Texas Boxing Scouting Report Part 3
While the lone star state has a lot of talent all through out, the crème of the crop is ready to take lead into the 2018. These fighters below have become major league talent in the boxing game. Some looking for world title shots or defending their world title status. Texas has legit world champions on this list and others knocking on the door of title shots. Within this year many of these fighters will be fighting for world titles or defending what is rightful theirs. This list below is some of the best Texas offers at the top level of the professional ranks.
Regis Prograis (20-0,17 kos)
The New Orleans native, has found a home in Houston where he has turned from prospect to serious contender in the wide open junior welterweight division. While only fighting twice last year his destruction of highly touted Joel Diaz Jr (23-0) at the time showed he is up for high skilled action fights. Reaching an age where a big fight is needed. He will have to push a sanctioning body into a meaningful fight. Until then it would be suggested to stay active and keeping his skills on high alert until someone steps up.
Omar Figueroa Jr (27-0-1, 19 kos)
After winning a world title in 2013 all eye where on him to cement his stake in as the Lone Star states biggest fighter. While still undefeated a lack of activity and visibility has put him on the backburner of big fights. returning after a year and a half absence he destroyed former world champion Roberto Guerrero (33-6) in his biggest fight to date. Look for him to be in a top-level fight has he moves up in weight in a make it or break it type of year.
John Vera (18-0, 11 kos)
From unknown prospect to world contender the 29-year-old is approaching a peak. After back to back 3 fight years 2018 will be a year of potential fulfillment. Have now getting air time and a promotional commitment he is on the direct road to a showdown for a world title. The World boxing council has ordered a fight with Kanat Islam 25-0, 20kos). 2018 will be a career year one way or another. He will get his chance many dream about but seldom reach.
Mario Barrios (20-0, 12 kos)
Starting in 2016 he was put into position to rise in the ranks under the PBC umbrella. 3 fights in 2017 against mid-level competition all coming by way of knockout has cemented him as a legit prospect with bigger upside. 2018 starts off February 10th in San Antonio, in his hometown against former world challenger Andrey Klimov (20-4,10 Kos) in a fight that will give us a deeper view of the long-term potential the 22-year-old Texas native as shown flashes of.
Errol Spence Jr (22-0, 19 kos)
Cream of the crop when talking about top level boxing. Desoto, Texas native had a world championship win on foreign land against a large named opponent. Doesn’t get much better than that. While he lacks activity, 2018 should be the breakout year that he has been waiting for. Just 3 weeks into 2018 his first world title defense will be against a former Multi world organization world champion Lamont Peterson. Look for 3 fights this year of great quality matchups on major networks.
Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 kos)
After a major late year fight in 2016 that ended in a draw. 2017 saw a few fights fall through in a stagnant year He traveled south to pick up a win against a former world champion with a mid-August 10 round UD against Courtney Jackson (18-0) to set up a major 2018. Thou not official as of publish date a mid-April world title shot against Terry Flanagan (33-0) in Europe. Having paid dues on the local seen and fought fridge contenders and bigger cards. 2018 will be a defining moment on the momentum he has built so far.
Rob Brant (22-1, 15 kos)
Though not originally from Texas, Minnesota native has chosen Dallas a second boxing home. While rising up the rankings but not getting a chance at a meaningful fight he moved up north 8 lbs. to enter the inaugural year of the world boxing super series. Coming up short in his tournament fight against 48-win former world champion Juergen Braehmer may prove to be a win in the long term with needed exposure and 12 solid rounds at an elite level. 2018 should be a year where the 27-year-old gets another large meaningful fight.
Jermell Charlo (26-0, 20 kos)
After a knockout of the year ko against Julian Williams late in 2016 a slow 2017 followed. A midyear knockout against former world title challenger was his lone fight of the year. Still 2018 can be a breakout year as 27 yr. old undefeated world champ is in a talent rich division is only entering his physical prime.
Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 kos)
Being born in Cuba but now stationed in Houston, this world champ is at a povital point in his career. Going into his mid-30s with 2 title defenses in 2017 against mid-level talent has still left heads itching about where his career is headed. Big fights await him in 2018 with career defining expectations.
Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 kos)
Having won his world title half way into 2016 he stayed inactive for the rest of the year. 2017 saw two Knock Out of the Year contenders against high rated in their prime fighters. With a fight with the above Lara in the mirror appearing as the most logical fight to be made. This year will mirror the year before with stern tests while defending his world title status.
Texas has always provided fans with talent at the top level. The guys above have risen above the rest in their respected careers up to this point. Fighters on this list will be fighting meaningful fights against higher talent level competition where skills pay the bills. Look for a solid 2018 from all these fighters above with a few taking leaps into potential career defining matchups.