The Sweet Science has passed through generation to generation of fighters. From the "Fantastic Four" in the 80s. The great Heavyweights such as Ali, Foreman, Frazier and Norton plus Jerry Quarry, Earnie Shavers, Ron Lyle, Bob Foster, Jimmy Young and all the others (The list goes on!) were great in the 60s and 70s.
Besides that we got the great Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake Lamotta and clan back in the 40s/50s. And most recently we had the doubleheader of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao plus contenders Miguel Cotto, Klitschko brothers, Mosley, Calzaghe, Wright and more from the early 2000s.
Over the last few months fans absorbed a bit of heartbreak as Manny Pacquiao was KO'd by Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto widely decisioned by Austin Trout, Winky Wright slapped around by Peter Quillin plus Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, and more calling it a day after large amounts of defeats.
All other remaining superstars are in their later 30s to 40s and nearly all have flowed pack their peaks. Ricky Hatton was stopped by Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko and sent back to retirement. Floyd Mayweather has discussed retirement after a final 2013 run and Juan Manuel Marquez who recently pummeled Pacquiao did too. Even the second level stars like Bernard Hopkins, Who lost to Chad Dawson earlier this year are sensing their time is nearly up.
So now questions arouse for boxing fans. Who do we have left? What will the sport of boxing see? It is a sure sign that boxing is rapidly passing it's many torches to the next generation. And by the end of 2014 we will be adding another chapter to the history books of Pugilism in a mixture of sadness and anticipation. Lets get to it!
Team USA: The United States has been a homestead for boxing for generation after generation and will continue to be so for the years to follow. Future stars like swift boxer Andre Ward, Charismatic slickster Adrien Broner and Puerto Rican-American Danny Garcia look like real talents for the near future. Peter Quillin, Austin Trout, Vanes Martirosyan, Robert Guerrero, Tim Bradley also are beginning to reign in the Middle weight classes. All of these guys are just staring to hold titles and maintaining top positions in their respective divisions. But men like Gary Russell Jr, Deontay Wilder, Trevor McCumby, Abner Mares, Andre Dirrell, Brandon Rios Keith Thurman, and more fancy interest in the more hardcore fan.
United Kingdom: All throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland boxing is highly popular amongst fans and athletes. Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton may have walked away plus David Haye and Carl Froch will soon. Gritty brawlers like Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray, and Andy Lee seem to be taking the Middleweight division by storm. But Scottish talent Ricky Burns is capturing Featherweight and Lightweight straps with big wins leading Scots to see him as the next big thing. Heavyweights David Price and Tyson Fury are also flattening all heavyweight adversaries. Besides that prospects Billy Joe Saunders, Bradley Skeete, Chris Eubank Jr, George Groves, James DeGale, Rocky Fielding, Frankie Gavin, Paul Butler and more will be prepared to take the throne soon enough!
Other Countries: Some of my favorite European outlooks are Gennady Golovkin, Jack Culcay, Rakhkim Chakhkiev, Dustin Dirks, Ermano Fegatilli, Leonard Bundu, Khalib Allakhvierdev, Matteo Modnugno, Patrick Nielsen, Vyacheslav Glazkov, Andrej Fonfara, and more. I'd say Germany, Russia, Italy, Poland are the best all around but smaller countries in Belgium, Serbia and the Ukraine maintain quality regional scenes you should continue to view.
Africa has the slick Hassan N'Dam. SA fighters Thomas Oosthuizen and Chris Van Heerden also catch one's eye. But Toshiaki Uchiyama represents a large future for Japanese boxing which also is quite strong.
Mexico is saying goodbye to former stars Fernando Montiel, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Marquez brothers. They have maintained a large amount of talent also as with South American which are including more rising stars in Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Ezequiel Maderna, Diego Chaves, Luis Carlos Abregu all of which are must-see power power punching Argentinians, Leo Santa Cruz, Juan Jose Montes of Mexico, Javier Fortuna, Jenifel Vicente of the Dominican, Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua and Alexander Brand, of Colombia plus more.
Did I include everyone? No way. That would be impossible as boxing has such a bright future ahead of it internationally and weather you believe it or not also in the United States. But still this is still a brief preview of what is to come in our beloved sport. For now, Tip your hats to those warriors who have entertained us for many years as we say our goodbyes and watch as a new generation unfolds!