Passing of the Torch: Broner, Ward, Donaire, Garcia, More!
The time is almost at hand. The veterans are winding down the grays are beginning to show. Let the torch passing ceremony begin. We have been dazzled for years by the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto & Sergio Martinez, just to name a few. We have watched them from their early days and we knew they had what it took to be at the pinnacle of the sport. Each of these men has had his day in the sun. Some are still enjoying unrivaled success in the ring at such a late stage in their careers.
They have dazzled the crowds and held up the sport while the world turned its attention elsewhere. Often fighting in the shadows awaiting the time for boxing to illuminate the sporting landscape once again. Now in the twilight of their careers due in no small part to their persistent unyielding desire to see the sport they have dedicated their lives to rise back to the top shelf of entertainment, boxing is experiencing a renaissance.
Time spares no man or woman the clock grinds all to dust. No amount of training or hyperbolic chamber sessions can keep one at the top of his or her game forever. The honors, wealth and prestige these men have experienced have brought back something boxing was missing talented prospects. So without further ado I would like to introduce the young guns that will take boxing to new heights.
Foremost amongst the new wave of fighters at this moment is a Olympian from the state of California. Andre Ward the gold medalist is quickly becoming a master of his craft. Forged in the fires of the wonderful super-six tournament this undaunted fighter seems to possess just about all the skills required to move to the top of the boxing landscape. The pros of his game are his ring generalship, uncanny ability to adjust to the style of all opponents he has faced so far in the ring, a tremendous boxing IQ mixed with a humble approach. Known by the moniker” Son Of God” this fighter wears his faith on his sleeve and is unafraid to praise his God before and after each fight. The only cons associated with Ward is his at times inability to finish off foes with spectacular KO’s although he may have been dominating the whole fight. The crowds crave knock outs but they also appreciate ring brilliance In his last endeavor Ward seemed to ratchet up this flaw with a TKO of the current light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. The future is bright for this young gun. I look forward to Wards next fight against a top tier opponent.
Next in line is the heir apparent to the Mayweather style. Adrien the Problem Broner. Not only does Adrien use the fighting approach of Floyd in the ring he seems to be taking his brash and braggadocio approach outside the ring. He may use the same defense as Mayweather but Broner definitely has added some spice to the offense of this style. His thunderous punches in bunches will always make him a fan favorite. This was clearly on display against Antonio Demarco, whom he battered for eight excitement filled rounds till finally Demarco went down from a shock and awe styled attack where it seemed as if Broner just wouldn’t let his foot off the gas. He has delivered knockout after knockout. His new slogan of whoever wants to fight me just take the rope and hang yourself is a ominous statement to all potential foes. Many top fighters seem to be jumping weight classes just to avoid this bruiser. Others seem to be trying to price themselves out of fighting him. The pros of Broner are his stalwart defense, his will to fight. You can see the utter enjoyment he gets from demolishing his foes. A willingness to go toe to toe. In fact while very fleet of foot he is very content to stand in front of his foes and go toe to toe when it is not even necessary. Relying on his opponents inability to unlock the safe that is his defense. The cons and their are a few. Firstly is the over-showmanship at times which can be a turn off to the fans but hey, they will still watch if only for the day he meets his inevitable match. Secondly is his insistence on walking in the shoes of a possible G.O.A.T candidate in Mayweather. A little distance from the persona cult of Mayweather will do him some good. He must establish his own identity in this sport to get full recognition for his deeds. All in all though the future of Broner is set barring any unforeseen difficulties that may arise from walking in the shadow of a great boxer.
Thirdly is the Phillipino Flash Nonito Donaire. Donaire is a exemplary fighter. In this age of enhancement drugs, and accusations Donaire has taken the unprecedented approach of true year round Olympic testing to prove without a doubt that all his accomplishments in the ring are due to hard work and dedication. The flash has been moving through his weight division with the precision and speed of Pattons march through Europe. Defeating all foes with style , speed and underestimated power. His most recent conquest of the veteran Jorge Arce was quite impressive. Donaire stemmed the tide of national pride by shattering Arce with a vicious uppercut that stopped all thoughts of success for the Mexican warrior. The pros of Donaire are quite impressive, a high ring IQ. Mixed with ability to stick to his game plan and impose his will on opponents. A thudding left hook and wonderful foot work make Donaire the next darling of the Philippines. The only con seems to be his promoter. Although Arce was a big name he was clearly out of his depth in challenging the Flash. Donaire does have competition in his weight class in the form of Abner Mares although Mares is promoted by Golden Boy and the Flash by Top rank. Golden Boy seems more than willing to make the fight while Top Rank seems intent on not working with Golden Boy no matter the cost to their fighters or the fans. Donaire is quickly approaching the status where he won’t need a promoter that won’t make the fights needed to extend his ring legacy. That decision however is up to him.
Fourth but definitely not last is the handsome yet dangerous Danny Garcia. This boxer jumped on the scene with his dismantling of Amir Khan. Garcia has since shown that he is a force to be reckoned with. While Garcia is not the fastest fighter he has great timing and the virtue of patience. His father has turned out to be a great marketing tool for the quiet but deadly Garcia. The Philly native has a crowd friendly style and venomous left hook which felled both Amir Khan and Eric Morales and a host of other tomato cans. The pros of Garcia are his timing and patience. Also is his loud mouthed father who can sell many tickets with his spirited views. His father is also his biggest con due to his bigoted views which will inevitably fall at the feet of his son. While being obnoxious is not a crime being a bigot in the modern era will lose his son fans and diminish his earning potential. Major broadcasters will drop Garcia like a bad habit if his father’s enthusiasm cannot be contained and controlled. Hopefully Garcia will go on to clean up the 140lb division as there is alot of talent in this division.
Finally we get to Bam Bam. Brandon Rios is a throwback fighter. His come forward through anything style is very crowd pleasing. Always looking for the knockout and never shy to speak his mind this bruiser is making waves in the jr. welterweight division. Rios is a fighter in the purest sense. He isn’t looking to dodge or parry or slip a punch he’s willing to take any foes best shot and return withering fire. The pros of Rios is his willingness to trade and his inability to get out the way of a punch. He has one gear and that is forward. His con is the one dimensional nature of his style. As he meets top tier foes he must adjust his style a little to take into account the differing styles he will face.If a opponent such as Abril was able to push him to the brink he must make adjustments in preparation for the bigger fish that await him in the boxing seas. His future looks quite bright however even if he stays just the way he is.
In conclusion these five fighters are just the tip of the iceberg in new talent that has made its way back onto the boxing landscape. These young guns are all very talented attributes to the boxing community. In today’s fast paced sporting world boxing needs talented young fighters to finish the work the veterans have started. To ensure the successful return of boxing to its rightful place as the top sport of the land. I look forward to watching these young men make a name for themselves and clash against one another for supremacy of the boxing landscape. There is so much talent to name that even as this article comes to a close I can only think of the names that have been omitted. So perhaps a second and third part is needed to get a full view of the young guns now holding the torch.