David Price would appear on this list of heavyweight prospects, had he not already been declared the future champion.
Price is an intriguing prospect in the heavyweight division, bringing height, power and athleticism to the weight class. However, he isn't the only prospect at heavyweight, and isn't the most advanced in his career as are other prospects.
Mitchell has given US boxing fans something to get excited about in the heavyweight division.
After years of dominance by European heavyweights, and the lack of quality American fighters the likes of Rahman, Briggs and Thompson, boxing fans see a potential star-in-the-making in Mitchell.
While some of you may point to the fact that Mitchell is 25 fights into his professional career and Price is only 14, and thus Mitchell should be facing tougher opposition, you miss out on one important factor: Price had an extensive amateur boxing career prior to turning pro, whereas Mitchell fought 10 amateur bouts only following his college graduation.
Mitchell is essentially still learning how to box in professional boxing bouts.
Mitchell has stepped up his level of competition in his last couple of fights, dispatching Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon in 2012. He is scheduled to face fellow American Heavyweight Jonathon Banks in November in a WBC Semi-Final Eliminator.
While the highly-touted prospect David Price has just knocked out a 40-year-old Audley Harrison and lined up a fight with a 45-year-old British boxer for December, Mitchell has just stopped a fighter on the fringes of the upper tier (albeit clinging to the fringes) and is stepping up into WBC eliminators.
Muscular, compact, aggressive and powerful, Boytsov drew comparisons to Mike Tyson early on, due to his come-forward boxing style, impressive hand speed and punching power.
However, he has stagnated in his level of opponent of late, appearing content to knock out journeymen rather than take that next step.
I considered leaving Boytsov off this list because of this lower quality of opposition, but decided to add him in, because if defeating Audley Harrison can get you accolades, then Boytsov at least still deserves to be considered a top prospect.
He is, after all, 31-0 in his career, with 25 knockouts.
Deontay is another I struggled to put on this lis,t because of his very slow progression through the rankings.
A bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics, along with Price, Deontay has fought 25 professional bouts and won them all by knockout. Tall, extremely powerful and with decent amateur pedigree, Wilder needs to make the step up in competition now.
I decided to add Wilder to the list in spite of the lack of higher-quality competition because of his age. At 26 years old, Wilder is three years younger than Price and therefore has more time to "find himself" before he peaks.
Price will turn 30 next year, and needs to make the jump in competition sooner than Wilder.
Yet, he is signed up to face a 45-year-old fighter in his next outing.
My last entry in this category is a boxer who has yet to step foot in the professional ring.
While there are a number of other young prospects the world over—and I studied a large number of them—I decided to add Joshua as a wild-card entry.
To my knowledge, Joshua hasn't even announced his intention to turn pro yet, following his Olympic gold medal in this summer's games in London. So why add a fighter who hasn't even turned pro yet?
Well, my thinking has to do with Joshua's achievements in a short time frame. At 22 years of age, Joshua has only been boxing for four years. In those four years, he has managed a silver medal in the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2011 and followed that up with a gold in the Olympics.
That is an incredible achievement for somebody who didn't even take up the sport until he turned 18.
Joshua may choose to carry on as an amateur and defend his gold in 2016. After all, he will only be 26 years old by that time and will have plenty of time to take a shot at the professional ranks.
However, if Joshua decides to turn pro, you have to wonder how quickly he can progress through the rankings with the right management.
He obviously has the dedication to go from a late-starter to a gold medalist, so to turn pro and set off like a rocket isn't out of the question.