With 2014 quickly wrapping up, it’s time to look ahead to 2015. On the prospects to watch series, I’ll discuss 20 fighters who I believe will make, or break, their careers, in the next year. Now, I do not believe these are necessarily the 20 best prospects in boxing, just the top 20 with name recognition, ability and potential to breakout in the upcoming year.
Let’s take a look at #11-15
The East LA native turned pro in 2010 after a successful amateur career, going 120-8. He won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships.
Gomez defeated Orlando Vasquez by 2nd KO in April. He followed it up with a unanimous decision over once beaten, Vernon Paris in July.
After starting off strong, fighting 7 times in 2010 and 5 times in 2011, he only fought twice a year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. At age 22 and with a powerful promoter behind him, Gomez should be fighting more often. Other than a knee injury, he’s remained injury free
Brown was a member of the US Olympic team in 2012. He was quickly signed by Al Haymon following the games.
Browne was busy in 2014, fighting 4 times. He defeated Otis Griffin and Donta Woods in the process. He had a 5th bout scheduled on December 11th against George Blades.
With Al Haymon’s new deal with NBC, I expect Browne to get a lot of exposure. And with his power, Browne has an opportunity to build a bigger fan base.
Murata is relatively unknown in the States, possibly, completely unknown. However, he’s worth keeping an eye as Olympic Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Olympics.
Murata went a perfect a 3-0 in 2014, defeating Adrian Flores, Jesus Nerio and Carlos Nascimento.
Murata combined record for his opponents is 92-16-2. He is far from being babied as far as opponents. The main question is what will Top Rank do with him in 2015.
Centeno is a product of Oxnard, Ca, a hot bed for up and coming future boxers. Centeno is trained by the unknown but highly respected, Eric Brown.
In 2014, Centeno defeated undefeated Gerardo Ibarra by unanimous decision on June 6th. Last week, he drilled Jr. Middleweight contender, James De la Rosa in the 5th round of a scheduled 10.
Wow, what a statement Centeno made in the De la Rosa bout. With fight-ending power like that, Centeno will be headlining HBO cards in no time.
The Puerto Rican was a decorated amateur, competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was defeated by Vasly Lomachenko in the quarterfinals.
What a busy year for Verdejo, having already competed in 5 bouts this year. He went 5-0 with 4 KO’s in those 5 bouts. He is scheduled to face Karim El Ouazghari on December 13th in Philadelphia.
In a personal conversation with a Top Rank official, I was told that the sky is the limit regarding Verdejo’s future. They’re confident that he will, indeed, be a future world champion.