Saul "Canelo" Alvarez enters the ring in what many hope will be fight against a significant challenge.
From veterans to newcomers, boxers will look to advance their careers beyond where they currently are in the year 2013.
Some have better chances than others due to ground that has been gained during the past year. Others are taking significant risks in big championship fights in order to get the respect they believe is due.
Here's a look at a few boxers set to make a significant career leap in 2013.
Adrien Broner is already a world champ in two weight divisions and seeks to have two fight dates already booked in 2013 to defend his lightweight world title.
On Feb. 16, Broner will defend his title against a very capable Gavin Rees before taking a very important slot on the televised undercard of Mayweather-Guerrero on May 4.
With the talent pool at lightweight not being very big and Broner fighting on average about four fights a year, it's safe to assume he may jump weight classes again before the end of the year for another title.
Voted as the best prospect of 2012, Keith Thurman blazed a trail in the welterweight division with a few knockouts on HBO—most recently adding former world champion Carlos Quintana to his list of victims.
Thurman's power is enough to snatch the consciousness out of just about anybody he lands cleanly on. Win or lose, Thurman's killer instinct and ungodly amount of power promise to entertain his fanbase.
With veterans such as Randall Bailey calling him out, expect Thurman to rise to contender status and maybe even earn a title shot by 2014.
Edwin Rodriguez is an undefeated contender at super middleweight, who was waiting on his opportunity for a shot at the title—be it Arthur Abraham or Carl Froch.
Now Rodriguez is no longer waiting. He's currently in talks to move up to the light heavyweight division to participate in a four-man tournament in Monaco.
Undefeated Zsolt Erdei is also a part of the tournament and should the two meet in the finals in June as expected after their preliminary bouts in March, boxing fans can look forward to a star-making turn by Rodriguez.
Seth Mitchell lost for the first time to American underdog Jonathan Banks this past November.
Undefeated knockout artist Deontay Wilder has called out fellow undefeated American heavyweight Bryant Jennings. The American heavyweights are young, hungry and looking to take each other out.
Mitchell-Banks II is set for March and promises to spark another explosive knockout. Jennings has a fight date in March as well against a still unknown opponent, but don't expect Wilder.
The 26-0 Wilder has won all of his fights by way of knockout, but his skill set doesn't quite match his power just yet.
Expect Wilder to grind out a few wins against better competition before finally meeting with Jennings by the end of the year. And when those two do meet, expect fireworks and the birth of a heavyweight star.
Lucian Bute will attempt to avenge his first loss to Carl Froch.
After receiving a beating at the hands of Englishman Carl Froch that mercifully ended in Round 5, Bute needed to rebound.
After surviving a very unconvincing performance in a decision win against Denis Grachev later in the year, Bute still wanted use his rematch clause to go right back to Froch.
Super middleweight No. 1 Andre Ward was originally going to be Pavlik's opponent in March, but that fight has been cancelled due to Ward's shoulder surgery to repair a training injury.
This bit of fortune in Bute's direction may give him the confidence-boosting match he needs. Pavlik is still a good fighter and one that will be tough to overcome as he's four fights into his comeback.
But if Bute can find his footwork again and use his jab effectively while working the body, he could perhaps return to form and then go into a Froch rematch in the fall with all the confidence he needs.
Gabriel Rosado rose to prominence in 2012 after years of coming up the hard way in tough fights against the likes of Alfredo Angulo. Now with an IBF junior middleweight title shot earned, he's looking elsewhere.
On Jan. 19, Rosado will do what everyone else in the middleweight division is afraid to do: step in the ring under the Madison Square Garden lights and face middleweight world titlist Gennady Golovkin.
Golovkin, also known by his fans as Triple G, is one of the hardest hitters in boxing right now—but Rosado is confident he can shock the world and beat Triple G.
He's even gone so far as to get mentoring from fellow Philadelphia native Bernard Hopkins. If Rosado defeats Golovkin, his career and pound-for-pound standing will take a dramatic leap.
The world will be on notice and being that he's Puerto Rican, lucrative fights with the likes of Mexican favorites Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will become negotiable.
Canelo puts his game face on.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was planning to face Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto before undefeated American Austin Trout beat him on Dec. 1.
Now Canelo has admitted that a Cotto fight has lost its allure and a Trout fight is on the top of his to-do list. If Canelo faces Trout on May 4, as it seems he may actually do, it'll be the toughest fight he's been in.
Defeating Trout would give his career the legitimacy it needs to match the immense hype his Mexican countrymen have helped propel towards hard-to-live-up-to standards.