2021 Young Boxing Prospects, January Recap, and What to Expect in February:
2020 was a year of upsets in boxing. Many former champions such as Julian Williams and Vasiliy Lomachenko were dethroned by underdogs Jeison Rosario and Teofimo Lopez. Boxers struggled to hold onto their titles, insinuating that 2020 was a year of upset in the sport. Anthony Joshua was left as the last major fight in 2020. Leaving fans asking the question, will Joshua lose? However, Joshua did not lose his titles and was able to quickly take out Kubrat Pulev in order to retain his unified WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO world champion titles. This marketed a transition into the new year of boxing. Making 2021 as being highlighted as a year of prospect for many boxer who wish to build their own legacies.
A new wave of young boxers is making a claim in the sport. Athletes like 22 year-old Devin Haney (25 — 0), 22 year-old Ryan Garcia (21 — 0), 23 year-old Jarron Ennis (25 — 0), 26 year-old Gervonta Davis (24 — 0), 23 year-old Shakur Stevenson (13 — 0), and 24 year-old female boxer Terri Harper (11 — 0 — 1). All have made a claim on becoming champions within the next year or so. However, one of the most notable boxers is the “Athletic’s Prospect of the Year” Edgar Berlanga. Berlanga currently holds a (16 — 0) record all by 1st round knockouts. Drawing comparisons to Mike Tyson with his brutal power and technique, the 23 year-old Brooklyn native looks to make 2021 his year, stating, “we ended 2020 with a bang. You know, that’s what I wanted. And, you know, 2021 is a big year for us. And I’m looking forward to it.”
Since 2021 has started, boxing has had two major fights. As noted earlier one of the young prospects to follow in the sport is Ryan Garcia. On Jan. 3rd 2021 Ryan Garcia faced Luke Campbell at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Garcia had promised a knockout, but most were not sure how he would do it. In Round 2, Campbell dropped Garcia for the first time in his career with a strong left punch. Something that almost cost Garcia the match. This was an opportunity for Garcia to prove to the boxing world that he will be taken seriously. Garcia mixed up his punches in the later rounds, leaving Campbell guessing. In the end, Garcia landed one the biggest knockouts of his career. In the 7th Round, Garcia landed a left hook to Campbell’s body that sent him to his knees. Adding another win by KO to the rising Lightweight boxer. After the fight, Garcia was not shy to call out Gervonta Davis stating “I’m a man of my word; let’s go, Tank!” Hopefully hinting that the two may fight sometime in 2021.
The Second notable fight for the month was Caleb Plant (21 — 0) vs Caleb Truax (31 — 5 — 2). This was the battle for the IBF Super-Middleweight Title. On Jan. 30th the two fought at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California. Truax had formerly held the IBF Super-Middleweight Title but now it belong to Plant and he was determined to defend it. Known for his ability to evade and anticipate punches, Plant was able to dominate the fight despite injuring his hand. Truax landed fewer punches and was put on the defensive after his face was cut in the 4th Round. In the end Plant won a unanimous decision (120 — 108) by all 3 score cards. After the fight, Plant did not hesitate to layout who he wants next in 2021. Stating “I want to become the first undisputed Super-Middleweight champion of all time, Whoever is in the way of that, doesn’t matter.” Insinuating a potential fight with either Canelo Álvarez or Billy Joe Saunders.
Looking into February, we see a potential for a huge amount of fights. Feb. 13th Joe Smith Jr. will fight Maxim Vlasov for the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada. The following day, Feb. 13th. Jojo Diaz fights Shavkat Rakhimov for the IBF Super-Featherweight Title and Patrick Teixeira fights Brian Castano for the WBO Super-Welterweight Title. Although many fans were looking forward to the Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul fight, it has been postponed until further notice. The last remaining major fights are all on February 27th, with a main headliner of Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim for the WBA & WBC Super-Middleweight Titles at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
February looks to be an exciting month for boxing and fans are eager to get back to in-person seating. February is also a month to look forward for news on any potential fights in the future. Boxing fans are all waiting for the much anticipated Fury vs Joshua fight to be announced, but at the moment nothing has been confirmed. In order to stay up to date on everything boxing and other combat sports. Make sure to download the AllTheBelts: Combat Sports News App today. Also make sure to follow us on all our social media platforms to stay informed on everything going on in the world of combat sports.
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