Boxing is always going through a transitional stage and while sometimes its more glaringly obvious that things are changing the truth is that boxing never stays still. Recently a lot of the stars of the previous generation have retired such as Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Andre Ward and Miguel Cotto. With these retirements the focus has shifted to the current crop of star fighters which include Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, Errol Spence Jr, Tyson Fury and Terence Crawford to name a few.
Not only do we have a good amount of star fighters right now in boxing but the next wave of potential super stars look like they could carry the sport to new heights. The only way for them to reach their true potential is to take hard fights and fight often not be inactive like fighters have a tendency to do today. Fighters like Floyd didn’t start out being the biggest name in boxing, he had to work his way up to that point for most of his career and thats something that these young fighters could take inspiration from.
Gervonta Davis is the most established name on this list and has already proven hes not a hype job that a promoters selling to the public. Davis is a power puncher who goes for the finish when he gets you hurt. He currently has 22 knockouts out of 23 wins which shows his punching power and ferocity in the ring. Hes a very good boxer to go with his power and this is something that people underrate about him. He has championship experience as hes a 2x champ at Super Featherweight which if he can make the weight is the division he should stay in.
He sells more tickets than almost any other fighter in America but there are warning signs that his path to becoming a star is crumbling beneath him. Hes had issues outside the ring involving both the law and his weight which is never a good sign especially because of how early he is in his career. His fight at Lightweight wasn’t impressive and if he wants to keep his momentum going then he needs to go down a weight and take the Leo Santa Cruz fight which should be his real breakout fight. Thankfully it seems once this Corona Virus has ended that will be the fight that is made.
An enigma in the boxing community is Ryan Garcia a 21 year old 20-0 fighter from California. On the one hand hes clearly got talent as is obvious due to his hand speed and power but on the other hand he hasn’t fought a top 10 opponent and yet has more of a following than most world champions. He chooses to use this following to his advantage and for not being a world champion is picky on who he fights and how much he gets paid. I think that out of all the new potential stars in boxing Ryan Garcia uses social media most effectively and if he does start winning world titles then he could be one of the biggest stars in boxing within a few years. Garcia is currently being trained by Eddy Reynoso who also trains Canelo Alvarez.
He has all the tools to become a star but I have heard him say that he wants to retire by the age of 26 which is a bad sign as hes already thinking about retirement before winning his first world title. His last few performances have been good and we should see just how good he is when he faces his first real test soon.
The next potential star is David Benavidez who at only 23 years of age is already a two time champ at Super middleweight. He has 22 wins with 19 of them coming by knockout which is down to how big he is for the weight and also the unrelenting pressure he brings. I feel his feet are a bit slow and he relies on his size too much but hes only 22 so he can work on it. As long as he stays out of trouble outside the ring he should be able to have a long and successful career. The reason he had to fight to become a champion again was because he was stripped of his title due to effectively having cocaine in his system. It seems a very stupid way to lose your title and thankfully hes now got it back and it hasn’t effected his career too much.
Shakur Stevenson is the guy out of all of these young fighters who I think will go the furthest. He has a good style for longevity in the sport and seems to want to take on the best challenges as soon as possible. He also has good people around him like Terence Crawford and Andre Ward who can help guide him. He has excellent boxing skills and so far in his career has looked almost impossible to hit. His performance to win the title was great and while some people might call it boring you can see how much skill you need to do what he did that night. The only fault you can really find with him is that he got in a scuffle at a gas station almost two years ago. Lots of people made a big deal out of it but if you watch the video he didn’t do much and its the only incident hes ever been involved in to my knowledge. I don’t think it will effect his boxing career at all and he seems to be quite a calm guy normally.
Devin Haney is 24-0 and technically a world champion while only being 21. He has superb boxing skills and so far it seems decent power though we still need to see if it holds up at the highest level. He went pro at a young age and built his experience fighting guys in Mexico until he was old enough to fight in America. Fast forward a few years and hes got one of the biggest promotional networks backing him to be the next big thing.
Unfortunately due to the WBC making Lomachenko franchise champion (whatever that means) its unlikely he’ll be able to get the mega fights he wanted especially at lightweight. When he moves up he’ll struggle even more to get a fight as almost all of the Super lightweights are signed to Top Rank. I really hope they can find him good opponents and don’t just feed him tune ups for years which is something Hearn has done before.
The last of the fighters who I see as the next generation of stars is IBF Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. To call Lopez athletic would be an understatement as he quite easily does back flips in the ring after knocking his opponents out cold. He has huge one shot power with a killer instinct which I think all top fighters need. Another thing is that out of all the fighters I’ve mentioned hes the most competitive alongside Stevenson who is also hyper competitive. He has been troubled by taller fighters in the past and was being tagged by Edis Tatli often before he KO’d him. It looks like he’ll be heading towards A massive fight with Lomachenko later this year and if he wins that fight then he instantly becomes one of the biggest names in boxing. I think he has a chance in that fight but win or lose his credit goes up for taking such a hard fight so early in his career.