THE PROSPECTS WITH UNDER TEN FIGHTS TO WATCH IN 2021
Once again, another list to make people mad as I spotlight the emerging, and open-and-coming talents across the professional boxing world.
This is just my perception of young fighters and based around my own level of excitement around said fighters heading into next year, as a guide for whom you might want to tune-in and watch.
01. Jared Anderson
I will say this until I am blue in the face, Jared Anderson, is one of the guys to watch in the heavyweight division, and what he is doing is very noteworthy.
Anderson has the flair and showmanship of a Teofimo Lopez, along with being as talented as any heavyweight on Top Rank’s roster, that is running on a parallel path as himself.
Anderson is currently 7-0 with 7 KOs, and has been pro for a little over a year. I expect Anderson to start to face known opponents next year, and see a few tests as well.
Start making note of when he fights.
02. Marc Castro
Castro has a good promoter with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom USA, and one of the best managers in Keith Connolly paired that with one of the most successful U.S. amateur careers in recent memory, and we have something here.
Castro is so widely regarded hence why he got the coveted spot of the co-main event to Canelo vs Callum Smith, which many would have wanted – let alone that was for his pro debut.
Castro is a volume puncher, who presents an awkward-style clash for any and all who get in with him, and is trained by his father, Tony Castro, and underrated trainer, Marco Contreras. Castro is a fighter that will be exciting and worth watching next year.
03. Savannah Marshall
I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Savannah Marshall so much so, that if I continue to write praise about her, I fear someone might accuse me of having a crush on her.
Marshall is part of the big seven in women’s boxing, including herself, Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, Jessica McCaskill, Amanda Serrano, Seniesa Estrada, and Mikaela Mayer, those six seem to be currently in their prime, and elite.
The Peter Fury trained female boxer, who holds a win over Claressa Shields in the amateurs, is knocking out most of her opponents, has an endearing personality, and showmanship.
Marshall feels like a star, and her stoppage win over Hannah Rankin, who had gone the distance with Claressa Shields and Alicia Napoleon was a statement in her last fight.
Marshall will be a world champion in 2021, mark my words! [Editor’s Note: Marshall is already the WBO champion]
04. Israil Madrimov
In just six fights, Madrimov is a 12-round fighter, and in his first pro fight, he defeated Vladimir Hernandez who holds wins over Alfredo Angulo, Aaron Coley, and Daniel Valdivia (twice).
Madrimov’s last fight was against Eric Walker, one of the memorable cast members of the most recent season of The Contender as well a talented fighter, whom Madrimov defeated via a 12-round decision.
Madrimov is already a top-10 154 lbs currently ranked #1 by the WBA, which currently has three WBA world champions, Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara, and Michel Soro, each holding different variants of the title.
Madrimov is a physical marvel and one who when he gets to the top of the division is more than likely going to stay there.
“Bek The Bully”, who shares the same manager as Madrimov, Vadim Kornilov, and the same record for that matter will more than likely emerge early in 2020 as a player in the division, as he is set to face Sergey Kovalev in January of 2021. If everything goes right for “Bek The Bully ” he could be in the running for fighter of the year, as he will get such an early start on things.
Melikuziev, signed to Golden Boy Promotions is a fearsome super middleweight, who has been fighting in ten-round bouts since his fourth fight despite only being 24-years-old.
Melikuziev has yet to lose a round as a professional and holds wins over Vaughn Alexander and Clay Collard.
06. Amari Jones
The only fighter on this list without a professional fight, Amari “Fresh” Jones has burst on the scene as one of the key components to Devin Haney’s camp for Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Jones, who now is training with and a part of Devin Haney Promotions, is a fighter who one of the most well-respected boxing media people, Sean Zittel of FightHype, has commented about being “blown away by”, in regards to Jones talents in the gym.
On top of all that, Jones has gotten a few heated sparring sessions in Vegas in which tempers have flared showing his competitive nature.
The humble beast that is Jones is someone all fight fans should be watching with a keen eye.
I have Amari Jones so high on my list, so I have known him for a while, and I am eager to see him in the pros, so his debut is a must-see event for me.
07. Kasir “Mazzi” Goldston
Goldston, better known as” Mazzi”, fights like a veteran at the age of 17-years-old, and more so, has shown two different skillsets in the pros. One bout he outboxed a guy, in his last bout – he dogged out his opponent and got him up out of there.
Goldston, trained by his father Ty Goldston, look to stay very active in 2021, as the fighter in theory should have four-to-five bouts in his ledger next year.
Goldston, the fighting pride of upstate New York, is a fighter who should gradually ramp up his competition this year, as Goldston has a foundation that could make him a very viable long-term prospect.
08. Haven Brady Jr
Haven Brady Jr. is a power-house. At an early stage in his career, two pro fights with two knockouts, Brady reminds me of a smaller version of Charles Conwell, his stablemate – aggressive, mean, and going to break you down to the body.
The Soul City Boxing Gym is breaking opponents down to the body and then forcing them to make a decision to stop or be stopped. A brilliant example of these was how Brady fought Michael Land in his second fight, breaking him down to the body in the second round, as Land retired in the corner in between the second-and-third-round.
Brady has tremendous power, but what stands out to me is his work rate as well as his innate ability to target the body for such a young fighter, which often takes young fighters 10+ fights to learn to do.
09. David Navarro
David Navarro was the Olympic alternate to Bruce Carrington, as the decorated amateur turned pro – stopping both of his opponents quickly, and now is set to having an exciting 2021.
Navarro who signed with Split-T Management is looking to be a fan-favorite action fighter of the modern era, as the Los Angeles, California, Mexican-American fighter, who has been featured on television for both of his fights should secure a promoter next year.
Navarro comes from a boxing family with Jonathan Navarro being signed to Golden Boy Promotions, and Steven Navarro being a highly touted amateur, who has a good chance at being an Olympian.
David like his nicknames says is “The Future”.
10. Duke Ragan
Duke Ragan already holds a win over a former UFC world title contender in John Moraga, though that might not seem notable in boxing – it is. On top of that, Ragan had probably the best pro-debut any fighter could have, a highlight-reel one-punch KO with an overhand right.
Ragan, who is trained by Kay Komora, a top-level boxing coach, who for years was one of the key components to USA Boxing over the past decade. Ragan in just a few pro fights has already had a slew of different experiences that most professionals don’t have at the beginning of their career while dominating each. In just a few fights, Ragan has a gained veteran experience.
Ragan is someone to keep your eyes on as he advances up the ranks with the best matchmakers in the business Bruce Trampler and Brad Goodman, at Top Rank Inc.
11. Wade Jones III
Jones III doesn’t have a major promoter, working with Toscano Boxing Promotions, a small-market promoter out of Stockton, Ca, that is growing in size yearly, but he has a major promoter type of talent.
Jones is one of the nicest people you will ever meet with an infectious love of the sport of boxing, along with a fan-friendly exciting fighter. Jones III is still in the development phase, but a student of the game who looked up to Andre Ward is a fighter all die-hard boxing fans should be aware of.
Jones will be a formidable action fighter for all who cross his path, as I see a big fight in his path in the middle of 2022, if not sooner.