The 147lb division for 7 years has been lauded with superlatives as THE weight class in this era. Sat at the top of the throne has been Floyd Mayweather Jr, the P4P king has been impossible to overthrow. The one man who could and some say would have beaten Floyd is Manny Pacquiao, the fight due to boxing politics has never happened.
Accelerating rapidly in the slipstream are a number of Welterweight fighters who believe they have what it takes to be crowned the next king.
Keith Thurman (23-0: 21KO’s – 1 no contest)
One Time is billed as the next big thing in the 147lb division. A frightening KO record that arguably only Gennady Golovkin can rival; Thurman has promised to destroy the Welterweight division and has aspirations to become in his own words “a living legend”.
Already a highly avoided fighter due to brutal destructions of Jesus Soto Karrass and Julio Diaz, the 25 yr old needs a big name scalp on his CV. Thurman was in the crowd for Porter v Brook and has been touted as a potential opponent for Brook which is far too dangerous as a voluntary defence for me.
Displaying an intelligent boxing brain inside & outside the ropes is a rare trait but one Thurman has in abundance, he will certainly be around the top of the tree in the not too distant future.
Errol Spence (13-0: 10KO’s)
Spence is a slick boxer, patient, picks his punches well. It’s easy to get carried away, but he looks special. Appears to be no ego with this guy either yet, one hopes he stays humble as the victories and women pile up.
The 24 yr old 2012 Olympian became a somewhat overnight sensation for allegedly knocking Adrien Broner down in sparring and giving Floyd Mayweather a black eye whilst training at Mayweather Gym last year. Spence received a black eye himself, in what some described as the toughest sparring Mayweather has had for some years. Mayweather then proceeded to eject him immediately from the gym in disgust, for him to only be invited back later that day.
Spence needs to now face a former contender as a benchmark of where he really is in the division.
Kell Brook (33-0: 22KO’s)
The newly-crowned IBF world champion is now amongst the elite within the division. Special K defeated Shawn Porter on points in a career best performance in Carson, California this month. Brook has taken some time to arrive on this stage but you feel this is just the start of things to come for him.
The hard-hitting Brit will need to continue to display his crisp boxing ability as a queue has formed for him. Next up will be a voluntary defence with likes of Brandon Rios being touted as an opponent.
An all British stadium showdown with arch-nemesis Amir Khan will take place next summer; possibly at Wembley Stadium with the caveat for the victor a ticket in the “Mayweather Sweepstakes”.
Danny Garcia (29-0: 17KO’s)
Swift has stagnated somewhat since his one-sided victory over Lucas Matthysse 12mths ago. Garcia, 26 has been slaughtered on social media with his perceived cherry-picking of recent opponents Mauricio Herrera and Rod Salka. If you were to visit his Instagram page the comments section is filled with cherry emojis and various images of Garcia displayed on cans of Cherry Coca Cola.
Let’s be clear, Garcia has all the attributes to be one of top fighters in the 147lb division when he considers moving up. To regain credibility he needs to fight a big name as when he is thrives under pressure. Let’s not forget he was the underdog for both Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, two career best wins.
I believe he was wrapped up in the emotion of fighting in his “mother-land” Puerto Rico against Herrera, took him lightly and thus had to fight a “gimme” in Salka as a confidence booster. I expect him to fight a credible name before 2014 is out.
Tim Bradley (31-1: 12KO’s)
Desert Storm will be the main man in the division once Floyd Mayweather & Manny Pacquiao hang the gloves up. Bradley, 30 has the strongest resume of the leading pack with notable victories over Juan Manuel Marquez, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson and of course a contentious win over Pacquaio in 2012.
The former WBO champion lost to Pacquiao in their rematch in April surrendering his “0” in the process. The orthodox counter-puncher showed some real heart winning Fight Of The Year in 2013 against club-handed Ruslan Provodinkov.
Bradley has long been in the shadows of the big 2, but once they have gone his opportunity to be crowned will never be better.
Shawn Porter (24-1-1: 15KO’s)
Former IBF champion Showtime lost his title to Kell Brook earlier this month. It would be foolish and naive to dismiss Porter’s credentials in light of this defeat. Victories over Julio Diaz, Devon Alexander and the mauling of Paulie Malignaggi illustrates that the 26 yr old is a dangerous animal.
Described as a mini Mike Tyson, Porter is not renowned as the most fluid of fighters; he tends to lunge in with jabs and throw a cluster of hooks. Putting his opponent under constant pressure until they crumble.
A fight between Porter and Keith Thurman was discussed post-Brook, it’s one I believe both men need at this stage of their careers.