It’s been an exciting year for the sport so far, with several top prospects throwing their hats into the ring to contend for big belts and contests. Here, we look at ten fighters that could well be on the up going into 2020.
1 – Devin Haney – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 23-0, KO15, Lightweight
Arguably the hottest of hot prospects worldwide currently is Las Vegas resident, Devin Haney.
Haney is just 20 years old and already has 23 paid contests under his belt. He is going from strength to strength and currently holds the interim version of the WBC Lightweight Title after a dazzling display in his last outing, forcing the unbeaten Zaur Abdullaev to retire after four one sided rounds at Madison Square Garden, New York last month.
Haney is now targeting the full Champion in the superlative Vasyl Lomachenko, but for the time being, he settles for a place on the KSI v Logan Paul II rematch bill at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles on the 23rd November.
2 – Shakur Stevenson – Virginia, USA, 12-0, KO7, Featherweight
A man on the verge of a true breakout is Shakur Stevenson. An Olympic Silver Medallist in Rio in 2016, Stevenson is now on the cusp of a World Title shot, which will take place in his next fight.
The Virginian has steadily built an unblemished record, and is let loose at elite class at the end of this month as the vacant WBO Featherweight Title is on the line in Reno, Nevada against the 23-0 Joet Gonzalez.
If Stevenson can come through that test, then a unification fight with IBF King Josh Warrington could await him.
3 – Daniel Dubois – London, England, 13-0, KO12, Heavyweight
22 year old Daniel Dubois will surely be cajoled into World Title contention in 2020, as he continues to add belts to his collection with every devastating win.
He is the current British and Commonwealth Champion, picking up the rainbow belt with a one round knockout of Ebenezer Tetteh in London last month. In Leeds last weekend, Dubois’ next opponent could have been revealed. Dave Allen was in attendance at the First Direct Arena, and he has thrown his hat into the ring to face the fierce young puncher.
We could well see Dubois at least on the European Title trail into the new year.
4 – Joshua Buatsi – Croydon, England (By way of Accra, Ghana) 12-0, KO10, Light Heavyweight
A man that could well gate crash the World Title scene at 175 pounds is the likable Joshua Buatsi.
The current WBA International Champion, and former British Champion already has decent names on his record, and is becoming a tough man to get opponents for. He has blown away Tony Averlant and Renold Quinlan in a round a piece, and stopped Marco Antonio Periban in four.
He steps up again on the 2nd November, when he meets former WBO Title challenger, Blake Capperello in Manchester.
5 – Filip Hrgovic – Zagreb, Croatia, 9-0, KO7, Heavyweight
2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist, Filip Hrgovic looks destined to make a real dent in the Heavyweight division in the coming years.
Now signed to DAZN, Hrgovic has already seen off former contenders Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson and Amir Mansour in his pro career so far, and has impressively dismantled Gregory Corbin inside a round, and Mario Heredia in three in his two appearances for his new handlers.
He is currently the WBC International Champion, and will likely be stepped up in class in the new year.
6 – Tim Tszyu – New South Wales, Australia, 14-0, KO10, Super Welterweight
A man with a big reputation to live up to is Australian, Tim Tszyu. Tim is the son of a legend in former WBC, WBA and IBF Super Lightweight Champion, Kostya Tszyu, a devastating puncher who cut a swathe through the ten stone division in the late nineties and early 2000’s.
His 24 year old son is treading the same path as his old man thus far, and is already a pay per view name down under. Tszyu junior’s last few fights have seen gradual steps up class. He knocked out former Commonwealth Champion, Denton Vassell in two rounds in February, and clearly won two back to back ten round unanimous points verdicts against Joel Camilleri in May, and, most recently against Dwight Ritchie in August.
It looks as though he is being geared towards an intriguing domestic clash with former WBO Welterweight Champion, Jeff Horn in 2020.
7 – Michael Conlan – Belfast, Northern Ireland, 12-0, KO7, Featherweight
A massive draw in Ireland and the USA alike, Michael Conlan is primed and ready to move into World Title company in the near future.
The Irishman has benefitted from a large Irish following, especially in New York, as he has so far amassed an unblemished record in the paid ranks, following a scoring controversy denying him a medal at the 2016 Olympics.
A WBA and WBO Intercontinental Champion, Conlan is making steady rises up the World rankings. A Belfast summer showdown with old rival, Vladimir Nikitin bit the dust due to the Russian suffering an injury, but this would be a good place to start for Conlan to make an assault on World honours as soon as possible.
8 – Daniyar Yeleussinov – Berezino, Kazakhstan, 8-0, KO4, Welterweight
28 year old decorated amateur, Daniyar Yeleussinov will hope for a fruitful 2020 after eight fights so far since his pro debut in April 2018.
The Kazakh struck Gold in Rio, but has found himself pushed way down bills on both sides of the Atlantic so far. He has also not truly transferred his unpaid style to the professional game, but went some way to rectifying this with a one round blowout of the unbeaten Reshard Hicks at Madison Square Garden last month.
It should be a big twelve months coming up for him under the promotional guidance of Eddie Hearn.
9 – Savannah Marshall – Hartlepool, England, 7-0, KO5, Super Middleweight
It could well be a big year ahead for Savannah Marshall, as she hunts down what could be a super fight between herself and old amateur rival, Claressa Shields.
Shields has stolen a march on Marshall, who defeated the American in 2012 to hand the undisputed Middleweight Champion her only loss, amateur or pro, by picking up multiple World Titles, but the two could be on a 2020 collision course.
Marshall turned over in August 2017, and has a healthy knockout ratio so far. She had recent good exposure on Sky Sports Box Office, with a fifth round stoppage of Daniele Bastieri on the big Lomachenko v Campbell bill in London at the end of August.
A clash between her and Shields would surely be eagerly awaited, and could be a possibility for the near future.
10 – Deion Jumah – Chelsea, England, 12-0, KO7, Cruiserweight
Somewhat of a forgotten man, Londoner Deion Jumah is ready to start motoring in 2020 and beyond after a health scare threatened to derail a promising career.
Jumah turned professional under the Sauerland banner in 2013, and his first seven fights took place in either Germany or Denmark. After a six round points win in January 2016, Jumah was forced to take time away from the sport due to a serious heart condition. He is now under the guidance of Goodwin Promotions.
“The Ghost” returned in March last year, and has won four straight, all via stoppage since. He has picked up the Southern Area Title, and last month he stopped Wadi Camacho in five rounds at the York Hall to win the English belt.