Thanks for posting that. I had been looking for it for a while now, and hadn't found it. (for whatever reason, I typed "ring magazine rankings" without the quotes into google, and the first 5 pages bring up nothing related to the ring magazine site. weird.)
I think it's pretty clear the best divisions right now are 147 and 130. With 154 and 140 getting honorable mention.
Who do you guys like as other up-and-coming fighters?
I like Rocky Juarez and Paul Williams. Give me some other names I should be on the lookout for.
Where to begin?? Just a few off the top of my head:
The Peterson brothers, LaMont and Anthony, at junior welter and lightweight, respectively. Both are top prospects but LaMont, the younger, is the more exciting to watch. He's the knockout specialist while Anthony is the slick, cautious boxer. They also have a great backstory, having been homeless and parentless as little kids, wandering the streets of DC day and night until the boxing trainer Barry Hunter took them under his wing.
Andre and Anthony Dirrelll are are another set of brother prospects who bear watching, at higher weight classes (light-heavy and super-middle). Andre won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.
A couple more Andres, both Olympians, will, I believe, be getting a lot of exposure in 2007.
Andre Berto is a Mike Tyson-style puncher but at welterweight, who though he is actually American was able to fight for the Haitian Olympic team in 2004. He's only 21 years old and he fights very often. is fights so far have tended to end pretty quickly. Look for him to get a lot of attention, face tougher opponents and crack the top 10 in 2007, toward a possible title shot in 2008.
Andre Ward was the only American gold medalist at Athens 2004. He's been brought along cautiously as a pro, facing mostly hopeless opposition so far. But he's got incredible speed and boxing skills. I'd expect he'd get an HBO date or two in 2007.
Allan Green is perhaps the top super-middleweight prospect at the moment. He's versatile -- can either box or slug -- and cocky, so he's fun to see on TV. He's headlining this Friday's ESPN2 Friday Night Fights card (the last FNF until January, by the way). He had last year's knockout of the year when he flattened another highly touted prospect, Jaidon Codrington, in 18 seconds on a much-anticipated ShoBox matchup. Codrington was unconscious for about three minutes. Green was supposed to get a title shot against Joe Calzaghe earlier this year, but when he suffered a surprise knockdown against a journeyman fighter on ESPN this spring, his credibility took a hit so he lost that opportunity. Now he's being talked about as the next opponent for Jeff Lacy, which should be a very interesting fight.
That's just a few that I can think of at the moment. The best places to catch up-and-comers are the ESPN2 shows, Friday Night Fights and Wednesday Night Fights, and also Showtime's irregularly scheduled ShoBox cards, which air on Fridays at 11 pm, usually once a month, but sometimes more and sometimes less. The Spanish-language networks, Telefutura and Azteca, also sometimes showcase decent prospects in their broadcasts on Friday and Saturday nights.