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The Future Of Boxing After Mayweather & Pacquiao

Submitted by on July 12, 2010 – 8:21 am9 Comments

It’s no secret boxing has been fighting with its back on the ropes for the past couple of years. With one megafight left to be made between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, one has to wonder if this will be the end of boxing as we know it. Although there are no fighters out there with the immediate impact of a Mayweather or a Pacquiao, there are five boxers who could take boxing off of the expected life support it will be on should Pacquiao vs Mayweather take place this November. Names such as Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez, Andre Berto and Chad Dawson have been left off the list purposefully because they are already on their way. The list below contains boxers who are, perhaps, one or two fights away from being world renowned.

Juan Manuel Lopez

Record: 29-0 (26 KOs)

Weight Class: Featherweight

Notable Wins: Bernebe Concepcion (KO 2), Daniel Ponce de Leon (TKO 1), Steve Luevano (TKO 7)

Why: Juan Manuel Lopez is a devastating puncher with a flair for the exciting. His recent action packed TKO victory against Filipino Bernabe Concepcion showed just how entertaining Lopez can be. He put Concepcion down three times (Concepcion had never been down before the Lopez fight) and found himself on his backside in the first round before the fight ended. With a massive Puerto Rican fan base and a knockout ratio that almost certainly provides fans with a brutal finish, Lopez could be the next big star boxing needs. An upcoming bout with Rafael Marquez in September could really put him on the map.

Yuriokis Gamboa

Record: 18-0 (15 KOs)

Weight Class: Featherweight

Notable Wins: Al Seeger ( TKO 1), Rogers Mtagwa (TKO 2), Marcos Ramirez (KO 2)

Why: Like Lopez, Gamboa is a brilliant finisher who delivers all action bouts whenever he fights. The Cuban import is lightning fast, carries sledgehammers in both hands and fights with a crowd pleasing style that is reminiscent of Roy Jones Jr and Prince Naseem Hamed. His sometimes reckless abandon has put him on his backside in the past, but if you’ve ever witnessed Gamboa flatlining the likes of Al Seeger or Rogers Mtagwa (who gave Lopez a very difficult time) you’ll understand this is certainly a diamond in the rough. With both he and Lopez in the same division, a highly anticipated clash could materialize by late 2011.

Andre Ward

Record: 22-0 (13 KOs)

Weight Class: Super Middleweight

Notable Wins: Mikkel Kessler (Technical Decision 11), Allan Green (UD 12), Edison Miranda (UD 12)

Why: Although he isn’t as devastating a puncher as Lopez or Gamboa, Ward has possibly the best technical skill of the bunch. The 2004 Summer Olympics Gold Medalist has been nothing less than stellar since turning pro in 2004. As a member of Showtime’s Super 6 tournament, Ward has a hefty task of taking on the best the Super Middleweight division has to offer (sans Lucian Bute). Thus far, he’s been completely dominant and now holds the WBA Super Middleweight title. The sky is certainly the limit for Ward.

Timothy Bradley

Record: 25-0 (11 KOs)

Weight Class: Junior Welterweight

Notable Wins: Lamont Peterson (UD 12), Kendall Holt (UD 12), Junior Witter (SD 12)

Why: Timothy Bradley is as tough as they come. He’s willing to fight anyone at any time. At one time Bradley was considered an underdog, but with poundings handed to Peterson, Holt and Witter, Bradley is looking like the leader of the Jr. Welterweight division. It also helps that his division is loaded with talent.

Devon Alexander

Record: 20-0 (13 KOs)

Weight Class: Junior Welterweight

Notable Wins: Juan Urango (TKO 8), Junior Witter (RTD 8), DeMarcus Corley (UD 12)

Why: The kid from St. Louis may not yet be known, but the skill he possesses could thrust him to a huge showdown with Timothy Bradley in 2011. He was known as a slick boxer earlier in his career, but became a finisher in his last five bouts, capping it off with a devastating knockout of the durable Juan Urango earlier this year. Again, being in a loaded 140lbs division can only help build his portfolio.

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