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.
Jermell Charlo, 154 pounds (30-0, 15 KOs)
Jermell Charlo flattened previously unbeaten southpaw Erickson Lubin with a right uppercut at 2:41 of the first round, securing his second successful defense at Barclays Center on Oct. 14.
In a previous fight, the 27-year-old Charlo similarly starched Charles Hatley, knocking him cold in the sixth round. Trained by Derrick James, he sparred with welterweight champion Errol Spence, Jr., before each of his wins over Hatley and Lubin. His record rose to 4-0, all knockouts, against southpaws within the past five years.
Charlo made history with an eighth-round KO of John Jackson in May 2016 to win his crown. With that win, he and his twin brother Jermall became the first siblings to simultaneously hold 154-pound titles.
"Iron Man" now anticipates possible unifications against Jarrett Hurd and southpaw Erislandy Lara.
Mikey Garcia, 135-140 pounds (37-0, 30 KOs)
Mikey Garcia will pursue a fourth championship in as many divisions against unbeaten 140-pound titleholder Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) on February 10, this after having debuted in the weight class with a unanimous decision victory over four-division champion Adrien Broner in July.
Broner represented the highest-profile victory of Garcia’ stellar career, improving his record to 8-0 with six KOs against current or former world champions and setting him up to be a threat and a championship contender from 135 through 147 pounds.
In January, the 29-year-old Garcia became a three-division world champion with a third-round KO of previously unbeaten 135-pound champion Dejan Zlaticanin.
Luis Ortiz, heavyweight (28-0, 24 KOs).
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz ended a year-long ring absence on December 8, scoring a pair of knockdowns during a second-round knockout of Daniel Martz. This represented his second straight stoppage victory.
Ortiz subsequently taunted heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, seated ringside, regarding a future clash.
Ortiz was supposed to fight Wilder in November but tested positive for banned substances. He was reinstated by the WBC after paying a $25,000 fine. If both Ortiz and Wilder have their say, a potential face-off could occur in 2018.
Errol Spence Jr., 147 pounds (22-0, 19 KOs)
Errol Spence Jr. will pursue his 10th straight knockout victory and his first world title defense against two-division champion Lamont Peterson on January 20 at Barclays Center.
The versatile 27-year-old demonstrated he is “The Truth” when he displayed two-fisted power, speed, accuracy, resiliency and athleticism on the way to an 11th round knockout of Kell Brook in Sheffield, England in May.
Spence became the first American to earn a world title from an English champion on foreign soil since Timothy Bradley upset Junior Witter in Nottingham, England for a 140-pound title in 2008.
Caleb Truax, 168 pounds (29-3-2, 18 KOs)
Caleb Truax dethroned British champion James DeGale in hostile territory before a sold-out crowd at Copper Box Arena in London on December 9.
The 34-year-old Truax—who after getting knocked out by Anthony Dirrell in April 2016, scored consecutive stoppage wins of his owns—became just the fourth world champion from the state of Minnesota.
Truax said he is open to rematches with DeGale, Dirrell or unifications with David Benavides, George Groves or Gilberto Ramirez.
Deontay Wilder, heavyweight (39-0, 38 KOs).
Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has declared war on the division. Since his three-knockdown, first-round stoppage of Bermane Stiverne on November 4 at Barclays his focus is on a title unification against Anthony Joshua.
Wilder earned his sixth straight stoppage in title defenses since dethroning Stiverne in January 2015.
Wilder is interested in facing Ortiz while he waits on Joshua. Other potential bouts include champion Joseph Parker and 2012 Olympian Dominic Breazeale.