Amir Khan, Saul Alvarez and the Top 15 Prospects Under 26
Fighters like Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan and Saul Alvarez exploded onto the boxing scene in recent years, and they are all under 25. Expect these and the rest of the fighters on the list to be at the top of the sport in upcoming year.
Many of them are getting fights on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights and some have had featured bouts on Showtime and HBO.
These are the fighters who are 26 and under who will carry the future of boxing through the rest of the decade, and may possibly become the next biggest thing in each of their respective divisions in years to come.
Notable Mention: Adrien Broner: Age 21 (20-0, 16 KO)
Adrien Broner picked up the biggest win of his career when he defeated Daniel Ponce De Leon by a controversial unanimous decision over 10 rounds on HBO. It was a boring fight but a big step in this young fighter's career.
Broner's amateur career spanned 300 bouts. He has fought on the undercards of Ricky Hatton vs. Paulie Malignaggi and Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao.
No. 15 Shawn Porter: Age 23 (19-0, 13 KO)
Shawn "Showtime" Porter turned professional in 2008 after compiling an amateur record of 276 victories and only 14 losses.
Porter lost the chance to compete in the 2008 Olympics after losing a qualifying match, but turned to professional fighting instead.
As Manny Pacquiao prepared for his bout with Miguel Cotto, Porter was his main sparring partner.
No. 14 Omar Henry: Age 24 (10-0, 8 KO)
Omar Henry is 10-0 and has an amateur record of 60-5.
This prospect was a quarter finalist at the 2007 National Golden Gloves and a four time Texas Golden Gloves champion.
Eight of his 10 professional light middleweight bouts have ended in the first round by knockout.
No. 13 Demetrius Andrade: Age 23 (12-0, 8 KO)
Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade made his professional debut in 2008 after winning the World Amateur Boxing Championship in 2007.
Andrade, who fights out of Rhode Island, is scheduled to face Omar Bell on April 22nd in the main event on Friday Night Nights.
No. 12 Edwin Rodriguez: Age 25 (18-0, 13 KO)
Edwin Rodriguez has an 84-9 amateur record and a professional record of 18-0 with 13 knockouts.
Rodriguez's latest win came over Aaron Pryor, Jr. in January. He has also earned a victory over James McGirt, his first of four victories in 2010.
Rodriguez fights in the light middleweight division and boxes out of the Dominican Republic.
No. 11 Sadam Ali: Age 21 (12-0, 6 KO)
Sadam Ali is a welterweight boxer fighting out of Brooklyn, New York.
He was a Junior Olympic national champion and won the National Golden Glove Championship in 2006. He also qualified for the 2008 Olympics but was eliminated in the opening round.
Ali's next bout will be broadcast on Friday Night Fights on May 20th, when he'll take on John Revish (10-3-2).
No. 10 Antonio Demarco- Age 25 (25-2-1, 18 KO)
Antonio Demarco's most notable distinction is as the last man to fight Edwin Valero. He lost to the undefeated fighter after retiring before the tenth round.
Since that loss, he has defeated Reyes Sanchez and Daniel Attah. He also holds win over Almazbek Raiymkulov and Jose Alfaro.
He is one of the most exciting fighters in the lightweight division and has a 65 percent knockout ratio to back it up.
He is currently ranked tenth in the division by Ring Magazine.
No. 9 Miguel Angel Garcia: Age 23 (25-0, 21 KO)
Miguel Angel Garcia is only 23 and, at 25-0 with 21 knockouts, this boxer is one of the best to look out for in the featherweight division.
He picked up the biggest win of his career when he defeated the previously unbeaten Matt Remillard (23-1) on HBO in March.
Garcia also won a gold medal in the 2004 National Junior Golden Gloves Championships.
His older brother, Roberto Garcia, currently trains Victor Ortiz and has trained Antonio Margarito, Fernando Vargas, Nonito Donaire, Juan Guzman and Brandon Rios.
No. 8 Andy Lee: Age 26 (25-1, 19 KO)
Irish prospect Andy Lee is 25-1 with 19 knockouts. His most recent victory was a grueling 10-rounder versus Craig McEwan. Lee was on his way to losing a decision before stopping McEwan in the final round.
Lee also holds victories over Mamadou Thiam, Willi Gibbs and Troy Lowry.
The 26-year-old competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens after winning a bronze medal at the 2004 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Croatia. He defeated Mexican prospect Alfredo Angulo, but lost to Hassan N'Jikam in the following round.
No. 7 Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.: Age 25 (42-0, 30 KO)
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Being the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez already makes Chavez, Jr. stand out from everyone else trying to establish their names in the sport.
At 25, Chavez, Jr. already has over 40 professional bouts under his belt, winning every single one of them.
He is currently scheduled to face Sebastian Zbik (30-0) on June 4th on HBO for the WBC middleweight title.
No. 6 Vanes Martirosyan: Age 24 (29-0, 18 KO)
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On June 4th, light middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (29-0, 18 KO) will be taking on Saul Roman (34-8) for the vacant WBC silver light middleweight title.
James Kirkland (26-0)54.4%
Vanes Martirosyan (28-0)21.1%
Guillermo Rigondeaux (7-0)24.6%
Which of these undefeated fighters has the most potential?
The 24-year-old Armenian-born boxer fought twice in 2010, defeating Kassim Ouma and Joe Greene, and defeated Bladimir Hernandez in 2011 by way of a second round knockout.
No. 5 Abner Mares: Age 25 (21-0-1, 13 KO)
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Abner Mares will be fighting this weekend against Joseph Agbeko for the IBF and IBO bantamweight titles.
Mares picked up the biggest win of his young career when he defeated Vic Darcinyan by split-decision in the opening round of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament.
His amateur record of 112-8 is testament to the success and potential the Mexican-born fighter has at 25 years old.
No. 4 Brandon Rios: Age 24 (27-0, 20 KO)
Undefeated Mexican fighter Brandon Rios fights in the lightweight division and has victories over Anthony Peterson and Miguel Acosta.
Rios is an exciting, aggressive up-and-comer who exploded onto the scene with his win over Peterson last year.
He won the WBA world lightweight title from Acosta in February on Showtime after knocking him out in the tenth round.
No. 3 Victor Ortiz: Age 24 (29-2-2, 22 KO)
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"Vicious" Victor Ortiz defeated Andre Berto, picking up the biggest win of his career after taking a unanimous decision over 12 rounds this past weekend.
It was a slugfest which saw both fighters hit the canvas twice. In the end, Ortiz prevailed and silenced the critics that questioned his heart and desire.
With an inspiring personal story and exciting fighting style, Ortiz is one of the best fighters to watch and is on the fast track to being one of the best.
No. 2 Saul Alvarez: Age 20 (36-0-1, 26 KO)
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is the youngest fighter on this list, but might have the most experience and potential of all.
He went 5-0 in 2010 and holds notable victories over Carlos Baldomir, Matthew Hatton and Jose Miguel Cotto. He is currently set to face Ryan Rhodes (45-4) in June on HBO.
Alvarez is a "Fighter of the Year" candidate in the years to come, so keep an eye on this Mexican standout.
No. 1 Amir Khan: Age 24 (25-1, 17 KO)
Amir Khan is currently ranked second by Ring Magazine in the junior welterweight division.
Khan recently defeated the previously unbeaten Paul McCloskey by technical decision after six rounds. He also holds wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana and Marco Antonio Barrera.
At 24 Khan has already made a strong case for himself for being the future of the division. Even with one professional defeat that came by way of a first round knockout, Khan has established himself as one of the best young fighters in the sport.