Here’s a list of some of PBC’s top rising stars. Boxers on this list are on a hot streak, like a slugger in baseball on a hitting streak or a running back in football who keeps posting 100-yard rushing games. They’re not ranked in any particular order. We’ll leave that to you—the reader. Take a look at some of PBC’s hottest fighters in 2018.
Jarrett Hurd, 154 pounds (22-0, 15 KOs)
“Swift” Hurd scored a final-round knockdown to secure a split-decision victory in his 154-pound title unification against Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) on April 7 at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-1, Accokeek, Maryland native won the title with a ninth-round TKO over Tony Harrison in February 2017. He defended it with a 10th-round TKO over former champion Austin Trout in October.
The 27-year-old Hurd became the first man to stop Trout in a Fight-Of-The-Year-caliber affair, overcoming a deep, bloody cut over his left eye to secure his seventh consecutive stoppage victory.
Jermall Charlo, 160 pounds (27-0, 21 KOs)
Charlo scored a second-round knockout victory over Hugo Centeno to become WBC’s interim 160-pound champion on April 21 at Barclays.
Charlo—a former super welterweight world champion who held the title at the same time as his twin brother, Jermell, held a 154-pound title—made his 160-pound debut with a fourth-round TKO of Jorge Sebastian Heiland last July.
Charlo began a run of five knockouts in his last six fights on September 2015 with a third-round stoppage over Cornelius Bundrage for the 154-pound title. That streak includes a unanimous decision victory over former champion Austin Trout in May 2016, and a fifth-round knockout victory over Julian Williams in December 2016.
Gervonta Davis, 130 pounds (20-0, 19 KOs
The 23-year-old Davis earned his 11th straight knockout with a third-round TKO over Jesus Cuellar to regain a 130-pound world title at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 21.
Davis won an IBF crown in January 2017 with a seventh-round TKO of Jose Pedraza at Barclays. At 22 years old, Davis became America’s youngest reigning champion at the time.
Davis made his first defense against Liam Walsh in London, England on May 2017, earning the victory by third-round stoppage. Davis lost his title on the scales before his second defense in August, an eighth-round knockout over previously undefeated Francisco Fonseca.
Claudio Marrero, 126 pounds (23-2, 17 KOs)
A 29-year-old former champion from the Dominican Republic, Marrero stopped Jorge Lara just 33-seconds into their match at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas on April 28.
Marrero had won eight straight fights, five by knockout, before losing his interim world title in September to Jesus Rojas (26-1-2). With the victory over Lara, Marrero announced himself as a threat to champions Gary Russell Jr., Lee Selby, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Oscar Valdez, and former titleholder Carl Frampton.
Rojas was Marrero’s first loss since losing a unanimous decision to Jesus Cuellar in an interim championship bout on August 2013. Marrero also made quick work of Carlos Zambrano, knocking him out within 90 seconds of their match in 2017.
Mario Barrios, 140 pounds (21-0, 13 KOs)
The 6-foot Barrios debuted at 122¼ pounds in November 2013 and made a steady climb to 140 pounds. He has five straight knockouts at 140 pounds, including a sensational second-round TKO of Eudy Bernardo (23-3, 17 KOs) before his hometown fans in San Antonio on March 10.
“I definitely made a statement,” said Barrios, after his fifth straight fight with trainer Virgil Hunter. “I showed the 140-pound division that I’m ready for any of them.”
Mikey Garcia, 135-140 pounds (38-0, 30 KOs)
Mikey Garcia, 30, earned his fourth world championship in a different division with a unanimous decision victory over IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets on March 10 in San Antonio, scoring a seventh-round knockdown – the first of Lipinets’ career.
Garcia holds the WBC’s 135-pound championship, which he won on a third-round KO of Dejan Zlaticanin in 2017. Later in the year he made a successful debut at 140 pounds with a UD win over four-division champion Adrien Broner at Barclays in July. Garcia has relinquished the 140-pound title he won against Lipinets and plans to defend his 135-pound title.
Errol Spence Jr., 147 pounds (23-0, 20 KOs)
Spence scored his 10th-straight knockout victory and his first world title defense with an eighth-round stoppage of two-division champion Lamont Peterson at Barclays in January. He returns for his next defense against mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) at The Star in Frisco, Texas near his home in Desoto on June 16.
The versatile 28-year-old lived up to his nickname of “The Truth” with his display of two-fisted power, speed, accuracy, resiliency and athleticism in an 11th-round knockout of Kell Brook to win his world championship in Sheffield, England in May 2017.
Spence became the first American to earn a world title from an English champion on foreign soil since Tim Bradley upset Junior Witter in Nottingham, England for a 140-pound title in 2008.
Deontay Wilder, heavyweight (40-0, 39 KOs)
Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder earned his seventh-straight stoppage in WBC title defenses with a 10th-round TKO victory over previously unbeaten Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) on March 3 at Barclays.
The victory followed the 6-foot-7 “Bronze Bomber’s” three-knockdown, first-round stoppage of Bermane Stiverne in November in Brooklyn. It was a rematch of the fight in which Wilder won the world title with a 12-round unanimous decision in 2015. It is the only match that Wilder has gone the distance in.
Wilder is focused on an undisputed heavyweight championship match against British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.