10 Names in Boxing You'll Need to Know in 2013

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2013

10 Names in Boxing You'll Need to Know in 2013

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    With 2012 now in the rear-view mirror the focus immediately shifts to a new year of big names, big fights and, almost certainly, big upsets. 

    New stars will emerge, old stars will fade and guys will come out of nowhere to shock the world and make their names.

    It's all part of the endless cycle that is the sport of boxing. 

    The following 10 men may not yet be on everyone's radars, but if 2013 goes as planned they will all be household names by this time next year.

Adrien Broner

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    Adrien "The Problem" Broner had a very memorable past year, which included wins over the rugged Vicente Escobedo and a lightweight title victory over Antonio DeMarco.

    Broner was absolutely dominant in both victories, leading many to label him as the heir apparent when Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides to hang up his gloves for good.

    The Problem out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has tremendous boxing skill, a personality that is built for stardom and seems poised to jump from prospect to full-fledged star in 2013. 

    He will begin his campaign against the slick, but untested, Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO) and with a win will move on to bigger and better things by the end of the year.

    This is one name you will not want to forget.

Danny Garcia

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    Danny "Swift" Garcia must've not gotten the memo.

    If things had played out as expected he would've lost his junior welterweight championship to Amir Khan in July and never been heard from again.

    But instead it was Garcia who emerged as a rising star in the sport, cashing in on his upset of Khan, with a spectacularly brutal knockout of Mexican legend Erik Morales in November.

    And just like that, Danny Garcia went from virtual nobody to the unified junior welterweight champion of the world. 

    It's a title he will defend in February at the Barclays Center against veteran Brooklyn native Zab Judah. That fight could pave the way for several more salivating matchup's later in the year.

Guillermo Rigondeaux

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    Not many fighters who are just 11 fights into their professional careers are linked to big fights in the way Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO) has been recently.

    The 32-year-old Cuban fighter is quickly making up for lost time, he won the an interim super-bantamweight title in just his seventh pro fight and the full title in his ninth, and he has been mentioned as an opponent for Nonito Donaire in 2013.

    His style is exciting, and if the war of words between Rigondeaux and the reigning 2012 Fighter of the Year Donaire are any indication, that fight should be something to see.

Yuriorkis Gamboa

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    Yuriorkis Gamboa probably would've made this list at the beginning of 2012 as well. But that turned out to be a mostly lost year for him due to miscalculations and promotional problems with Top Rank.

    The 31-year-old Cuban super-featherweight finally saw the inside of a boxing ring on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV winning a tougher than expected decision over Michael Farenas.

    In the figh,t Gamboa showed everything that makes him one of the sport's most exciting and vulnerable commodities. 

    He can punch, and he has power, but he is also wide open to get hit back and is susceptible to being dropped to the canvas. 

    Gamboa has some catching up to do and will look to do so quickly in 2013 now that he holds an interim championship at 130-pounds.

Keith Thurman

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    If you don't already know Keith Thurman you will by this time next year. 

    The 24-year-old, now campaigning at junior middleweight, is a devastating knockout puncher who is coming off a career best stoppage of former welterweight champion Carlos Quintana. 

    This is one fighter who doesn't like his opponents to go the distance, as seen by his 18 KO's in 19 fights and is always in exciting fights. 

    Whether his move to 154-pounds proves to be permanent or not, he has lots of exciting fights around him and a chance to make a big name for himself.

Gennady Golovkin

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    Gennady Golovkin is a Kazakh-born and up until recently Germany-based middleweight champion with a relentless attacking style and tremendous punching power. 

    He made his American debut in September to rave reviews, scoring a spectacular knockout of Grzegorz Proksa.

    It was so impressive, in fact, that it propelled Golovkin to top of the conversation about the best middleweights in the world. In the eyes of many he is no worse than second, behind only Sergio Martinez.

    He will get another chance to endear himself to an American audience when he faces rugged junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado at Madison Square Garden in January.

Austin Trout

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    Austin "No Doubt" Trout was considered a live underdog against Miguel Cotto early in December, but few expected him to win as easily as he did. 

    Trout, the WBA 154-pound champion, used his long jab and boxing ability to keep the fight at the perfect distance and never allowed Cotto to get on track offensively.

    With the win he positioned himself as a name in the sport, something he has sought for some time, and now might be lined up for another big fight in May.

    Originally scheduled to face Cotto in May, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez saw his plans change with Trout's victory.

    Various reports are now saying that it's possible Canelo and Trout could meet on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather's May 4 date in Las Vegas. And that would be just due for the formerly unknown fighter from Las Cruces.

Peter Quillin

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    Peter Quillin, also known by his tributary moniker "Kid Chocolate," is an exciting middleweight champion with a bright future ahead of him.

    Quillin won his first world championship in November, winning an extremely tough decision over Hassan N'Dam in a fight where he scored four knockdowns. The fight showed both his strengths and limitations.

    He has good punching power and an attacking style but can be potentially outboxed by fighters who can take his punches. 

    Luckily he fights in a division loaded with champions and challengers willing to find out. And wins over N'Dam in a potential rematch, which he deserves, or fellow champions Gennady Golovkin or Daniel Geale could make him a household name.

Kell Brook

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    Kell Brook is a slick British fighter who will hope to make himself into a name in the sport when he challenges for his first world title against Devon Alexander in February.

    The 26-year-old Brook has been brought along slowly, though he holds some notable wins over decent fighters, and will be taking a step up in class when he faces the St. Louis native. 

    It will be just his second fight in the United States, and one he hopes paves the way for a bout with fellow Brit Amir Khan.

Lucas Matthysse

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    In many eyes Lucas Matthysse should be undefeated. His two losses, against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, both came in his opponent's backyard and with questionable scoring.

    But say this for Judah and Alexander, at least they heard the final bell, which is something that can't be said for 30 of the 32 men the Argentine has beaten.

    To say he has tremendous punching power is like saying Peyton Manning has a decent arm. This guy can punch through a brick wall and is already being talked about as a potential fall opponent for unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.

    Sign me up for that one.