The San Antonio Spurs have played at or near world championship-level basketball since 1999. A 20-year run that ended in 2019 with Alamo City hoops being a perennial championship contender that after two decades begun to slip into basketball irrelevancy. However, just as the spurs slipped into mediocrity a few young upstarts, more than a few actually, have emerged and are emerging as the next era of great champions from the Alamo City. “El Azteca” Mario Barrios captured 140-Pound WBA gold in September 2019 by outpointing Batyr Akhmedov in a back and forth thrilled Azteca was joined six months later by his buddy, fellow San Antonian Joshua Franco who captured the 115-pound WBA strap in a thrilling fashion that was highlighter the Professor rallying to sweep the final four rounds including a 10th round knockdown to take a clear but hard-earned unamious decision over Andrew Maloney this past week on ESPN.
For the first time since we started awarding prospect of the month award, our Fighter of the Week award (Joshua Franco) and our Prospect of the month award (Robert Biggie Rodriguez) are from the same city (San Antonio). The fight scene in San Antonio is real, its the best fight city in the US, that’s not said lightly. The local community has a knowledge and passion for the sport and the city is producing future world champ and current world champs at breakneck speeds. It’s not just Barrios and Franco, there are several young up and comers who will likely capture world titles in the next 12-18 months. Lightweight Hector Tanajara who made be the most skilled and sharpest of the San Antonio bunch. Tanajara currently holds World Boxing Council (USNBC) Light Title he is currently 19-0 and being openly ducked by Ryan Garcia. Franco’s big-hitting, little-brother, Bam Rodriguez is an undefeated 20-year old 108 pounder who is being prepared for a world title shot for late 2020 or 2021. In addition to that there is a litany of additional stars including out prospect of the month Biggie Rodriguez, Roy Jones Jr promoted jr welterweight Kendo Castaneda, and Hector Coronado and Greg Morales all have world championship talents and abilities.
Prior to Barrios dropping Akhmedov twice and capturing the WBA Jr. welterweight belt San Antonio had a deep and rich boxing history that featured five world champions. In all of boxing history, there have been five world champs from Alamo City, this new young crop of fighters, this new era of San Antonians could easily and realistically produce five more world champs in the relatively near future Tanajara and Bam could easily add world titles by the end of 2021. This era will sweep in another era of dominance in San Antonio Sports just like Duncan, Ginobli and Parker did a generation ago.