azim
This quick, flashy, handsome light-welterweight had a breakthrough 2022. Solely 20 years outdated, the Brit scored 5 KOs in 5 fights, taking his file to 7-0 (together with a spectacular second-round KO of the normally sturdy Rylan Charlton).
Early days for Azim – whose brother Hassan can be an unbeaten prospect – however coach Shane McGuigan has praised his ‘ridiculous velocity and reflexes’. He needs to match boyhood hero Amir Khan and change into a world champion by age 22. Subsequent up is unbeaten Nicaraguan Santos Reyes in February.
9. Xander Zayas
The Puerto Rican puncher has been taken the eight-round distance twice in his final three fights however a couple of rounds beneath his belt isn’t any dangerous factor for the 20-year-old prodigy. Signed by High Rank on the age of simply 16, Zayas is 15-0 (10 KOs) and already difficult fringe contenders at 154lb.
With wonderful punch placement, a harmful left hook and a Hollywood smile, Zayas has the qualities to go far and the body to stand up the burden divisions. More durable assessments will resolve Zayas’ ceiling however it will likely be terrific enjoyable watching the way it performs out in 2023.
8. Ellie Scotney
Britain’s feminine Olympians Lauren Worth, Karriss Artingstall and Caroline Dubois (who didn’t win a medal in Tokyo however could have an ideal professional type) understandably seize headlines – however Londoner Scotney has come up beneath the radar as the most effective rising prospects.
The 24-year-old super-bantamweight is barely 6-0 however she beat a former world champion in solely her fifth battle and is already a European champion. Seems set to problem Australian Cherneka Johnson for a world title in what might be solely her seventh professional battle. Some rise (to this point).
7. Jared Anderson
This charismatic, 6ft 4in, American heavyweight’s 13-0 (13 KOs) file appears to be like spectacular on paper – and even higher within the ring. The 23-year-old completed 2022 with a bang, coming into the ring dressed because the Grinch to put some season’s beatings on Jerry Forrest by way of a two-round KO.
The large-hooking Anderson has sparred with Tyson Fury and has already eyed his greatest potential rival within the subsequent technology of heavyweights. Bakhodir Jalolov, the 28-year-old Olympic champion, is somebody Anderson says he needs to “go toe-to-toe with”. Sure please.
6. David Morrell
Morrell’s 2022 nearly resulted in tragedy after his Twelfth-round KO of beforehand undefeated super-middleweight, Aidos Yerbossynuly, ended with the Kazakh in an induced coma. Fortunately, Yerbossynuly is now out of hospital and starting his restoration.
Understandably that information overshadowed simply how dominant Morrell appeared because the 24-year-old took his file to 8-0 (7 KOs). With a terrific beginner file of 135-2 and a extra fan-friendly type than you would possibly count on from a Cuban southpaw, Morrell is already a contender at 168lb.
5. Sebastian Fundora
‘The Towering Inferno’ is the strangest-looking boxer lively in the present day: a 6ft 5.5in beanpole who someway weighs in on the light-middleweight restrict of 154lb (11 stone). Fundora doesn’t even utilise his extraordinary attain when he fights, preferring to get in shut and outwork foes.
Which means the American – whose sister, Gabriela, can be a rising star – lives as much as the ‘Enjoyable’ a part of his surname. Having simply turned 25, he boasts a 20-0-1 file (13 KOs) and whereas he will not be probably the most sublimely gifted fighter on this checklist, he’s all the time entertaining to look at.
4. Ryan Garcia
Nonetheless solely 24, the progress of social media phenomenon ‘King Ry’ has slowed lately. Since his 2021 KO of Luke Campbell, Garcia has been admirably open in regards to the psychological well being points he’s confronted however Garcia appeared again to his greatest in blitzing Javier Fortuna final 12 months.
An attractive showdown with Gervonta Davis is on the playing cards after ‘Tank’ stopped Hector Garcia in January. The lightning-fast Garcia will begin that battle as an underdog – however the Mexican-American deserves credit score after pushing for a bout that many would have dodged.
3. Keyshawn Davis
He’s solely had seven professional fights (7-0, 5 KOs) and was outpointed by his nice beginner rival, Cuba’s Andy Cruz, within the 2020 Olympic light-weight ultimate. Nonetheless Davis appears to be like to have the velocity, footwork and adaptable abilities to go to the very high of the skilled recreation.
The 23-year-old American boxer-puncher has barely been examined as a professional, however has the likes of Mike Costello – the voice of British boxing – choosing him out because the sport’s greatest rising fighter. The one factor to not love about Davis to this point is his nickname. ‘The Businessman’? No.
2. Vergil Ortiz Jr
The extremely touted 24-year-old with a flawless 19-0 (19 KOs) file had a irritating 2022, setback by a uncommon medical situation, rhabdomyolysis. Nonetheless, Ortiz Jr shook off the ring rust to cease Britain’s Michael McKinson late on with a brutal physique shot final August.
The Texan, a heavy puncher expert in making use of educated stress, was set for a step-up battle in opposition to unbeaten welterweight Eimantas Stanionis. Nonetheless, Stanionis’ emergency appendectomy has delayed that till a minimum of April. Win that and Ortiz Jr has a press release victory within the talent-rich 147lb division,
1. Jaron Ennis
‘Boots’ Ennis had 27 KOs in 29 fights earlier than being taken the 12-round distance for the primary time in January, profitable each spherical in opposition to Karen Chukhadzhian. The scary factor is that the 25-year-old switch-hitter’s energy isn’t even on the high of an inventory of attributes that features fast palms, slick reflexes, fleet footwork and a excessive ring IQ.
The one knock in opposition to the Philadelphia welterweight is that he’s overdue an actual step up in competitors. Anticipate that to come back later in 2023 for a fighter who’s risen from red-hot prospect to can’t-miss contender – and will sooner or later be among the many sport’s pound-for-pound greatest.
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