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Boxing’s top 25 under 25: Meet the stars of the future – Latest Breaking News Updates

Vergil Ortiz, the 2019 prospect of the year, returns to the ring Friday for his first battle of 2020. Ortiz scored stoppage victories in all 4 of his fights in 2019, and this yr was alleged to be when he made the bounce to title contender in a stacked welterweight division … and he is solely 22.

In placing collectively an inventory of the greatest 25 fighters under the age of 25, Ortiz was an apparent choice. The record, composed by a panel of ESPN boxing contributors, shines a highlight on the greatest prospects in the sport in addition to some promising up-and-comers, title contenders and some fighters who’re already world champions, together with Teofimo Lopez Jr., Shakur Stevenson and Ryan Garcia.

It wasn’t a simple process to rank them, however this unbelievable assortment of expertise reveals that boxing is in good palms in the years to come back.

1. Teofimo Lopez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs), 22, IBF light-weight titlist



Teofimo Lopez Jr. places on a Joe Burrow jersey after defeating Richard Commey at MSG in December, just like when Lopez sported a Kyler Murray jersey in his win the earlier December.

The fighter: Lopez is rated No. 2 at light-weight by ESPN. From the time he turned skilled in 2016, Lopez constantly confirmed he was the Top Rank prospect with the highest ceiling. He has nice counterpunching expertise, unbelievable timing, accuracy and energy.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In an period throughout which many boxers win a watered-down model of a world title, Lopez went out and dominated the revered — and usually sturdy — Richard Commey in a second-round TKO victory in December to win Commey’s IBF belt. Sometimes it isn’t when you win a title, however how you achieve this.

Future/ceiling/expectations: There has been discuss of a showdown with unified light-weight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, the greatest fighter in the division and ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound in the world. A win in opposition to Lomachenko would make Lopez the sport’s youngest celebrity — and he would’ve achieved it the proper approach. — Steve Kim

2. David Benavidez, (22-0, 19 KOs), 23, WBC tremendous middleweight titlist

The fighter: Benavidez is a two-time WBC tremendous middleweight titlist. He is ranked No. 2 in the division in the newest ESPN divisional rankings, and he has revived his profession following a positive drug test for cocaine in September 2018, leading to him being stripped of the title and saved out of the ring for 13 months.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In September 2017, the then-20-year-old Benavidez grew to become the youngest ever tremendous middleweight titleholder when he defeated Ronald Gavril by cut up choice to win the WBC belt. Two years later, Benavidez received again the belt after stopping Andre Dirrell in the ninth spherical.

Future/ceiling/expectations: A giant, money-spinning battle could be a conflict in opposition to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez — or if that match does not materialize, a battle in opposition to any of the different world titleholders at 168 kilos. Benavidez peaked early by successful a world title at age 20, and I do not assume he can upset Canelo or dislodge Callum Smith from the top spot at super middleweight; however a unification battle with IBF titlist Caleb Plant is one he wins. Benavidez will in all probability transfer as much as the ultra-competitive mild heavyweight division in some unspecified time in the future, however he ought to wait till getting his alternatives at 168. — Nick Parkinson

3. Shakur Stevenson (14-0, Eight KOs), 24, former WBO featherweight champion



Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez commerce punches in the fifth spherical of their principal occasion bout in Reno. To watch extra Top Rank and catch the relaxation of this bout, join ESPN+.

The fighter: Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, was signed with a lot fanfare out of the Olympics, and he hasn’t upset. Stevenson developed rapidly, and he has turn out to be one of the easiest younger boxers in the sport. Stevenson is a brilliant fighter inside the ring with an unerring confidence in his personal talents. Boxing from the southpaw stance, he has an important understanding of spacing and distance.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Back in the fall, Stevenson decisively outpointed Joet Gonzalez to win the vacant WBO featherweight title. Stevenson’s run at 126 kilos was short-lived, as he lately moved up in weight and vacated this belt.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Hopefully, Stevenson will get to battle any of the junior light-weight titleholders — Miguel Berchelt, Joseph Diaz Jr., Leo Santa Cruz and Jamel Herring. Stevenson is the precocious sort; he needs to go belt looking as quickly as potential and rapidly cement his legacy at junior light-weight. — Kim

4. Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), 21, WBC light-weight titlist

The fighter: Haney grew to become one of boxing’s youngest-ever world titleholders at the age of 20 final yr, and he has lately been coaching with former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. Haney has a range of punches and is a pleasant mover round the ring, making it exhausting for opponents to pin him down.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Haney claimed the WBC’s vacant interim light-weight belt in September 2019 with a fourth-round knockout of Zaur Abdullaev and a month later was elevated to a full world champion when Vasiliy Lomachenko was made “franchise champion.” Haney made a profitable first protection by way of a unanimous choice in opposition to Alfredo Santiago in November however suffered a proper shoulder damage in the course of.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Haney has been linked to British fighter Luke Campbell for his subsequent battle, whereas there are some huge potential fights at light-weight in the future in opposition to fellow younger sensations Ryan Garcia and IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez Jr.. Campbell, who has twice misplaced world title photographs on factors in opposition to elite opponents Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, could be the greatest opponent Haney has confronted thus far and a real take a look at of his potential to turn out to be a standout star in the sport. — Parkinson

5. Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), 21, light-weight contender



Ryan Garcia reveals off unbelievable punching velocity as he works via drills at his home.

The fighter: Garcia is a reflexive fighter, with a lightning-fast counter left hook. He is also the telegenic sort who’s infinitely marketable. Garcia is simply beginning to mature bodily and is honing his general expertise under the course of coach Eddy Reynoso. The query is, can he battle in addition to he promotes himself on social media?

Accomplishments/greatest second: He grew to become a legit star when he drew over 10,000 followers to his most up-to-date battle in opposition to Francisco Fonseca on Feb. 14 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. He has achieved it with out having actually confronted a legit contender. You might argue that Garcia is boxing’s first Instagram creation.

Future/ceiling/expectations: It seems like a bout with Luke Campbell, which has been mandated by the WBC, is the greatest battle out there for Garcia. A victory over the southpaw from the U.Okay. would actually legitimize Garcia as knowledgeable prizefighter. — Kim

6. Jaime Munguia (35-0, 18 KOs), 23, middleweight contender

The fighter: The former WBO world junior middleweight titlist has stepped up a division and is predicted to problem that group’s middleweight titleholder — Demetrius Andrade — in the subsequent 12 months. Munguia stepped up a weight class, as he was struggling to make the 154-pound restrict together with his 6-foot body, and he made a formidable middleweight debut when he stopped Ireland’s Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the 11th spherical in January. He is educated by boxing legend Erik Morales in Tijuana, Mexico.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Munguia received his first world title at simply 21, when he floored Sadam Ali 4 occasions in a four-round effort to elevate the WBO belt. The victory justified the hype round him as one of boxing’s standout prospects. Munguia saved busy, making two defenses in as many months — in opposition to former titleholder Liam Smith and contender Brandon Cook — and 5 defenses in whole.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Munguia is on an extended record of future opponents for Canelo Alvarez, one of boxing’s greatest international stars. But as Munguia continues successful, an all-Mexican conflict with Canelo at middleweight or tremendous middleweight turns into an even bigger risk. In the meantime, Munguia can attempt to climb nearer to the middleweight top — he is ranked No. 10 in the newest ESPN divisional rankings — and fights in opposition to rival contenders Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Liam Williams and Matt Korobov are good stepping stones over the subsequent yr. In time, and relying on which division Canelo and an growing older Gennadiy Golovkin are working at, Munguia is a possible international middleweight ruler. — Parkinson

7. Vergil Ortiz (15-0, 15 KOs), 22, welterweight prospect

The fighter: Ortiz is the steak to Garcia’s sizzle under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. This younger man is a hard-hitting welterweight with legit energy in each palms. Ortiz, who trains under the steerage of Robert Garcia, had a formidable 2019 as he defeated veterans Mauricio Herrera and Antonio Orozco in spectacular trend.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Last yr, he confronted the trio of Herrera, Orozco and Brad Solomon, three fighters who by no means had suffered stoppage losses. Ortiz pulled off the hat trick in that regard and completed all of them, with none of the fights going previous six rounds.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Ortiz returns Friday to face Samuel Vargas, and plenty of already think about Ortiz a contender at welterweight. He shall be maneuvered by Golden Boy right into a title shot as quickly as potential. — Kim

8. Jaron Ennis (25-0, 23 KOs), 23, welterweight contender

The fighter: Ennis seems to be the subsequent nice Philly fighter. While he is been a tad under the radar, boxing insiders have recognized about him for years. Coming from a boxing household, Ennis has been blessed with innate talents inside the ring. Many examine him to Terence Crawford for his skill to seamlessly switch-hit between standard and southpaw stances.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Ennis’ greatest moments are in entrance of him, however he has turn out to be a staple of the ShoBox sequence in the previous yr or so, and in his most up-to-date outing he stopped Bakhtiyar Eyubov in 4 one-sided rounds.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Ennis will problem for a welterweight title. I can simply see him successful a belt at 147 and, together with his athleticism and talent to switch-hit, being nearly as good as anybody in the division. He may also be a power at 154 and 160 kilos as he strikes up, cementing his standing as one of the greatest boxers in the world. Insiders have believed for some time that he’s the subsequent standout from the combating metropolis of Philadelphia. — Kim

9. Daniel Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs), 22, heavyweight contender



Daniel Dubois knocks down Kyotaro Fujimoto on a stiff jab in Round 2. For extra boxing, join ESPN +

The fighter: You know all about Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and would possibly even know a bit about Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Dubois is the different British heavyweight — and if you do not know a lot about him but, you quickly will. Dubois is an thrilling, huge puncher who has stopped all however one of his 14 opponents.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Dubois was British and Commonwealth champion by the age of 21 and is already in the top 10 of two of the world’s governing our bodies. His punching energy has ensured an finish to 9 of his 14 fights inside the first two rounds. A fifth-round KO win over Nathan Gorman for the British crown a yr in the past is probably his greatest second to this point, and made him the third-youngest British heavyweight champion in historical past, behind Joe Bugner and Herbie Hide.

Future/ceiling/expectations: If Dubois will get previous Joe Joyce (a battle at present scheduled for October), there shall be a clamor to see him in opposition to another British rivals — Whyte, WBC world champion Fury and WBA-IBF-WBO world champion Joshua. But these three are tied up over the subsequent yr, so, extra probably are fights in opposition to others decrease down in the world top-10, plus a U.S. debut. “As long as I keep performing, eventually I will fight them [bigger names],” Dubois stated. “It’s a journey, and I’m not in a rush.” — Parkinson

10. Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs), 24, junior middleweight contender

The fighter: The Orlando, Florida-based southpaw gained momentum with three wins in 2019, together with stoppages over Ishe Smith and Zakaria Attou. Lubin has efficiently rebuilt his profession since a devastating first-round defeat by Jermell Charlo for the WBC world title in October 2017.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Perhaps Lubin confronted Charlo too quickly; his greatest achievement has been recovering from that crushing setback so properly. Three KO wins in 4 fights has put Lubin again in title rivalry.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Junior middleweight is a wide-open and altering division, and over the subsequent few years Lubin will characteristic in the energy seize. An opportunity at redemption in a rematch in opposition to Charlo, Lubin’s No. 1 goal, is in play, as Lubin is again as the No. 1 contender in the WBC rankings. Over the course of the subsequent yr, count on the 24-year-old to proceed exhibiting how he has since improved his boxing IQ. Lubin has spectacular energy — he has received three inside-the-distance fights since the Charlo nightmare — and whereas he waits for a Charlo rematch for the WBC world title (which is likely to be some time) there are different huge fights for him to realize expertise and recognition from: in opposition to Tony Harrison, Nathaniel Gallimore and Julian Williams. — Parkinson

11. Brandon Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KOs), 23, WBA junior featherweight titlist

The fighter: Figueroa, the youthful brother of former light-weight world titlist Omar Figueroa, holds a secondary model of the WBA junior featherweight title. The entertaining fighter has received seven of his previous eight fights by stoppage and is ranked No. 7 in the division by ESPN.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Figueroa emulated his brother’s success by successful a world title when he forced the experienced Yonfrez Parejo to retire on his stool after the eighth spherical to win the vacant WBA interim junior featherweight title at 22. It was his greatest second to this point. Figueroa knocked out Javier Chacon, then 38, 4 months later, and fought to a split-decision draw in opposition to Julio Ceja in November after being promoted to “regular” champion standing.

Future/ceiling/expectations: If Figueroa will get via a doubtlessly difficult obligatory protection in opposition to Ronny Rios, the 23-year-old can turn out to be one of the standout stars at junior featherweight in 2021. Figueroa’s final battle — a draw in opposition to Ceja — was an entertaining slugfest when the Texan, who is named “The Heartbreaker,” confirmed a lot of coronary heart, which left viewers wanting extra. As properly as a compulsory protection in opposition to Rios, a rematch with Ceja additionally is sensible for Figueroa when he can work on correcting some defensive faults he confirmed in opposition to of their first battle. Win these fights and Figueroa, who has a harmful proper hook, shall be eyeing huge paydays in opposition to the likes of Danny Roman, WBC champion Rey Vargas and WBA-IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev. — Parkinson

12. Edgar Berlanga (14-0, 14 KOs), 23, tremendous middleweight prospect



Edgar Berlanga, the 23-year-old bruiser from Brooklyn, has 13 profession wins, all by first-round stoppage. Check out Berlanga’s spotlight reel as he seeks to enhance to 14-Zero vs. Eric Moon.

The fighter: Berlanga is a pure puncher, to the level that he has not solely knocked out each opponent he has confronted however has knocked out all 14 in the first spherical. He’s right-handed however has energy in each palms. Given that he is a fighter of Puerto Rican descent from New York, you may envision him headlining at Madison Square Garden sooner or later.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Not having seen the second spherical regardless of being 14 fights into your professional profession is fairly spectacular. Yeah, it could possibly be the byproduct of favorable matchmaking, however Berlanga has confronted some first rate opposition in Cesar Nunez and Jaime Barboza, and he bought every of them out of there in fast trend as properly.

Future/ceiling/expectations: He fought inside “the bubble” on Tuesday and defeated Eric Moon by … first-round KO. Berlanga might turn out to be a title contender by early subsequent yr. He shall be one of the most enjoyable punchers in boxing and will turn out to be the subsequent huge draw on the Eastern Seaboard, the place he’ll headline the conventional boxing card in early June at Madison Square Garden on Puerto Rican Parade Day weekend. But you’d first prefer to see how he fights previous one spherical. — Kim

13. Lamont Roach Jr. (19-1-1, 7 KOs), 24, junior light-weight contender



Jamel Herring lands a punch to the facet of the head of Lamont Roach Jr. to knock him down in the eighth spherical of their bout. To watch extra Top Rank, join ESPN+:

The fighter: Roach is a stable, all-around technician who’s adept at boxing. Outside of pure punching energy, he does all the pieces else properly inside the ring. The solely query: whether or not he’s powerful sufficient for the elite fighters in the division.

Accomplishments/greatest second: While he began out sluggish in his defeat in opposition to Jamel Herring — a battle for the WBO 130-pound title again in November — Roach had some good moments late in the battle. This expertise ought to serve him properly in the future.

Future/ceiling/expectations: His promoter, Golden Boy, has scheduled Roach for a late August boxing card. He ought to stay a participant at junior light-weight for the subsequent few years. Roach is a stable all-around boxer, and the solely factor actually lacking from his arsenal is energy. You get the sense that the expertise he gained in the loss in opposition to Herring will show to be beneficial when he fights once more for a title. Will he battle with sufficient ardour when he will get that probability? That’s the huge query. — Kim

14. Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs), 23, junior light-weight prospect

The fighter: Colbert is a slick, flashy boxer with quite a bit of velocity. He’s not an important puncher, however he can hold guys off him together with his skill to strike rapidly and transfer out of the approach.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In defeating Jezreel Corrales again in January, Colbert captured the WBA interim 130-pound title. It wasn’t the most enjoyable battle, however Colbert gained beneficial expertise.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Colbert will hopefully get an opportunity to win the full model of the WBA title in opposition to Rene Alvarado down the line. He’s in all probability slick sufficient to outpoint Alvarado (though it will not be simple), however you marvel how he’ll do in opposition to guys who’re a bit youthful and brisker. Colbert will win a belt — he is that good — however his lack of energy could possibly be problematic as he strikes as much as 135 in the future. — Kim

T15. Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15 KOs), 22, flyweight contender

The fighter: Nakatani, a flyweight from Japan, is a tall, angular southpaw who likes to manage the heart of the ring and unfurl his left hand from distance. Since turning professional in 2015, Nakatani has developed steadily and now seems poised to be the subsequent world champion from this nation. He is now rated third by the WBO.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In his final battle, Nakatani stopped former world titleholder Milan Melindo in a six-round TKO victory.

Future/ceiling/expectations: On Aug. 21, Nakatani is scheduled to battle for the vacant WBO flyweight world title in opposition to Giemel Magramo in Tokyo. He ought to be the subsequent standout from Japan who will win titles in a number of divisions. He’s simply 22, and the future could be very vivid. — Kim

T15. Charles Conwell (12-0, 9 KOs), 22, junior middleweight prospect

The fighter: The 2016 US Olympian is seeking to break into the world’s top 10 at junior middleweight after compiling an unblemished 12-fight document. Conwell is probably greatest recognized for the tragic circumstance of his battle final October when opponent Patrick Day fell right into a coma after getting knocked out in 10 rounds, then died the next week from mind trauma suffered in the battle.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Conwell appeared sharp in his final outing, in opposition to Ramses Agaton in February, which could have been low-key away from the tv cameras however was an necessary step ahead in his profession. Conwell particularly appeared good together with his assaults to the physique, which compelled Agaton to retire on his stool after 4 rounds. This battle confirmed Conwell’s power at the weight and was his fourth win inside the distance in his previous 5 fights. Conwell has been in constant type over the previous couple of years.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Conwell has but to go 12 rounds and wishes extra expertise in opposition to different contenders seeking to safe a title shot. Keeping busy shall be the No. 1 precedence, however he’s heavy-handed and may be anticipated to climb nearer to a title shot in 2021. — Parkinson

17. Wilfredo Mendez (16-1, 6 KOs), 23, WBO strawweight titlist

The fighter: Mendez, a southpaw, has made two defenses of the WBO strawweight title and is an element of a youthful era coming via to problem the established order in boxing’s lightest division.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Mendez received a world title in solely his 14th battle with a stunning, unanimous choice over Victorio Saludar during which he displayed good boxing expertise.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Wanheng Menayothin leads the approach at strawweight, however at 34 there are doubts as to how lengthy Menayothin can proceed. Padro Taduran, the IBF titleholder from the Philippines is 23 like Mendez, and that will be an attention-grabbing matchup to determine the king-in-waiting of the division. Mendez might personal the division in the close to future. — Parkinson

18. Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), 23, featherweight contender

The fighter: Villa is a gifted southpaw who had a very good beginner profession — the Californian boxer was a two-time U.S. nationwide Golden Gloves champion — and his speedy rise as knowledgeable isn’t any shock.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Villa has made fights that had been meant to be exams look snug via his boxing expertise, utilizing his jab somewhat than flattening opponents. As an beginner, he beat Stevenson and Haney.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Villa might get a shot at the WBO belt lately vacated by Stevenson subsequent yr. Emanuel Navarrete will get a shot instantly after stepping up a division and relinquishing his WBO junior featherweight belt lately. Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, is No. 1 and Villa No. 2 in the WBO rankings. Villa might need to face Conlan earlier than he will get his title shot, and Conlan could be favored to win that battle. Navarrete additionally has an excessive amount of for Villa. Winning a world title is feasible for Villa as soon as he will get extra expertise over the subsequent two years, however till then, he shall be a troublesome title contender. — Parkinson

19. Elwin Soto (17-1, 12 KOs), 23, WBO junior flyweight titlist

The fighter: Soto has made one protection of the WBO junior flyweight title in a yearlong reign and has spectacular energy.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Soto induced an upset when he knocked out Angel Acosta for the belt in June final yr, which might be his greatest win. Soto, who earned a unanimous choice over then-unbeaten Edward Heno in October, can bang, and this was additionally evident in a one-round wrecking job on Javier Alejandro Rendon in a nontitle bout in February.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Soto is likely to be behind the different champions in the division at the second, however he has youth on his facet and is predicted to turn out to be extra of a power in 2021. Soto remains to be growing, getting higher, and he confirmed as a lot in his final world title battle, in opposition to Heno in October, when he was briefly dropped to a knee in the third spherical however then recovered to earn a unanimous choice victory. Soto can equally get higher in the subsequent 12 months and earn unification fights in opposition to the different titleholders. Felix Alvarado (IBF) is his most sensible possibility as the others — Ken Shiro, Hiroto Kyoguchi — are too good proper now, plus Soto must go to Japan to battle them. Carlos Canizales, who holds the secondary WBA title, is an alternative choice for Soto, who can win one other world title if he will get Canizales or Alvarado in 2021. — Parkinson

T20. Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11 KOs), 23, IBF strawweight titlist

The fighter: Like one other well-known left-hander from the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, Taduran is an lively, fast stress fighter who likes to come back ahead and let his palms go.

Accomplishments/greatest second: By defeating Samuel Salva for the title, Taduran grew to become the newest in an extended line of boxers from the Philippines to win a serious world title.

Future/ceiling/expectations: It’s not clear how a lot of a mark he could make, on condition that he is in the smallest weight class in boxing, however Taduran is a fighter with an entertaining and relentless fashion. His greatest alternatives would possibly come on undercards of larger occasions. But he’s nonetheless simply 23 years previous and, as for a lot of different fighters in the 105-pound division, a transfer up in weight (which is his solely possibility) might supply extra alternatives in his future. — Steve Kim

T20. Terri Harper (10-0, 5 KOs), 23, WBC junior light-weight titlist

The fighter: Harper received the WBC junior light-weight world title in simply her 10th skilled battle and is arguably already amongst the top 10 girls’s pound-for-pound boxers.

Accomplishments/greatest second: Harper introduced herself as an elite fighter with an impressive unanimous choice win over Eva Wahlstrom in February. Wahlstrom was 16 years older than Harper and had made 5 defenses, however Wahlstrom was properly crushed by the English boxer and was given a depend in the seventh spherical. To put Harper’s win in perspective, Wahlstrom’s solely different defeat was to Katie Taylor, one of girls’s boxing’s greatest stars.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Expect Harper to climb via the weight courses rapidly and unify titles. But earlier than that, she has an attention-grabbing first protection in opposition to English rival Natasha Jonas on Aug. 7. — Parkinson

T22. Gabriel Flores Jr. (18-0, 6 KOs), 20, light-weight prospect



Mark Kriegel breaks down Gabriel Flores Jr.’s rise in Top Rank Boxing and analyzes what he must do to take the subsequent step as a boxer.

The fighter: Back in 2017, Flores made historical past by changing into the youngest boxer (at age 17) to make a debut with Top Rank. Since then, Flores has notched 18 victories (with six knockouts) and has proven stable boxing expertise as he waits for his bodily maturity to reach.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In May 2019, when he stopped Eduardo Reis in 4 rounds at the Stockton Arena in California, it was Flores, not world champions Artur Beterbiev and Jerwin Ancajas, who attracted over 10,000 folks into the constructing that evening.

Future/ceiling/expectations: While Flores recovers from a again damage that he aggravated in opposition to Josec Ruiz on June 18, Top Rank will get him again into motion when he is prepared after which proceed to rigorously select his subsequent few opponents. At age 20, time is on his facet. Top Rank is nearly as good as anybody at transferring and nurturing younger boxers, and also you get the sense that sooner or later, as the fighters in the present crop of 130-pound belt holders ultimately transfer up, Flores shall be guided to a vacant title shot. — Kim

T22. Xander Zayas (4-0, Three KOs), 17, welterweight prospect



Here is what Xander Zayas needed to say in the instant aftermath of his first skilled win, a first-round TKO of Genesis Wynn. Video by Steve Kim

The fighter: Zayas was coveted by all the main gamers as he made the choice to show professional in 2019. With his lean body and heavy palms, Zayas could possibly be the subsequent Puerto Rican star. He made his debut in October at the age of 17.

Accomplishments/greatest second: When he signed his promotional deal with Top Rank, Zayas was nonetheless simply 16 years previous, which made him the youngest fighter ever to ink an settlement with the firm.

Future/ceiling/expectations: As quickly as Zayas turns 18 in early September, count on him to turn out to be rather more lively. He will battle usually over the subsequent few years and be given ample alternative to sharpen his instruments. Zayas is taken into account a high-level prospect who might win titles in a number of weight courses as his physique grows and he strikes up in weight. His profession is simply starting; let’s have a look at how he handles six-round fights by the finish of 2020. — Kim

24. Vito Mielnicki Jr. (5-0, Three KOs), 18, welterweight prospect

The fighter: A latest excessive school graduate, Mielnicki turned professional at a really younger age (17). He had a stable beginner background and has above-average boxing expertise and a few pop in his punches. He signed a promotional take care of Premier Boxing Champions in 2019.

Accomplishments/greatest second: In his final outing, Mielnicki was half of the Fury-Wilder II undercard on one of the greatest phases in boxing at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mielnicki took benefit of the alternative, sending Cory Champion to the canvas in Round 2 and successful a four-round unanimous choice.

Future/ceiling/expectations: For the time being, Mielnicki shall be guided rigorously, and maybe by the finish of the yr he’ll be in six-round fights. He’s nonetheless a prospect, however he appears to be a bit of a ticket vendor early on. At the very least, he’ll be a fan favourite and an enormous attraction round his dwelling of New Jersey. — Kim

25. David Morrell (2-0, 2 KOs), 22, mild heavyweight prospect

The fighter: The 6-foot-1 tremendous middleweight had an beginner document of 130-2 and was a daily on the Cuba nationwide workforce. Now primarily based in Minneapolis, the 22-year-old southpaw has two knockouts from as {many professional} fights since turning professional a yr in the past. The WBA governing physique already has Morrell at No. Three in its tremendous middleweight rankings.

Accomplishments/greatest second: That excellent 130-2 beginner document, which incorporates worldwide expertise, signifies that Morrell undoubtedly has an thrilling and profitable skilled profession forward of him. Early indicators are good in the paid ranks after a first-round knockout on his debut after which a second-round KO in November. As properly as energy, he additionally has nice footwork, and his beginner document might solely have been assembled via beautiful and technically refined boxing expertise.

Future/ceiling/expectations: Such an unbelievable beginner document, in addition to his youth, makes Morrell virtually a certainty to win a world title. Morrell’s promoter, Warriors Boxing, needs to maneuver him rapidly. Warriors Boxing president Leon Margules stated a yr in the past on his firm web site: “Bob Arum thought enough of Lomachenko to put him in a world title fight in his second fight. This guy is the same thing. Five fights and he can be in with a top 10 guy. This is the kind of fighter who comes along once in a generation. You don’t go 130-2 as an amateur in Cuba unless you are an extraordinary talent.” Super middleweight could be a neater division for Morrell to maneuver via rapidly, as mild heavyweight is stacked with expertise and large punchers. Morrell is likely to be uncovered if thrown in too quickly in opposition to the mild heavyweight elite (Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, Eleider Alvarez). He may also want time, however he might earn a profitable shot in opposition to Canelo at tremendous middleweight in the future. A shot in opposition to WBA tremendous middleweight champion Callum Smith is a risk in the close to future. — Parkinson

Other fighters receiving votes

T26. Alexis Rocha, 16, T26. Sebastian Fundora, 16, T26. Josue Vargas, 16, T29. Xavier Martinez, 14, T29. Rolando Romero, 14, T31. Liam Paro, 10, T31. Sadriddin Akhmedov, 10, T31. Joey Spencer, 10, T34. Magomed Kurbanov, 9, T34. Michel Rivera, 9, T36. Jared Anderson, 8, T36. Eduardo Hernandez, 8, T38. Takuma Inoue, 7, T38. Fiodor Czerkaszyn, 7, T38. Darmani Rock, 7, T41. Diego Pacheco, 6, T41. Elvis Rodriguez, 6, 43. Abram Martinez, 4, 44. Hector Tanajara, 3, 45. Evelyn Bermudez, 2, T46. Bektemir Melikuziev, 1, T46. Joseph Adorno, 1

The voters for the Top 25 included: Steve Kim, Nick Parkinson, Crystina Poncher, Bernardo Osuna and Dan Goossen.

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