The rise of lower weight superstars

The world has been talking about Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. – It has been a super fight, however it didn’t live up to the hype that it was given.  Most boxing experts didn’t expect a brawl – or a fight where both fighters came toe-to-toe.  It was exciting to me, however most do not know that the fighters in the lower weight divisions have just as much talent, as the fighters at higher weights do. The lower weight boxers, do not get the recognition that they deserve.

The truth is that there are many boxers, in the lower weight classes, from minimumweight to bantamweight, that have the talent and exciting style of fighting that those at the much heavier weights lack. 

Here are just a few of the many talented warriors, that grace the sport today and deserve much more attention.

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Roman Gonzalez – WBC World flyweight champion

He is 43-0, with 37 knockouts and has won World titles in three different weight divisions.  The native of Nicaragua, is only 27-years-old and has already worked his way up to the flyweight division.  He had an exciting fight with Juan Francisco Estrada that was very close.  After that fight, Gonzalez has been destroying everyone in his path.  Recently, he had a fight that was televised on HBO against Edgar Sosa.  Gonzalez showed that he is one of the most dominant fighters in boxing today, when he scored a 2nd round KO against a fighter who has been never before been beaten in such devastating way

Naoya Inoue – WBO World super flyweight champion

He is a fighter from Japan that does love to use the sweet science of boxing and loves to exchange. He has a record of 8 wins (7 by KO), and has become an amazing star in his native country Japan and now worldwide (to boxing fans).  He has beaten Adrian Hernandez, by KO, with ease and not long ago KO’d Omar Narvaez, in the second round; it is something even Nonito Donaire couldn’t do. A fight between Gonzalez and Inoue, is as much of a super fight as Pacquiao vs Mayweather was, only without the hype that had developed.

Juan Francisco Estrada – WBA Super & WBO World flyweight champion

After his loss to Roman Gonzalez in California, he has had a successful streak. He has beaten everyone in his path, including a come from behind win over the powerful Brian Viloria. He has beaten the likes of Mepranum, Melindo, Asenjo and also Segura in a very exciting fight. Many consider Mexican Estrada as a P4P top 20 fighter. Look for Estrada to have a rematch with Gonzalez, at flyweight, which would be a very exciting fight.

Shinsuke Yamanka – WBC World bantamweight champion

This fighter never ceases to amaze me in every fight. He is 23-0 (17 wins by KO). He is currently very underrated and should be the undisputed bantamweight champion. Another amazing fighter from Japan, which is a hotbed of talent. His fights with Santillan, Rungvisai, and Jamoye are a must watch

Other fighters that deserve a mention respectfully;

Hekkie Budler, Katsunari Takayama, Donnie Nietes, Kazuto Ioka and many more.

We have a current legend in Roman Gonzalez, who is only 27-years-old, however the lower weights in boxing are stacked in talent and do not have the recognition, as the higher weights do.  The lower weights give as much excitement, skills, drama and talent as the big guys do.  Let’s show some appreciation and support them, as HBO recently did with Gonzalez vs Sosa. 

We should learn to appreciate the talent and excitement created by boxers in the lower divisions.


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