Talent spotter Glynn Evans picks out a fistful from overseas who could ignite on BoxNation screens over the next 12 months.
Diego De La Hoya (Super-Bantamweight)
Oscar De La Hoya’s kid cousin has jabbed off claims of nepotism to earn merited top ten slots in the world ratings with three major sanctioning organisations at 122lbs
Dubbed ‘The Golden Kid’ and naturally tied to Golden Boy Promotions, the exciting 22 year old box-puncher from Mexicali Mexico boasts an amateur win over current WBO featherweight boss Oscar Valdez and has sprinted to 16-0 and the WBC Youth title in the paid field.
A veteran of over 250 amateur spats – many in the national singlet – and trained by Tim Bradley tutor Joel Diaz, Diego is a high energy, combination puncher with a decent dig (nine stoppages).
A regular feature on ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s undercards, DDLH gets to flaunt his wares to British fans in late January when he heads the supporting cast for the BoxNation screened WBC Super-Feather clash between Francisco Vargas and Miguel Berchelt from Indio, California.
Joseph Diaz Jr (Featherweight)
Diddy Dodgers fan Diaz dreamt of a career in pro baseball but decided to ditch the diamond for the prize ring when he failed to sprout.
Known as ‘Jo Jo’, he first entered the boxing gym aged 11 to learn to counter sizeist bullies. Two US national titles and participation at the 2012 London Olympics convinced the cowards to look elsewhere for their prey.
Trained by his father ‘Big Joe’ Diaz and another on the Golden Boy roster, the speedy southpaw from South El Monte – a humble hamlet 15 miles east of LA – took a while to shed restrictive amateur traits. Latterly though, he has evolved into a classy counterpuncher with neat feet and a compact defence.
Now 23-0 with 13 early wins, the baby faced 24 year old is ranked in the top half dozen with the IBF, WBC and WBO and has his eyes on the latter prize having conquered champion Oscar Valdez as an amateur.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Welterweight)
Since debuting in March 2013, ‘The Mean Machine’ has proved a handful for the globe’s 147lb talent and a proper gobful for commentators.
The 28 year old double Olympian from Kaunas dreams of becoming Lithuania’s first ever boxing world champion and has every chance; top trainer Robert Garcia insists he’s ‘the hardest puncher’ he’s ever worked with!
Following an amateur innings that stretched beyond 400 bouts and included a World Championship bronze medal in 2011 – stretching Team GB Olympic finalist Fred Evans en route – this ferocious and vicious hitter has stormed to 15 successive pro wins with only three conquests reaching the finish post.
Promoted by Top Rank and already ranked 11th by the WBO, ‘Kav’s’ two fisted power, efficiency and precision has drawn comparisons with a young Gennady Golovkin.
Erickson Lubin (Super-Welterweight)
This Floridian, known as ‘The Hammer’, was deemed the outstanding US prospect for the 2016 Olympic cycle. However, once the authorities opted to remove head wear, the Haitian descendant decided he deserved cash for being mashed in the mush.
Initially signed with Mike Tyson’s defunct Iron Mike Productions, the rangy 5ft 11in southpaw is now steered by Al Haymon and brags impressive 17-0 stats. Eleven of 12 stoppage casualties fell inside three rounds with five succumbing to the full ‘ten count’.
The gifted 21 year old carries fight ending power in both gloves – he dubs his left hand ‘Sledge’ and his right hand ‘Jack’ – and to head or body. However, it’s his velvet smooth skills that most impress.
World ranked by the WBC, WBA and WBO, BoxNation subscribers can fully assess his potential when he confronts 25-1 (22) Mexican monster Jorge Cota on the Garcia-Thurman undercard, screened live from New York on March 4th.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (Light-Heavyweight)
Another potential superstar from the Egis Klimas’ camp that boosts Sergey Kovalev and Vasyl Lomachenko, ‘The Nail’ is set to launch at world level in 2017.
Formerly a World University champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist – edged out on a ‘countback’ by a Kazakh in the semis – the Top Rank promoted prospect has cantered to a dozen straight wins with 10 falling early.
A Russian-speaking Ukrainian, 6ft 2in ‘Alex’ owns a jack hammer jab, advanced skills, wonderful athleticism and a ‘take out’ dig in either barrel.
In his three most recent gigs, the 29 year old rubbed out ex world title challengers Nadjib Mohammedi (co 2), Tommy Karpency (rsc6) and Isaac Chilemba (rtd8) to crash the major world rankings. He should soon be testing his tools at the 175lb top table where Messrs Kovalev, Ward, Stevenson and Smith Jr presently dine.