Rising Stars: Top 10 Young Boxers To Watch Right Now
Boxing is in a fascinating place as the current generation of stars begins to give way to the younger generation of fighters. With so many young stars on the rise, there are several to keep an eye on over the next couple of years as they look to make their breakthroughs. Here, we run down our pick of the top 10 young boxers to watch.
1. Devin Haney
Devin Haney is the number one boxer on our top 10 young boxers list. The 24-year-old has already compiled 30 fights in his career, winning all 30, with 15 by knockout. He could earn his 31st victory soon, further solidifying his status as the best young boxer today.
When you check out the boxing odds for Haney’s next fight, scheduled for December against Regis Prograis, you will see that Haney is a convincing favorite to come out on top. Doing so would give Haney a Super Lightweight championship with his unified Lightweight titles. It would also be a superb follow-up to beating Vasiliy Lomachenko, as Haney would have a win over a fighter in Prograis with just one career loss.
2. Jared Anderson
Jared Anderson is one of the most explosive young fighters in the world today. The 23-year-old American is 16–0 in his career and has won 15 out of 16 fights by knockout. In 2023, he fought thrice in six months, earning and keeping multiple Heavyweight titles. The question now is where he goes from here in terms of opponents. Still, the sky is the limit for Anderson at this stage.
3. Jesse Rodriguez
Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez comes in at third in our young boxer rankings, with the promising Flyweight registering a record of 18–0 in his career. Rodriguez already holds the WBO Flyweight championship, which he could add to his belt collection in December. He has agreed to a fight with IBF Flyweight champ Sunny Edwards in December, which could boost his stock.
4. Keyshawn Davis
Keyshawn Davis took the amateur boxing route early on, which paid dividends in the form of a silver medal in the Lightweight division in 2021 in Tokyo. Since then, he has won 10 straight fights to open his professional career, including one in October over Nahir Albright. He will need to prove himself against a higher level of competition, but the pieces certainly appear to be there for Davis to have long-term success.
5. Brandun Lee
In terms of wins and losses, American youngster Brandun Lee is right up there with Devin Haney. He has a 28–0 record, with 23 of those wins coming by knockout, though Lee needs to get better as an all-around boxer if he wants to leap up the ranks as he approaches 25. His unanimous decision win over Pedro Campa is an encouraging sign, but he needs to build on that in his next fight.
6. Diego Pacheco
Diego Pacheco has been mauling opponents recently, as he has not seen a fight go past the fifth round since 2021. Pacheco is 19–0 in his young career, including his latest victory, a fourth-round stoppage win over Manuel Gallegos. As long as Pacheco can keep blasting opponents early in fights, he is going to command a respect that will continue to grow over time.
7. Xander Zayas
Puerto Rico’s Xander Zayas is someone who is getting used to fighting on big stages. He has fought at Madison Square Garden in four of his last five bouts, serving as highlights in a promising 16–0 start to his career. Zayas is just 20 years of age, giving him more room to grow into stardom than many of the boxers on this list, which should mean title fights and major opportunities in the near future.
8. Ryan Garcia
The only boxer on this list to have sustained a loss, Ryan Garcia lost his most recent fight to Gervonta Davis. There is no shame in the 25-year-old losing to a more experienced fighter in Davis, who is unbeaten in his career thus far. But the next stage of Garcia’s career will be especially interesting to monitor, as we will see how he responds to his first setback as a professional boxer.
9. Otabek Kholmatov
Otabek Kholmatov has been a professional fighter for just two years and has made the most of that time. He has won 11 fights in a row in that period, knocking out 10 opponents in those bouts. The question now for Kholmatov will be when he gets his first real chance to face off against a higher level of competition and if he will make the most of that chance.
10. Adam Azim
The final young star in our countdown is the promising Adam Azim. The 21-year-old Brit is off to a 9–0 start to his career and possesses every bit of the grit that one would expect from a top-quality fighter from the UK. He has plenty of time to hone his craft, and it will be critical that he is not rushed along, but things have gone well so far.
These ten fighters all have bright futures ahead of them. With the spotlight and considerable money on the line for all of them, all ten will be looking to finish next year higher on this list than they are now.