The Changing of the Guard
Waiting in the wings to take over center stage is an array of superb boxers, technicians, and brawlers—let’s call them the “The New Breed”…
“We are the new breed. We are the new breed. We’ve come alive and we are moving.”—Lyrics from the “The New Breed” OH, SLEEPER LYRICS
It’s transition time again which means it’s time that Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, the Klitschko Brothers, Chris John, Felix Sturm, and even Mayweather begin to prepare for retirement. In Cotto’s case, retirement may already have come. However, boxing fans need not fret, for waiting in the wings to take over center stage is an array of superb boxers, technicians, and brawlers—let’s call them the “The New Breed.”
Austin Trout (26-0)
The most recent addition is Austin “No Doubt” Trout who gave Miguel Cotto a righteous drubbing in Cotto’s home away from home, in front of a hostile crowd, and seemingly against all odds. Trout is a technical master who remains as focused as a laser and will give anyone big-time trouble.
Brandon Rios (31-0-1)
The accomplishments of Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios already have been vetted. Suffice it to say that his old school, in-coming aggressiveness blended with a super amateur background makes him an all-around killing machine.
Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1)
The fighters from Argentina are the Real McCoy. Luis Carlos Abregu now joins Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, rugged Lucas Matthysse, and powerful Marcos “El Chino” Maidana to form as rugged a quartet as there is in boxing. Unbeaten records do not faze them, nor does the hype of fighting a Zab Judah in Brooklyn. Abregu’s startling stoppage of Thomas Dulorme is just the latest in a series of stunning wins by these tough hombres
Mikey Garcia (30-0)
Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia is trained by his older brother Robert Garcia who also trains Rios. Mikey will be tested by “Siri” Salido in January, but I’m betting he will emerge as a center-stage member of the New Breed.
Danny Garcia (25-0)
This undefeated Philly light welterweight recently sent Erik Morales back into reality with a malicious body-spinning left hook that had the crowd aghast. This came after blowing away Amir Khan. “Swift” has been fighting solid opposition and is now poised to send Zab Judah swiftly into retirement on February 9 in Brooklyn. If he can contain his father’s propensity to start pre-fight brawls, he should become a very marketable fighter. Wait! Maybe he should let Angel Garcia do what he does before fights. Fans seem to like it.
Gennady Golovkin (24-0)
My personal favorite, GGG demolished heretofore undefeated Pole Grzegorz “Super G” Proska (28-0 coming in) in September. Proska held a stoppage win over Sebastian “Hurrikan” Sylvester and was held in high regard coming into his fight with the real Super GGG. Look for the highly affable and marketable Golovkin to duplicate the demolition in January against Gabe Rosado. GGG is the complete package and is exactly what boxing needs today.
Daniel Geale (28-1)
The “Real Deal” from down under has exploded onto the scene with only an SD loss to Anthony Mundine eight fights ago to mar his record. Since then he’s beaten stiff opposition and is now the IBF and WBA middleweight champion of the world thanks to an SD win over Felix Sturm in Germany. But GGG lurks and if Geale is to live up to his moniker, he must fight the Russian monster.
Adrien Broner (25-0)
This is what I posted on another site (BLH) back in March 2012:
“I’m going to be me. Not Mayweather. He has his own legacy and I’m not trying to be him.”—Adrian Broner
“Twenty-two-year-old Adrien “The Problem” Broner ((23-0) KO’d undefeated Eloy “The Prince” Perez in spectacular fashion in the fourth round of their fight at the in Scot Trade Center in St. Louis tonight. At stake was the WBO super featherweight title.
“The Problem,” who always shows up in tip-top shape, was expected to win, but not in such impressive fashion. He used his upper body as a great defensive weapon, showed dazzling foot movement, used sharp left hooks, and threw powerful rights following stiff jabs. He also showed focus, discipline, and a high ring IQ. Two punishing rights ended matters as Perez went down and then did a “Trevor Berbeck” before referee Genaro Rodriguez halted the action.
“This was Broner’s third straight KO win since his less-than-compelling showing against Daniel Ponce de Leon a year ago. But that was then and this is now and Broner is a vastly improved and far more confident fighter who showed moves that just could catapult him into discussion about whether he might be the next Floyd Mayweather.
“In June 2011, he crushed Jason Litzau with a deadly combination highlighted by a right uppercut in the first round. Five months later, Broner KO’d Argentinean “El Mono” Rodriguez in three rounds. This time he did it with a left hook from hell that put the Argentinean on another planet. Then, he used his right to end matters.
“Broner has a knack for clowning before and after fights, but once the bell rings, he is all business.”
The only thing that has changed since March is that Broner has become even better and is now one of the key players of the New Breed.
Kell Brook (29-0)
The “Special One” is fast becoming a notable welterweight in the United Kingdom as he continues to improve.
George Groves (15-0)
This super middleweight is only 15-0 but he fights like a veteran and is Commonwealth (British Empire) super middleweight titleholder. Look for him to stop the heretofore unstoppable Glen Johnson on December 15 in London. A classic case of the new breed beating up the old breed. It will be ugly for Glen Johnson fans to witness.
Peter Quillin (28-0)
”Kid Chocolate” is a tough middleweight with plenty of pop and who showed his mettle against a very resilient Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, but he would do well to stay clear of GGG.
Pier Olivier Cote (19-0)
Another exciting light welterweight, this Canadian has the potential to make Canadian fans forget Lucian Bute, but he is plagued by an illness that has been hard to diagnose.
Adonis Stevenson (19-1)
“Superman” is another Canadian coming on fast and has crunching power in both hands. His recent victories have been of the spectacular variety and have endeared him to fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal. As a super middleweight, he is in a tough division but is positioned to become a factor as long as he is not moved along too quickly.
Edwin Rodriguez (22-0)
This middleweight is a body puncher extraordinaire and seems to improve with each outing. “La Bomba” has been handled remarkably well and will soon hit the big time.
Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1)
“Teremoto” is a technical wizard and a human training film. He throws every punch in the book at an astounding rate. If I were a trainer, I’d simply tell my charge to watch Leo’s footage all night long. This bantamweight champion throws body shots that can he heard on TV and can make one wince with pain.
Kazuto Ioka (10-0)
This minimumweight from Japan may well be the most exciting fighter of the bunch. He has a deceptive record as he won the Japanese light flyweight title in just his sixth bout and then, one fight later, won the WBC minimumweight crown by stopping Oleydong Sithsamerchai (35-0-1) in the fifth round. Both were Fight of the Year type brawls, but then every fight he is in is like that. His recent close win over Akira Yaegashi established Ioka as an elite fighter, and his prior one-round slaughter of Yodngoen Tor Chalermchaiwas was just plain frightening. Every boxing fan should look at the YouTube’s featuring this fighter who has a great boxing lineage in his blood.
Tyson Fury, David Price, Deontay Wilder, and Kubrat Pulev
The new norm seems to start at 6’6” and these monsters exceed even that. Robert Helenius might also bid to be in the group but off his last showing, he has more to prove. Fury, Price, Pulev, and Wilder have a combined record of 77-0, but only Fury seems to select his opponents outside of cemeteries. Perhaps they could use iron-chinned 6’7½” Mariusz “The Viking” Wach as a lab experiment to see who punches the hardest. These monsters are a part of the transition and will replace the Klitschko brothers as soon as those two decide to smell the roses.
At 6’4½”, the big Bulgarian, Pulev, recently waxed giant 305-pounder Alexander Ustinov and should be taken seriously as one of the Klit’s next opponents. Ustinov stands 6’7½” and is a representative of the new norm that will soon exclude most other heavyweights.
There are others, of course. Saul Alvarez (who continues to jinx himself out of mega fights by attending fights featuring potential opponents), Robert Guerrero, Lamont Peterson, Bryan Vasquez, Alfredo Angulo, Pablo Cesar Cano, James Kirkland, Devon Alexander, and the Cuban Defectors come to mind, but each seems to have positioned himself somewhere between the new and old. Let’s just call them the “difficult–to-slot.” Andre Ward is in a class by himself. Hopefully, SOG will remain there for the foreseeable future.
Now there are those who argue that old school fighters are better than new school ones, but I submit that many of the aforementioned (excluding the heavyweights mentioned above) could compete in any era.
“So grip your fist and swing until your knuckles bleed. If you are the new breed scream, ‘I am immortal!’”—Lyrics from the “The New Breed” OH, SLEEPER LYRICS