THE RING YEAR-END AWARDS: FINALISTS FOR ‘PROSPECT OF THE YEAR’
What a year 2017 has been for boxing.
There were 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London for Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko. Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor made the world stop. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin threw down in the superfight that everyone wanted to see.
And that was just the tip of the enswell.
For the first time in recent memory our editorial staff struggled to shortlist almost every one of our 10 categories. There was disagreement (there always is) but we’ve now managed to pull together five official nominees per category for year-end honors.
The categories are: Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Upset of the Year, Event of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Round of the Year, Prospect of the Year and Most Inspirational.
Leading up to revealing the winners, we will present nominees in two categories each day. As always, we would love to hear your opinions: Category 2: Prospect of the Year.
The finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
(6-0, 6 knockouts)
Dubois is the latest – and maybe best – in a long line of British heavyweights to gatecrash boxing’s glamour division over the past few years. “Dynamite” was part of Team GB and represented his country several times before exiting the unpaid ranks with a record of 69-6. This imposing Londoner possesses excellent size (6-foot-5 and 235 pounds) to go with his impressive power and skills. At just 20, the future is very bright for this Frank Warren promoted heavyweight.
(13-0, 12 KOs)
A Golden Boy Promotions prospect, the 19-year-old Garcia turned professional 18 months ago after winning 215 of 230 amateur contests. Since then this talented junior lightweight has moved seamlessly, blitzing 12 of 13 opponents inside the distance. Garcia recently stopped battle-hardened journeyman Noe Martinez Raygoza midway through the eighth and final round, showing that he retains his power late in a fight.
(5-0, 4 KOs)
This precocious welterweight talent represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics and impressed promoter Eddie Hearn enough to sign him as a professional. Since then “Pretty Boy” has dazzled all before him and looked leagues above the opposition, prompting Hearn to move him to 10-round level in just his fifth outing. Trained by Adam Booth, Kelly will move quickly and could challenge for domestic titles in 2018.
(26-0, 22 KOs)
Seven fights and six knockouts for the 21-year-old junior middleweight from Tijuana this year. Unlike most Mexicans, especially one so young, this dazzling young talent had an extensive amateur pedigree. Munguia went 128-10 in the unpaid ranks before turning professional in 2013. The Zanfer promoted fighter possesses fight ending power and a good boxing brain. Many fans south of the border are tabbing him as the next Mexican star.
(8-0, 8 KOs)
Ortiz, a junior welterweight, was a decorated U.S. amateur who went 140-20 before signing with Golden Boy Promotions in the summer of 2016. Since then, the 19-year-old Texan has relocated to Los Angeles and started training with acclaimed coach Joel Diaz. Ortiz has impressed so far, stopping all eight of his opponents inside three rounds.
You have the nominees? Who do you believe deserves the award?