Top 5 Under 25: The Future Faces of Boxing
By Chester Rivers: It’s time to face reality. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez are on their way out, and boxing desperately need some young fresh fighters to pick up were these legends will soon leave off. The following list is my top 5 candidates who, if promoted properly, could be the next face of boxing.
1). Miguel “Mikey” Garcia, age 25, (32-0, 27 KO’s) Mikey has the potential to someday top the pound-for-pound list. Garcia’s resume list former champions Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez as his victims. Mikey did have trouble making weight in his last fight which resulted in the young champion losing his title on the scales. Lucky for us Garcia has outgrown the featherweight division and will now be competing in the deeper junior lightweight division against alphabet champ Rocky Martinez. Garcia should dispose of Martinez quite easily gaining his second world title in his second division.
2). Danny Garcia, age 25, (27-0, 16 KO’s) What can you say about this guy? He must have a lucky rabbit’s foot, 4 leaf clover and a horseshoe inside his gloves. Every time he’s counted out Danny somehow defy the odds and come out victorious. Against Lucas Matthysse, Garcia’s mouthpiece actually saved him in round 11. A straight right knocked Garcia’s mouth guard into the second row leaving Garcia out on his feet. The ref called a break in the action allowing Danny time to recover, and wouldn’t you know it, Garcia came back and scored a knock down by the end of the round. In my opinion Danny should not seek a Mayweather fight. Danny should go after the winner of Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander or Robert Guerrero at 140. Then Team Garcia would have a bigger bargaining chip when Mayweather come a calling.
3). Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, age 23, (42-0-1, 30 KO’s) Losing to Mayweather Jr. could be the best thing to happen to Canelo. Alvarez is a big draw in the Mexican community and now he will be even bigger because Mayweather’s strategy was to punch and move. Canelo supporters are saying Floyd did not want to stand toe-to-toe. If handled correctly Canelo future will be more of vanity than substance but nowadays vanity sells.
4). George Groves, age 25, (19-0, 16 KO’s) Groves is the European super middleweight version of Danny Garcia. He’s only great at one thing and very good at everything else. Americans will soon be introduced to this guy after he takes care of business against Carl Froch. If Froch had trouble with Andre Dirrell, he’s in trouble against Groves. His defense is above average, his boxing skills are average, but his power is exceptional. It’s no accident Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler has not mentioned this guys name.
5). Leo Santa Cruz, age 25, (25-0-1, 15 KO’s) Santa Cruz is quickly becoming a boxing fan dream and a fighters nightmare. The crowd demand to see him fight gives him a slight edge over Adrien Broner (age 24) when considering this list. Leo’s volume punching and straight ahead style is definitely crowd pleasing and may soon land Santa Cruz on the most avoided fighter list.
Time stand still for no one and soon father time will tap Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the shoulder. Who will be the next face of boxing? I don’t know exactly but I would not be surprised if it’s one of the guys mentioned on this list.