Asset 1

Daniel Dubois

By Lewis Watson, April 20, 2020

The Most Exciting Youngsters In the Fight Game Right Now

Who are Boxing’s Top Prospects and How is the Current Impasse Impacting Their Plans For World Domination?

The battle to reach the highest level of any professional sport is always fraught with immense challenges, but for boxers timing can be almost as important as raw talent.

Right now, all of boxing’s top prospects are experiencing a frustrating and potentially career-damaging delay due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus across the globe.

With the hiatus expected to last until June at the earliest, fighters have been unable to train properly or plan towards a potential date when it will be safe for events to resume.

Inevitably finances are also affected, meaning that many young talents in boxing may well be forced to seek employment away from the ring. A lost generation of fighters is a real threat the longer this pandemic lasts.

Staying fit and sharp will be a major challenge. Boxing is expected to be one of the slowest sports to regain its footing following the COVID-19 outbreak, but the youngsters with the biggest potential and a strong support base will be looking to hit the ground running.

Here’s our guide to the current status of the top three prospects in world boxing:

Daniel Dubois

British heavyweight Daniel Dubois is widely regarded as the next star of the division.

“DDD” has amassed an unbeaten record of 14-0 since turning pro in 2017, and at just 22 years old the Greenwich fighter has time on his side to reach the heavyweight summit.

Dubois has a big frame and packs a hell of a punch, recording 13 KOs in his 14 victories to date. Only “Kingpin” Kevin Johnson went the distance with the Briton – an American heavyweight who is notorious for being hard to stop.

Dubois is scheduled face his biggest challenge to date in July as he steps into the ring against stablemate and fellow unbeaten Briton Joe Joyce.

Joyce won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but many feel the timing is right for Dubois to punctuate his dominance at a domestic level.

“At this stage of his career, Daniel is the best heavyweight I have been involved with. He is an exceptional talent,” Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren stated.

Warren has had a career littered with talent on his books, with comparisons made between Dubois and Frank Bruno.

“What impresses me is his total dedication. He just wants to be a world heavyweight champion. He doesn’t have any distractions. I think he only got a mobile phone the other day. I also believe he will be our next world heavyweight champion,” confirmed the 68-year-old boxing supremo.

If his fight with Joyce on July 11 is postponed again, it will signal another frustrating delay for Dubois who is eagerly awaiting his chance to prove himself on the biggest of stages.

Gervonta Davis

Despite turning 25 late last year, Baltimore’s Gervonta Davis can still be regarded as a “prospect” in boxing.

The two-weight world champion is still unbeaten having picked up straps in the super-featherweight and lightweight divisions, recording 22 KOs in his 23 wins.

Troubles outside the ring have threatened to de-rail Davis’ career, but Mayweather Promotions President Leonard Ellerbe believes the southpaw has the game to reach the very top.

“He has the ‘it’ factor, and that’s the reason so many fans want to see him fight,” Ellerbe said. “He is reminiscent of a young Mike Tyson. He’s already established himself as a major attraction. He’s soon to become a box-office attraction.”

Being compared to a “young Mike Tyson” places a huge amount of expectation on a fighter’s shoulders. But with Davis’ aggressive, come-forward, pit-bull style of fighting, it’s easy to draw those comparisons.

A fight with Leo Santa Cruz is rumoured for the back-end of 2020, but this current pause is a real threat to Davis’ mind set and dedication.

Davis thrives in training camps when he can focus on achieving a goal – trouble with the authorities usually follows when the 25-year-old spends too long away from the ring.

Ryan Garcia

“King Ry” is a sensation in the USA.

The 21-year-old lightweight is unbeaten in 20 professional contests, but his status outside the ring is the reason he has gained such a reputation.

Garcia has an astonishing 5.7 million followers on Instagram, with his young good looks reminiscent of his mentor Oscar De La Hoya in the 90s.

“If you see anyone around their mid-20s, they’re going to know who I am,” Garcia has recently claimed on the social media site.

Despite a majority of Garcia’s attention coming from outside the four corners of the ring, the Californian has progressed well in the 130 and 135-pound divisions.

Garcia currently holds the WBC silver lightweight championship with an outing against former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares expected later this year.

A win over the ageing Linares would represent a changing of the guard in the division, with “King Ry” looking to capture a world title within the next 12 months.

This delay to the boxing schedule could potentially see Garcia’s eye wander. The 21-year-old will have a multitude of opportunities on the table away from the sport, with Garcia’s real dedication to boxing tested over the coming months.