Top 10 Up-and-Coming Boxers
Watch out for these young lions because the changing of the guard will come soon. With Pacquio, Mayweather, Mosely and Hopkins all in their 30’s and 40’s, be on the look out for these great fighters.
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Last time I gave you the top 10 fighters of right now. Now, I will give you a glimpse of the top 10 fighters of the future.
10. James Kirkland-Light Middleweight: A wreckless style. He throws punches to hurt you and doesn’t mind taking two to land one. He needs to improve his defense to be a long term significant threat in the light middleweight division, but can handle his own with any of the top contenders. Right now the only thing standing between himself and boxing stardom, is himself. In April he is was stopped with a firearm, and since he is a convicted felon the punishment is harsh. He is currently serving prison time for the aforementioned and is up for sentencing this fall. Record 25-0 NEXT FIGHT: TBA
09. Kevin Johnson-Heavyweight: No not the basketball player turned mayor of Sacremento Kevin Johnson. The undefeated heavyweight prospect Kevin “THE KINGPIN” Johnson. He actually started boxing at the late age of 18, had a couple of amatuer fights, then surprisingly won the New Jersey Golden Gloves. He has an amazing jab, but where he excells in that, he lacks in power. He already has victories over Timor Ibragimov, Bruce Seldon, and he recently defeated then undefeated fighter Devin Vargas. I possible fight with Vitali Klitschko if he gets by Chris Arreola (which is no easy task) is on the horizon. Record 22-0 NEXT FIGHT: TBA
08. Nonito Donaire-Super Flyweight: Some call him the future of Phillipine Boxing. He first made waves when, as a 7-1 underdog, knocked-out then undefeated Vic Darchinyan. This knockout earned him “Knockout of the Year” by Ring Magazine as well as “Upset of the Year” for 2007. He has knocked out 5 of his last 6 opponents. He is currently the interim WBA Super Flyweight Champion. When Manny retires, the Filipino’s will have Nonito “The Filipine Flash” to carry them through. Record 22-1 NEXT FIGHT: 12DEC2009 VS TBA
07. Chris Arreola-Heavyweight: “The Nightmare” Chris Arreola is, right now America’s #1 Heavyweight Prospect. He is undefeated and has 27 wins, 24 of those by devastating Knockout. He carries an aggressive, in your face, knock-you-out style which has garnered him much fan fare. He gets his first crack at a title when he faces Vitali Klitschko this Saturday. Coming in a heavy underdog, Arreola says he will shock the world when he defeats Klitschko and brings the Heavyweight Championship Belt back to U.S. soil. If he does, he will also make history, making him the first Heavyweight Champion of Mexican descent. Expect a war everytime he steps into the ring. Record 27-0 NEXT FIGHT: 26SEPT2009 vs Vitali Klitschko
06. Edwin Valero-Lightweight: His record says it all. He is 25-0 with 25 knockouts. He comes to destroy and doesn’t wait until the end of the fight to do it. He is signed to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotion, but has not fought much in the U.S. due to irregular brain scans. That is probably the main reason you have not heard of him, but you soon will. He was recently cleared to fight in Texas and his last fight, in Austin, lasted only two rounds. It was a deadly knockout of Antonio Pitalua for the WBC Lightweight Championship. He is definitely one to watch out for. Record 25-0 NEXT FIGHT: 12DEC2009 VS TBA
05. Marcos Maidana-Light Welterweight: Another knockout artist. He first came on the scene when then unbeated Victor Ortiz was slated to face Maidana on HBO. Many predicted an Ortiz win with his boxing ability, but once the bell rang, it turned into a gunfight, with Maidana the victor through the smoke. Both fighters were knocked down, and it was Ortiz who called it quits (I became a Maidana fan after this bout). His only loss was a controversial split decision to Andriy Kotelnik. Marcos Maidana is a big puncher with an even bigger heart, expect bombs to be thrown whenever he is in the ring. He has 26 wins with 25 of them being knockout victories. Record 25-1 NEXT FIGHT: TBA
04. Amir Khan-Light Welterweight: He became Britians third youngest World Champion after defeating Andriy Kotelnik on 18 July 2009 for the WBA World Light Welterweight Belt. He is being trained by none other than World Famous Championship trainer Freddie Roach. Roach has since elevated his game, helping him win his first Championship and making him an instant star in the U.K. He seems to be on a collision course with Marcos Maidana early next year, and if the fight is made, expect an all out war between both contestants. Whether he wins or loses, Amir Khan will be around for a while. He is only 22 years old. Record 21-1 NEXT FIGHT: TBA
03. Andre Ward-Super Middleweight: An amazing boxer/puncher with speed and real snap to his punches. He won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and seemed headed for stardom. For some reason his career stalled after that. He went Pro after the Olympics but never really picked up steam. Only now, 5 years after his Gold Medal is he starting to get the big fights. He was recently entered into the Super Middleweight Super Six World Boxing Classic where he will take on Mikkel Kessler(42-1) for the WBA Super Middleweight World Championship. In this round robin tourny he will be fighting the best Super Middleweights in the world. Record 20-0 NEXT FIGHT: 21NOV2009 VS Mikkel Kessler
02. Lamont Peterson-Light Welterweight: His stock grew tremendously after a reported drubbing of Floyd Mayweaether in sparring. As a matter of fact, as rumor has it, Lamont Peterson had Floyd gasping for air and water and the men in Floyds camp had to stop it. I don’t know how much of that is true, only a few people know, but behind every rumor, there is a hint of the truth. He has a great backstory, his brother and himself were orphaned and homeless on the streets of D.C., being noticed by famed boxing coach Barry Hunter at the age of 10. Hunter developed thier boxing prowess and now Peterson is on the verge of a Championship. His next fight is for the WBO Light Welterweight Belt. You will be hearing much from him, as he is only 25 years old. Record 27-0 NEXT FIGHT: 12DEc2009 vs Timothy Bradley
01. Guillermo Rigondeaux-Super Bantamweight: He won the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics and the 2004 Olympics. Being from Cuba, he had no chance of being a professional boxer unless he defected, and defected he did. The hottest prospect out of the amateurs, and probably the most decorated amateur ever, he has fought three times since defecting (Feb 23, 2009) all on national television (ESPN) and all three ending in crushing knockout. He is a devestating body puncher with his last two fights ending in body punch Knockouts! He is currently being trained by Freddie Roach and he is working on a more aggresive style. He is trying to be the first professional fighter to win a championship under eight fights. I think he can do it, and they are targeting either his next two fights for a championship. Record 3-0 NEXT FIGHT: TBA
So there you have it. All of these fighters are on the cusp of stardom, and all are on thier way to making thier niche in the world of boxing. Be on the lookout, because when the torch is passed, they will all be ready to recieve.
Honarable Mentions (and also part of “Up and Coming II”): Tavoris Cloud, Anthony Peterson, Devon Alexander, Andre Dirrell, Timothy Bradley, Alfredo Angulo, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Yuriorkis Gamboa