Boxing may still be locked in the cruel embrace of the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s so much to look forward to in 2022.
Everybody is talking about the hotly-anticipated rematch between Britain’s Anthony Joshua and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk which is currently pencilled in for either March or April depending on which report you believe.
Likewise, Tyson Fury has been ordered to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte after knocking out Deontay Wilder in their October trilogy fight, while Jake Paul may finally get his comeuppance in a celebrity grudge match against his brother Tommy Fury.
But there’s also a bunch of exciting prospects who all deserve a special mention as well.
There are undefeated knockout artists, Olympic gold medallists and inexperienced young guns all hoping to follow in the footsteps of Messrs AJ, Fury and co.
Here GIVEMESPORT takes a look at the emerging talents who will continue to grace your television screens in the coming years.
Why not have a read through yourself to find out more about them?
(In alphabetical order…)
Record: 2-0 (1 KO)
Where do we start with Adam Azim?
Nicknamed ‘The Assassin’ Azim has already shown he is blessed with ridiculous speed and fast reflexes after he stopped Stu Greener in his second pro fight last November.
Remarkably, he’s still only 19.
Record: 1-0 (1 KO)
Of course, you can’t have one without the other, can you?
The older Azim initially took up boxing after being inspired by watching his younger brother training in the gym and he hasn’t look back since.
Fast forward a few years later and the 21-year-old has truly come into his own, marking his professional debut with a devastating one-punch knockout of Ivan Njegac at Wembley Arena.
Hassan might not get the plaudits he deserves for now, but he’s certainly one to watch heading into 2022.
Record: 11-0 (11 KOs)
Ohio native Jared Anderson is leading the charge for the next generation of fighters to emerge from the United States.
The 22-year-old has beaten every single opponent he has faced thus far, all in equally devastating fashion.
Unsurprisingly big things are expected of ‘Big Baby’ who has already received a glowing number of endorsements from some of his contemporaries including the Gypsy King himself who seems to have taken him under his wing.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum told Sky Sports: “Tyson said the next heavyweight champion after him is Jared Anderson, and I saw it with my own eyes how Jared gave him fantastic sparring on both [second and third] of the Wilder fights.”
Record: 4-0 (3 KOs)
Allow me to introduce you to a man who, for my money, was one of the most exciting fighters to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.
Keyshawn Davis briefly took a break from professional boxing to fulfil his childhood ambitions and came away with a silver medal for his efforts. Not too shabby.
He then knocked out Jose Zaragoza on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko‘s clash with Richard Commey on December 11. What makes this even more remarkable is that was his fourth pro fight of the calendar year.
For the record, his brother isn’t too bad, either.
She may be barely out of her teens, but Caroline Dubois has always seemed destined for greatness.
After all, it comes with the territory, as her older brother Daniel Dubois is a former British and Commonwealth champion.
And now she has the chance to step from out of his shadow as she looks to take her first steps in the pro ranks.
Dubois was originally supposed to make her debut as part of the supporting act to Richard Riakporhe’s cruiserweight fight against Olanrewaju Durodola but she sadly contracted coronavirus which meant she was forced to delay it.
And he gave a thoroughly good account of himself as he managed to make it all the way to the last 16.
He subsequently made the decision to turn over before joining forces with Ben Davison who currently trains world champions Devin Haney, Josh Taylor and Leigh Wood.
There’s no doubting Luke is an exciting addition to an ever-growing stable which boasts some serious talent.
Like his brother Luke, Pat has also teamed up with Davison as he looks to rip through the welterweight division.
As an amateur, he was a two-time European silver medallist and also won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Be sure to keep an eye out for both of them in 2022.
Wales’ Lauren Price was recently made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list after becoming the first Welsh boxer to win Olympic gold in August.
She also announced her decision to turn professional after some deliberation.
While it is understood she has already had some conversations with Eddie Hearn, there’s no knowing where she may end up next, but whenever she does make her professional debut be sure to tune in.
One thing’s for sure, you won’t regret it.
Record: 4-0 (2 KOs)
Viddal Riley is best known as the trainer of YouTube sensation and mainstream celebrity KSI, having trained the British YouTuber for both of his pro fights with Logan Paul as well as his exhibition bout with Joe Weller.
But if you forget about that for one second, it’s worth pointing out he is a damn good boxer as well with extensive amateur experience to boot.
Riley’s amateur career was capped off by a European Junior silver medal, leaving him with a record of 41-8 (19 KOs).
Since then, he has gone 4-0 as a pro, with a tally of two knockouts to his name.
Arguably the most anticipated British prospect of 2022 – and that’s saying something when you consider the rest of the competition.
Indeed, Galal Yafai would no doubt be at the top of this list were it not for the fact it’s actually in alphabetical order.
Yafai, the younger brother of fellow boxers Kal and Gamal, was the 2020 Summer Olympics gold medallist and fans are excited to see what’s next for the Birmingham based fighter.
He was also named as Boxing News’ Male Amateur Boxer of the Year for 2021.