December 10th at the Hulu Theatre: Highlighting Some of the Best Young Talent in Boxing
On December 10th, at the Hulu Theater in New York City, Teofimo Lopez will take on Sandor Martin for WBO international junior lightweight championship after Lopez’s initial opponent, Jose Pedraza, pulled out with an illness. This may be a more interesting fight, as Martin (40-2, 13 ko) is more in his prime than Pedraza and has the momentum of his massive upset win over Mikey Garcia. It is also a pivotal moment for Lopez (17-1, 13 ko) where we will find out what kind of career and future he will have as a junior welterweight moving forward. A win may put him in position to win a big fight, while a loss could put him into somewhat of a rebuilding phase. At only 25, Lopez has already accomplished so much. But after beating Vasiliy Lomachenko, the performance he had against George Kambosas seemed impossible. We as fans are still finding out what his ceiling is.
But Teofimo Lopez isn’t the only exciting young fighter on the card, which features some of the brightest young talent in all of boxing.
At just 19 years old, Jahi Tucker (9-0, 5 ko) is one of the most exciting prospects in all of boxing. He is a great combination of skills; the ability to move around the ring effortlessly, the ability to time and counterpunch as his opponent moves forward, and to change gears when he needs to. At 5’11”, he’s a decently tall welterweight too, making him a very difficult matchup for most welterweights. He isn’t being moved too fast, which at 19 is appropriate, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops over the next few years. His opponent will be Ivan Pandzic (14-2-1, 8 ko) of Rancho Cucamonga.
Bruce “ShuShu” Carrington
A little older than Tucker and perhaps with deeper amateur experience, 25 year old featherweight Bruce Carrington (5-0, 3 ko) out of Brooklyn looks like the goods early on in his professional career. He already moves like a seasoned veteran, not wasting any punches or movement, and keeping steady foot pressure on throughout his fights. His knockout over Yeuri Andujar back in March at The Garden was a shocking display of his power, while his decision win last September against Jose Angel was a more measured power-boxing performance. Particularly in a featherweight division that right now lacks exciting fights and matchups at the top, Shu Shu Carrington could be a great addition. His opponent will be Juan Tapia (12-4, 4 ko) out of Brownsville, Texas.
A 2020 Olympic silver medalist, 23 year old junior welterweight Keyshawn Davis (6-0, 5 ko) trains with Bomac and Terence Crawford in Omaha NE, and it shows. A very patient but aggressive come forward fighter, Keyshawn picks his shots carefully and creates angles with his feet. Those assets, coupled with fast twitch reflexes and blinding hand speed, make Davis a guy to watch at 140. He will be taking a massive step up in competition in tough veteran Juan Carlos Burgos (35-6-3, 21 ko), a guy who has been in there with a “who’s who” of his era without ever getting stopped, including Mikey Garcia and Devin Haney, and more recently giving prospect Xavier Martinez a tough test in a close decision loss.
20 year old junior middleweight Xander Zayas (14-0, 10 ko) is a dream prospect. He’s an aggressive, entertaining, humble and respectful on the mic, and a great role model to young fighters and young people in general. He is yet to truly be tested in the ring, but his dominant decision win over tough Quincy LaVallais speaks to his boxing IQ. He takes on Alexis Salazar Flores (24-4, 9 ko).
Since losing to Roniel Iglesias in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Olympics, 24 year old junior welterweight Delante “Tiger” Johnson (6-0, 4 ko), has been on a tear. A big, strong, tall guy for his weight class, Tiger looks like a guy who’s skills, power, and frame will carry up to higher weight classes. He takes on Holbrook, MA prospect Mike O’Han (16-1, 9 ko).
Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (12-0, 12 ko) is one of the most exciting young heavyweights and prospects in all of boxing. At 6’4”, Anderson moves like a super middleweight, and throws fast combinations and body shots not often thrown by heavyweights. The only thing that has been missing is a legitimate opponent to see if those skills hold up at a higher level. Enter Jerry Forrest (26-5-2, 20 ko), a genuine heavyweight contender and a massive step up in competition for the 23 year old Anderson. He hasn’t won at the highest level, but in close decision losses to Jermaine Franklin and Carlos Takam and draws with both Michael Hunter and Zhilei Zhang he has shown to be a formidable opponent for any heavyweight. A dominant win over Forrest could catapult Anderson from prospect to contender.