Glynn Evans identifies a handful of fistic superstars who needn’t worry unduly about shifting surplus Yuletide timber.
Heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather as the global ‘pound-for-pound’ leader, ‘Chocolalito’ has already cleaned out the 105lb minimumweight and 108lb light-fly divisions, and is presently perched unrivalled on the WBC flyweight throne.
Having previously bashed up WBA and WBO counterpart Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in late 2012, the 5ft 3in Nicaraguan powerhouse now needs to fight even bigger men if he is to coin the remuneration and glory that his frightening talent merits.
Currently undefeated in 132 consecutive fights, amateur and pro, the 28 year old ringmaster should finally see his talent fully tested three pounds north against either Japanese kayo specialist Naoya Inoue who holds the WBO strap, or Mexican prince Carlos Cuadras (30-0-1) who boasts the WBC belt.
Only then will we see Gonzalez engage fourth gear and exhibit the full extent of his fighting prowess.
With a brace of Olympic gold medals plus two world amateur championships in his trophy cabinet, ‘Rigo’ is quite possibly the most gifted pure boxer on this planet.
After defecting from Cuba in a rowing boat in 2009, the savvy super-bantam southpaw coasted to an interim world title in his seventh outing, the WBA regular title in start number nine and, after just a dozen paid starts, he was unified champion after effortlessly defusing Filipino fireplug Nonito Donaire in 2013.
Alas, that clinic resulted in rival 122lb champs – yes you Mssrs Frampton and Quigg – avoiding him like he was a leper. Consequently, the 35 year old has been restricted to just four low key assignments over the last three years.
Just 5ft 4 1/2in on his tiptoes, ‘El Chacal’ will be required to concede height and natural weight to the ‘giants’ of the featherweight division such as Santa Cruz, Selby, Walters and Lomachenko – the latter perhaps his main rival as the greatest amateur ever!
A former world amateur champion who once mastered fast rising Keith Thurman in a vest, ‘Boo Boo’ won and retained the WBO light-middle strap, only to be stripped for inactivity last June.
However his ripped 6ft 1in frame is probably better suited to the 160lb middleweight division and he would provide a very credible challenge to any of the reigning belt holders who are not called Golovkin.
A slick and savvy southpaw sharpshooter, this native of Providence, Rhode Island might not be the easiest to watch but he’s far harder to beat, as a perfect 22-0 slate testifies.
Now 27, the time has come to risk his rep against comparable talents at 11st 6. Might just be the best kept secret in the sport.
With a perfect 31 fight resume, ‘GGG’ is unquestionably a super fighter. However, he desperately needs the super fights he craves, if he is to assume his rightful berth in the sport’s pantheon.
The 33 year old Kazakh has completely flushed out the 160lb division, icing 21 successive victims before the cards were required – including 16 in versions of world title fights.
WBC counterpart ‘Canelo’ Alvarez boldly talks of unification, then cravenly seeks to impose an artificial 155-156lb cut-off which would leave ‘Triple G’ weak as a kitten.
But the 5ft 10 1/2in former world amateur champion and Olympic silver medallist has both the size and skills to seriously inconvenience any of the reigning 12st titlists, and his other worldly power would wreak havoc several divisions higher.
The man who seemed most likely to give Golovkin a serious quarrel at 168 frustratingly appears to have outgrown the division.
A brilliant technician and tactician from the house of venerable trainer Virgil Hunter, this Oakland raider was last mastered between the ropes in 1997, aged 12 years old!
Ward announced himself to the pro code by comprehensively triumphing in Showtime’s Super Six super-middle tourney in 2011 – bagging the WBA and WBC belts and taming talents such as Kessler, Abraham and Froch en route.
Subsequent contractual wrangles restricted him to just three gigs in the ensuing four years but expect ‘Son of God’ to re-surface in the new year at light-heavy – where he struck Olympic gold in 2004.
While the handlers of dominant 175lb champions Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson continue to squabble over terms, don’t be surprised if Ward fills the vacuum against either to deliver the division a long overdue superfight.