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Top boxing prospects in 2020

Vergil Ortiz Jr
Vergil Ortiz Jr. celebrates his knockout win over Mauricio Herrera following their welterweight fight on May 4 in Las Vegas. Photo credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Vergil Ortiz Jr – 16-0 (16 KOs)

One of the hottest prospects in world boxing today. Vergil Ortiz Jr doesn’t just erase his opponents, he shows a skill and variety to his work that suggests he will be causing issues for top fighters for many years to come. The Texan may sometimes feel he is sitting in the shadows of fellow Golden Boy stablemate Ryan Garcia, but while “KingRy” grabs the clicks, likes and headlines, Ortiz steadily goes about dishing out punishment in the ring.

Dennis McCann – 7-0 (5 KOs)

Dennis McCann’s promoter Frank Warren promised his man a step-up for his next fight and duly delivered with Portugal’s Pedro Matos on the schedule for October 10. Whether Matos will extend “The Menace” many rounds remains to be seen. The Maidstone bantamweight has set about his foes so far with a tenacity and vibrancy. Durable Brett Fidoe was stopped for only the second time out of 64 defeats when he feel to McCann recently.

Edgar Berlanga – 14-0 (14 KOs)

Every boxing fan loves a puncher and burgeoning super-middleweight Edgar Berlanga certainly fits the bill. The 23-year-old Brooklynite calls himself the “The Chosen One” which is an appropriate moniker given that round one has indeed been his session of choice thus far. All 14 of Berlanga’s victims have fallen in the first round. Promoter Bob Arum will need to find someone who can take him the distance – or at least in to round two.

Jesse Rodriguez – 12-0 (8 KOs)

With less than 50 rounds on the roster, Jesse Rodriguez is already ranked as the second-best flyweight in America. The 20-year-old southpaw is clearly a puncher, which will serve him well at the lower weight classes. “Bam” needed only one round to bang away Janiel Rivera on the recent Jamel Herring-Jonathan Oquendo undercard.

Vito Mielnicki Jr – 6-0 (4 KOs)

Boasting six wins already, with four knockouts, it’s hard to believe that Vito Mielnicki only turned 18 in May. “White Magic” blasted away Chris Rollins in his last bout. Currently boxing at welterweight, the youthful prospect has scope to climb the weights and is highly thought of by the PBC.

Joey Spencer – 11-0 (8 KOs)

Another PBC protege making waves is California resident Joey Spencer. In late August, Spencer showed poise and purpose against former MMA tough guy Shawn West, outboxing the opponent and breaking him down steadily. Don’t be fooled by the 20-year-old’s baby-faced complexion; he is all business inside the ropes.

Denzel Bentley – 13-0 (11 KOs)

Even though he already has some good domestic wins to his name, it is not outlandish to include the likes of Denzel Bentley in a hot prospects list. From Battersea, like the famous “Battersea Bomber” Howard Eastman, Bentley, 25, will be doing well if he follows in the Guyana-born ex-world title challenger’s esteemed footsteps.

Denzel’s next bout, against a former red-hot prospect in Mark Heffron, will tell us a lot about the Londoner’s potential progression to European level and beyond.