Every boxer strives to reach the pay-per-view level, but very few are able to reach the top, much less sustain that elite status.
Of course, you have to be an extremely talented fighter to even have a chance at reaching that level—no one is paying to see guys who lose—but it's about more than just wins in the ring. Excitement in and out of the ring also has to be a part of what a boxer brings to the table.
Andre Ward and Guillermo Rigondeaux are no doubt top-10 pound-for-pound fighters, but neither will ever reach that elite status in terms of TV dollars and PPV because their style of fighting puts many fans to sleep.
Fairly or unfairly, how well you can talk smack while selling a fight and how often you let your hands go, even if it's at the expense of defense, will normally trump better all-around skill in terms of selling a big PPV fight.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the current top dog on PPV, doesn't often fight an exciting style in the ring, but being the unanimous best fighter in the world and also the most polarizing fighter in the world has more than made up for his defensive style.
I say all that to say this: This is not a list of the best prospects or the best pound-for-pound fighters. As I mentioned earlier, Ward and Rigondeaux would both make that list.
This list will be about not just talent and skill but the ability to bring in money and get ratings for big PPV fights. I will also only consider boxers under the age of 30, as this is about the young guys who could potentially become PPV stars and not guys who are established at that level.
So while Gennady Golovkin has many PPV fights in his future, his age will keep him off this list. Canelo Alvarez is also not on this list despite meeting the age requirement because he's already become a PPV star.