Boxing has moved into a new decade as 2020 kicks into full gear. But who will be driving the sport when we hit the end of this ten-year period?
It’s a big question. One which cannot be answered with any certainty.
Back in 2010, the likes of Abner Mares, Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz, Gennady Golovkin and a young Kell Brook were among some of the best up and comers around.
All hovering around world level and just below, the group were touted as future world champions and rightly so.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were steering the ship in 2010, alongside Nonito Donaire, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, and the Klitschko brothers.
But the likes of today’s pound for pound stars, all of whom were aged 19 or over at the time, it obviously took some time to reach their ultimate promise.
Here’s a look at Today’s Top Ten and where they were at the time.
An anomaly of the sport, 19-year-old Canelo turned pro five years earlier. He was already 30-0-1 and closing in on a first world title.
Winning gold at the Beijing Olympics, Lomachenko had recently won a first world amateur championship. ‘Loma’ was gearing up for the 2012 Games where he’d win gold.
Eventually turning pro in 2013, the formidable Ukrainian wasted no time hitting the summit of the sport.
A 16-year-old Naoya Inoue was aiming to build on his success at the Japanese Junior National Championships by medalling at the Asian Youth Championships in Iran.
Inoue bagged the bronze medal before excelling at the full Japanese National Championships and winning silver. Ultimately, Inoue missed out on qualification for London 2012 in the final preliminary bout.
He turned pro later in 2012 and would never look back. Inoue became a world champion in six fights.
Spence was still plying his trade in the amateurs and in the midst of winning three National Amateur Championships at welterweight. He’d later head to London 2012 and lose out in the Quarter-Finals.
Amazingly, Pacquiao was ranked in the same fifth place on the WBN Pound for Pound Top 50 Rankings he occupies today.
Golovkin was beginning to make a name for himself at the middleweight limit having turned pro in 2006. In August 2010, ‘GGG’ came to the fore winning the WBA interim strap before the regular version a few months later.
Crawford was 10-0 back at the turn of a new decade, having stopped seven of his opponents so far.
Usyk had won European gold and world bronze by 2010 and was ready to claim a first world amateur title a year later. by 2012, gold followed in London at the Olympics.
Like Crawford, Estrada was in double-figures as a pro and making his way up the professional ladder.
Wilder had turned pro in 2008 on the back of Olympic bronze in Beijing. This is where he coined his nickname ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
Eight fights into his pro run, Wilder was 8-0 with seven first-round knockouts.