Having just given out our fighter of the decade award to Canelo Alvarez for this past decade (2010-2019) now seems to be the perfect time to predict who could be the fighter of the decade for the upcoming decade. Just a month and a half into the 2k20’s here are the top 10 best options for who can be the fighter of the decade for this decade. From 10 to 1 here they are:
10 Brandon Figueroa – Weslaco Texas’s favorite son and the younger brother of former champ Omar Figueroa has come into his own. He has the size and reach to seamlessly move up from 122 and go all the way up to 135 winning belts at every stop. He has immediate fights with Rey Vargas, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Stephen Fulton if he can win those he will be in the pound for pound discussion. At that point, he can move up and fight the big money fights with the big PBC names like Gary Russell Jr, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and a showdown with former amateur rival Shakur Stevenson would be an incredible contrast in styles that can propel the kid from The Rio Grande Valley to legendary heights.
9 Julio Caesar Martinez –
Martinez is an offensive powerhouse and is already on his way to creating his own legacy, bursting onto the scene in 2019 with breakthrough performances against first Andrew Selby and then shocking Charlie Edwards but not being able to capture a title when the fight was ruled a no contest. Then Stopping Cristofer Rosales. It was an incredible 2019 and put him in great position to start the new decade. Like Figueroa, Martinez should be able to move up seamlessly and win titles in multiple weight classes. When moving up the 25-year old will have legacy-making opposition at 115 and eventually 118 if he can maintain his power he will be a force for everyone from flyweight to bantamweight.
8 Errol Spence-
The 29-year old had the misfortune of being born in 1990, he didn’t have enough fights and time to make a real run at being the fighter of the past decade and will be working against time this decade. He should have 6 good years or so to do his damage. If he can get wins over Crawford, Pacquiao, and Garcia before moving up and taking on the who’s who of elite 154 pounders in the PBC stable he will have a stout resume that will be hard to beat, but does he have enough good years left in him to produce the best resume of the lot??
7 Shakur Stevenson-
The master boxer captured a world title at the very end of 2019 and looks to have a mega fight in the making in the very near future against IBF champ Josh Warrington. A win there would put him in the pound for pound discussion and make him a unified champ in the ultra-competitive division by the age of 23. He is also a very big featherweight who will eventually fill into a nice sized lightweight. As soon as he moves up to 130 he has fights with Miguel Bercherlt and Jamel Herring waiting for him! The ultimate prize and test will be a top rank changing of the guard fight Lomachennko. The path to being the next great American boxer is laid out in plain sight for the kid from Newark.
6 Caleb Plant-
Plant is not a huge super-middleweight and will probably have to make all of his bones at this weight at 168, fortunately for him, there are lots of big names and future rivals for Plant at his current weight. A rivalry with Benavidez on the horizon there are names like Billy Joe Saunders and Danny Jacobs that he could fight that could get him on pound for pound lists. Most importantly Canelo has mentioned his name as a potential opponent. That’s the star-making fight. If you can beat Canelo you are on your way to being the biggest draw in boxing and calling your own shots. Plant has the skills and style to beat Canelo.
At just 29- years old Canelo has a great shot to win this award in consecutive decades. He has probably 6-8 good years to make his mark on this decade. He has eight fights left on his record-breaking DAZN deal and he only fights top-notch fighters. That’s at least 8 more high-quality fight. The Mexican icon is willing to fight anyone from 160-175. Saunders, Andrade, Charlo, Callum Smith are most likely the names he will fight. He will certainly be in the conversation or best resume for this decade.
4 Teofimo Lopez-
Teo is a unique talent, power, speed, reflexes, and defense. He is a little bit Roy Jones Jr and a little bit Roberto Duran all rolled into one. He also has the size to become a full-fledged welterweight in the not so distant future. He will have plenty of fights with the ton of young talent at 135 like Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia Tank Davis, and Hector Tanajara. He is going to have the big names in front of him to make a legit run at this award. First up is Vasyl Lomachenko if he can solve the matrix he will be a P4P elite at the age of just 22 years old and in the catbird seat to win this award.
3 Daniel Dubois-
At just 22-years old Dynamite is well on his way to being the future of the heavyweight division. With that division really shaping up with Fury, Wilder, and AJ as well as Usyk all making runs at greatness Dubois is going to have plenty of big challenges. He is scheduled to fight Joe Joyce next and is already ranked third by the WBO meaning if he gets by Joyce he may be inline to get a title shot sooner rather than later and the 22-year old protege/knockout artist will have a chance to start his heavyweight reign really early on in the decade.
2 Naoya Inoue –
The 26- year-old had a really impressive run in the last few years of the past decade and ran roughshod threw the 118-pound division. He will have plenty of big names and high-level opposition including names like Rigondeaux, Nery, Casimero and Oubaali. In addition to loads of talent at 118, he is small enough to fight the great names at 115 in he chooses to and he has the power to move up to 122. And unlike the other elite P4P names like Crawford, Loma, and Canelo, The monster is just entering his prime.
1 Vergil Ortiz –
Golden Boys’ next Golden Boy, Oscars next great star has all the skills and power to make a Golden Boy fighter the winner of this award two decades in a row. Ortiz is in the perfect weight class to get and win legacy-making fights. He has already ranked number two by the WBO which means he could get a shot at the pound for pound boss Terence Crawford really early on in his career. He will have an all Dallas showdown with Errol Spence on demand should he beat Bud. He will also have all the other great names at 147 and the nearly 6-foot tall knockout artist from texas will have the ability to move up to 154 and have the size and power to win at that division when that time comes.
honorable mentions Chris Colbert, Devin Haney, Kosei Tanaka, David Benavidez