10 Under the Radar Prospects to watch this year

Want to put you guys onto some fighters who I think could really come into the limelight a little bit in 2023. Some may be too young or inexperienced to be ranked or something by the end of the year, but you should definitely try to keep tabs on these guys. I’ve also listed their current promotional company and where you’d likely see them televised on. There are in no particular order. Feel free to add to this list, as well:

Najee ‘Chino’ Lopez, Cruiserweight (USA) (5-0-0, 5 KOs) [ProBox Promotions, ProBox TV]
Lopez is probably my favorite prospect to watch in the sport right now, as he just continues to impress with every fight. He’s given every opponent he’s ever faced a hell of a time, including Jared Anderson in amateurs. He’s coming off of an injury that he sustained in June, which was his third fight of 2022. He’s stated that he’s hoping for a busy 2023 and is fully healed and ready to go, so watch out for Najee Lopez to go for 5 or 6 fights, barring injury, before this time next year.
YouTube link to Lopez fight

Raymond ‘Savage’ Ford, Featherweight (USA) (13-0-1, 7 KOs) [Matchroom Boxing, DAZN]
Raymond Ford is a fairly well-known commodity already at just 23 years old, as he’s been touted by the DAZN and Matchroom crowd for a while now. He’s also ranked by both the WBA (3rd) and the IBF (12th). Still, as a featherweight, I don’t think he or the weight class as a whole gets enough recognition. Ford is a super entertaining fighter who’s improved defensively with each fight. He’s got a ton of potential and could probably be looking at a title opportunity at the end of 2023 or early 2024, depending on how active he is and who he fights.
YouTube link to Ford fight

Jairo Noriega, Flyweight (Spain) (12-0-0, 3 KOs) [Matchroom Boxing?, DAZN]
I think Flyweight as a division flies under the radar, and Noriega is easily my favorite fighter in that division. Despite being unranked, Noriega is an undefeated fighter fighting at the very least solid competition in his class and is an EBU champ. He’s super fun to watch and displays a very well-rounded style of fighting. He’s already 30, so the clock is ticking. Look for Noriega to fight at least twice this year, probably with two ranked flyweights. A 2024 title shot doesn’t seem too far-fetched for this guy.
YouTube link for Noriega fight

Oscar Alvarez Jr, Super Featherweight (Mexico) (7-0-0, 7 KOs) [World Cup Boxing Series, Canela.tv?]
Oscar Alvarez is an athletic freak who I think could make major waves as a prospect this year. First off, he’s 6 foot 3 in a very light weight class. He’s got great hand speed and seems to be better defensively than many are at his age/experience level. With a busy 2023 and the right exposure, Alvarez could be in the running for a ranking by the end of this year, or at least early next year. Super Featherweihht isn’t a huge weight class in terms of stars, and Alvarez seems to have the tools to be one in the future.
YouTube link for Alvarez Amateur fight

Marques Valle, Welterweight (USA) (7-0-0, 6 KOs) [ProBox Promotions, ProBox TV]
Valle is a destructive puncher who I think could be in for a huge 2023. He’s got a lot of caché in the States with his amateur pedigree, and he’s got the upside of a big timer and fan favorite in the near future. I’d like to see him get more rounds in with his fights. He has yet to see the third round in any of his fights so far, so I’d like to see him go through the gears a little bit through 6 or 8. Still, there’s clear potential with this kid.
YouTube link for Valle fight

Antonio ‘El Gigante’ Mireles, Heavyweight (USA) (6-0-0, 6 KOs) [Top Rank Boxing, ESPN]
Mireles might be the next gigantic heavyweight to take over the division. He’s a powerful and surprisingly fast puncher with devastating accuracy. He, like Valle, needs to see more rounds and go through the gears a little bit. He also needs work defensively, but his range could mask (or accentuate) that a little bit. Still, there’s clear potential upon watching this kid.
YouTube link to Mireles fight

Karol Itauma, Light Heavyweight (UK) (9-0-0, 7 KOs) [Queensbury Promotions, ESPN]
Itauma, a Slovak-born UK fighter, has really impressed in his most recent fights. He displays a well rounded and mature style of fighting that seems to be ready for testing at the next levels of competition. Itauma has already stated that he’s looking to go after the WBC silver title at 175, and I think that’s a good step for both competition strength and exposure. He will continue to impress, I think, and could be in for a big 2023 that might end in a step up to fringe contender status. He could very legitimately be in the title conversation by the end of 2024, if he plays his cards right.
YouTube Link to Itauma Highlights

Troy ‘Transformer’ Isley, Middleweight (USA) (8-0-0, 4 KOs) [Top Rank Boxing, ESPN]
I have been a big fan of Isley for a while now, and he has yet to disappoint. His shot selection is very good, and he’s a quick and accurate puncher with some pretty good power. He needs some seasoning in the lower levels, as he’s a raw talent, but watch out for Troy Isley in 2024 and beyond. He could be a dangerous player in the 160 game.
YouTube Link to Isley fight

Jan Paul Rivera Pizarro, Featherweight (Puerto Rico) (5-0-0, 3 KOs) [ProBox Promotions, ProBox TV]
I’ve mentioned Rivera-Pizarro before on here, as I have with a few of these guys. Still, he’s probably one of the most talented prospects in the sport. He’s good at everything. He just needs to step up and show his abilities against tougher opponents. He had a busy, 5-fight 2022, and I’d expect similar things to happen in 2023. And if he goes 5-0 again this year, he should be in the ranking conversation for sure.
YouTube link for Rivera fight

Pavel Silyagin, Super Middleweight (Russia) (12-0-0, 5 KOs) [unknown, Russia Match TV]
Silyagin is, unfortunately, an unknown but ranked 168er with legit title aspirations and ability. He’s proved that to me against an old but very game Chilemba, whom Silyagin dominated over a 12 round unanimous decision in just his 9th fight. In what little you can find about him in fights since, Silyagin appears to only have improved from then. Obviously, it’ll be tough for Silyagin to get top competition as an unknown, as he’s dangerous but does nothing to improve a fighters name right now. Still, one decent name in the résumé, and Silyagin should be able to get a shot at one of the best 168ers. 2024 could be a title year for Pavel Silyagin, and Canelo better look out if it is.
YouTube Link to Silyagin fight

Obviously, there are some big names in the “prospect” field that will be in for a big 2023. Austin Williams, Dalton Schultz, Jared Anderson, Jordan Thompson, Frank Martin, and Diego Pacheco, among others, are just a handful of prospects who could become legit contenders or even title contenders in 2023. But, those guys are known. I hope you learned about a few new guys to look out for, and I hope they all have a good 2023. My reputation depends on it lol.

Happy New Year, y’all

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