Ranking the 10 Best Under-25 Fighters in the World

Justin TateCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2012

Ranking the 10 Best Under-25 Fighters in the World

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    Youth is the essence of any sport that plans to continue passing on its traditions. Boxing takes an especially brutal toll on the human body, further necessitating the need for youth. 

    Among the talent pool of fighters under the age of 25, there are speedsters, southpaws, sluggers and skilled technicians.

    Here's a look at ten of the fiercest, young combatants that are on the rise.

Notable Fighters Who Recently Turned 25

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    Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KO) is a former unified junior welterweight world titlist who bounced back from a first defeat to Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KO) with a successful victory in his welterweight debut.

    Alexander dominated hard-hitter Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28 KO) in route to a unanimous decision. Next up is a title shot against IBF welterweight champ and knockout king Randall Bailey (43-7, 37 KO).

    Another notable 25-year-old who can't make the list anymore is Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KO). A former junior welterweight champ has a string of big victories over the likes of Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO) and Maidana.

    Recently, Khan has suffered two losses in a row including a devastating knockout loss this past July.

    Where he goes next is unknown at this time, but Rick Reeno of Boxing Scene reports a Dec. 15 date for his ring return.

10. Thomas Dulorme (15-0, 12 KO)

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    A Puerto Rican on the rise, Dulorme has some big shoes to fill by the likes of former welterweight legends Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad.

    No pressure.

    While Dulorme still has a lot to learn, he's showing that he's an A+ student of the game with his dominating victory over veteran, journeyman DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley.

9. Mikey Garcia (28-0, 24 KO)

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    Garcia comes from a talented boxing family and has consistently shown that the apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree.

    The 24-year-old has plenty of power and a methodical style of breaking his opponents down. He just needs to step up in the featherweight division and finally test his skills against a beltholder.

8. Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KO)

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    After giving a spirited effort in a loss to Mexican legend Erik Morales (52-8, 36 KO), Cano is ready to bounce back and learn.

    The 22-year-old went on a three-fight winning streak after the loss, including a victory that earned him the interim WBA junior welterweight world title.

    Now he plans to move up to welterweight to face WBA champ Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO) for a world title in a second weight class on Showtime this Oct. 20.

7. Tyson Fury (19-0, 14 KO)

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    In a world of few skilled heavyweights, Fury is a gust of freshly knocked-out air. He's 6'9" with an 85" reach and plenty of power at the end of that telephone pole jab.

    At 24 years of age, he has plenty of time to grow and rack up wins, while the Klitschko Brothers retire. As Fury enters his prime in his late 20s, he'll be a major force in the heavyweight division.

6. Thomas Oosthuizen (20-0-1, 13 KO)

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    Oosthuizen is a 6'4" South African with a 78" reach, yet doesn't mind a phone-booth war, as he displayed against Aaron Pryor Jr. (16-6, 11 KO) last September on the undercard of Berto-Zaveck.

    The 24-year-old owns a minor super middleweight sanctioning organization title in the IBO title, but he clearly aims for greater recognition by fighting in the United States three out of his last five fights.

    Showtime has recently taken an interest in Oosthuizen and has shown his most recent fight against Rowland Bryant (16-2, 11 KO) this past Aug.

    Armed with an exciting action-packed style and a good chin, the lanky "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen could be trading leather with the elites of his talented division very soon.

5. Gary Russell Jr. (20-0, 12 KO)

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    Russell is a brilliantly accurate and amazingly fast combination puncher in the featherweight division at the tender age of 24.

    He has been recognized as ESPN's and Ring Magazine's 2011 "Prospect of the Year." Possibly even more telling of his talents is the fact he is managed by Al Haymon, a powerful man that knows talent. 

    With his onslaught of light-switch-quick jabs and hooks and his ability to turn on his killer instinct in an instant, world-class competition shouldn't be too far away.

4. Saul Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO)

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    The man his fans call "Canelo" is a brightly lit, rising star of the sport. Since capturing the WBC junior middleweight world title last year, he's defended his belt against a growing roster of popular fighters.

    From Carlos Baldomir (49-14-6, 15 KO) to Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KO), Alvarez has faced a plethora of older fighters using the patience of a red-headed cobra ready to strike any time.

    The next step for the popular 22-year-old is to face better competition until he's ready for the elite fighters of his division. Hopefully that comes soon.

3. Kazuto Ioka (10-0, Six KO)

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    The 23-year-old strawweight phenom is one of boxing's best kept (maybe too well kept) secrets.

    He not only won his first world title at the start of 2011 while 21 years old, he unified his WBC world title with the WBA version the following year.

    According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, after being forced to vacate one of his belts, the decorated Japanese fighter now plans to move up to junior flyweight in search of even further recognition.

2. Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 KO)

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    He's already responsible for one of the biggest upsets of the year against Amir Khan and now the 24-year-old Garcia aims to clarify one of his biggest victories in a rematch.

    The WBC/WBA junior welterweight champ has the smarts and power to be a force for years to come so long as he doesn't let his victories over the likes of Erik Morales go to his head.

1. Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KO)

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    Broner is likely the most polarizing 23-year-old fighter in the world right now.

    On one hand, he's won his first world title in the super featherweight division at age 22 using his speed, power and shoulder-roll defense that emulates that of Floyd Mayweather's.

    On the other, he's cocky, loves Twitter wars and courts controversy such as coming in overweight against Vicente Escobedo to lose his world title on the scales.

    As Broner moves up to lightweight for his next battle in the ring, he will continue to generate new fans as well as detractors with his brash persona and rare skillset.