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Boxing Returns: 5 Boxers to Look Out For



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5 Boxers to Look Out For When Boxing Returns after Coronavirus


5 Boxers to Look Out For When Boxing Resumes

Boxing returns as the sporting world is slowly opening up again after being halted by the Coronavirus pandemic. In boxing, fights are already taking place behind closed doors in the US. The UK is set to follow soon, with established names such as Dillian Whyte and Jono Carroll set to fight without the crowd they are used to. But there is also a new generation of fighters coming through, who will be looking to continue their pre-lockdown momentum and reach the very top in the next couple of years. Here are five of the best.


1. Daniel Dubois 

Described by his promoter Frank Warren as a “world champion in waiting”, Dubois has been making big waves in British boxing over the last two years. He first gained notoriety after rumours he had dropped Anthony Joshua in sparring, something Dubois did not deny. He turned pro after a limited amateur career, but since making his debut he has won an seven championships in just 13 fights. His punch power and fundamentals mean that he has been compared with former champ Lennox Lewis. His biggest career moment so far came last summer, when he headlined the O2 Arena, capturing the British heavyweight championship. If not for COVID-19 he would have by now had another headline appearance against fellow Brit Joe Joyce. This fight has now been rescheduled for October 24th, and it will be well worth seeing how Dubois fairs as he takes yet another step up. 


2. Ryan Garcia 

Nicknamed ‘The Flash’, 21-year-old Garcia is a truly flashy fighter both inside and outside the ring. After a decorated amateur career, Garcia has amassed 17 knockouts’ in his first 20 pro fights. This stat is even more impressive when you consider he fights at lightweight. His 6.6 million Instagram followers also mean that he’s already a huge draw considering his experience, and there are certainly some exciting potential matchups for Garcia in a stacked lightweight division. He was scheduled to return to the ring behind closed doors on July 4th, however Garcia was described as not ready to fight by his promoter Oscar De La Hoya. This led to an online feud between the two, not for the first time in Garcia’s career. If he can move past these promotional issues, Garcia could well become one of boxing’s biggest names in the next few years. 


3. Shakur Stevenson 

Any fighter who wins a world title at such a young age is worth keeping an eye on, just ask Mike Tyson. Down at featherweight, Stevenson captured the WBO title in just 13 professional fights. Huge things are expected from the New Jersey Native, who won Olympic Silver back in 2016. Unlike the other fighters on this list, Stevenson has already returned to action during lockdown, with a KO win behind closed doors. His style has attracted noteworthy comparisons to Floyd Mayweather. His promoter Bob Arum will be hopeful he can someday bring in the huge money that Floyd’s fights did. Like Mayweather, Stevenson seems likely to step up in weight class as his career progresses, so look out for him possibly going for a lightweight belt soon. 


4. Josh Kelly 

Sunderland’s Josh Kelly is the only fighter on this list to have a blemish on his record, but that doesn’t take away from his huge potential. Relatively late to the world of professional boxing, Kelly has since had 11 wins and just one surprise draw against Ray Robinson. His showmanship and slick movement inside the ring means he has the potential to attract a lot of fans. Despite undoubted ability,Kelly has sometimes had issues pulling the trigger when needed. If he can get past this problem, there’s no reason why he become one of Britain’s biggest boxing stars. Kelly’s next fight when boxing returns will be another step up, as he takes on David Avanesyan for the European welterweight title. There was a heated build-up for this fight before it was postponed, and it will definitely be worth a watch. 


5. Vergil Ortiz Jr 

It would be difficult to make this list and not include last year’s Ring magazine prospect of the year. Vergil Ortiz Jr could not have had a better start to his pro career, with 15 wins out of 15. Every one of his fights so far has ended inside the distance. In that time, he has already faced former contenders and a former world champ, making easy work of them all. He will face another test against Samuel Vargas on July 24th, In Golden Boy’s first show since the pandemic halted boxing. Vargas has already faced the likes of Amir Khan and Errol Spence Jr, so it will be interesting to see how Ortiz Jr compares. If he carries on his current momentum, it seems likely we will see him reach the top of an incredibly competitive welterweight division in the near future. 


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘5 Boxers to Look Out For When Boxing Returns after Coronavirus’. Are there any other fighters you think should have made our list? Let us know!

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Jack Wood is a journalism degree graduate from University of Derby, with a particular passion for boxing, football and MMA