With the dawn of a new year upon us, boxing is ready for a new crop up and comers to take center stage and carry the sport. With that said here is a list of five up and coming fighters who are on the cusp of breaking it big in 2014. Some of them have fought on US airwaves; some have not but soon will if the powers that be are looking to keep the sport alive. In no particular order:
Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr (21-0-2, 14KOs) – This twenty year old super bantamweight might have every tool imaginable to become a star on both sides of the border. With a championship pedigree (father is Gonzalez Sr, fifty-five fight veteran and former WBC featherweight champ), heavy hands and solid boxing skills, Gonzalez Jr might be poised to make the jump to bigger pastures soon. Promoted by Mexican company Zanfer, it would be wise for them along with Top Rank to push Gonzalez Jr on this side of the border where he would gain fans with his tall boxer/puncher style. Gonzalez Jr is somewhat of an aggressive tactician but once he hurts his prey, he goes for the finish.
Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (18-0, 14KOs) – Hailing from the same town in Kansas, Garden City, as Victor Ortiz and Brandon Rios, Orozco likes to fly way under the radar than the other two mid-westerners but just the same the San Diego-based fighter is building a good resume as he looks ready to take the extra step on the ladder. With an outstanding amateur record, this light welterweight is exactly what his nickname says “Relentless” in his attack but never forgetting defense as he breaks his opponents down. Part of a new reality series along with established stars Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz to be premiered in 2014, it is only a matter of time before Orozco perhaps eclipses those other two guys from Kansas.
Tomoki “Mexicanito” Kameda (29-0, 18KOs)–Part of the Kameda triad from Japan, the 118 pound Tomoki is already a world champion but hardly known outside his native island or in Mexico where he has cut his teeth in half of his pro fights. Fluent in spanish, the quick fisted Kameda did not necessarily take on the Mexican brawling style but is not afraid to let his hands go. Together with his older brothers, Koki and Daiki, Tomoki is part of the first set of three siblings for all to capture a world title. That and his somewhat known name in Mexico might be enough for US-based promoters, and more importantly networks, to take a look towards the land of the rising sun for their next TV star.
Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (12-0-1, 9KOs) – The 140 pounder “Mighty Mo” might be the division’s best kept secret at this point. Not signed to any promoter but fighting out of the Maple Ave. Boxing Gym in Dallas, Hooker loves to fight so you won’t see any fancy footwork or shoulder rolls here. With a heavy right hand and a finishing killer instinct, Hooker is all-action. Word is that he will soon fight on Showtime’s “ShoBox” series and many more will be able to see what he is all about.