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Top 25 Boxing Prospects for 2009 and Beyond ...

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Updated March 12, 2012
Many of boxing's biggest names – and box office attractions - are nearing the ends of their careers. Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr., Felix Trinidad and Fernando Vargas should all retire based on their recent performances (though several will undoubtedly fight on). Shane Mosley, Marco Antonio Barrera, Antonio Tarver, Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright are nearing the end. And how much longer can Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins defy father time?

So who will comprise the next generation of boxing superstars? Some current stars are still young enough to remain headliners for years to come: Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, Ricky Hatton and Kelly Pavlik all appear to have plenty of miles left in their respective tanks. The tougher question is which young fighters will make the difficult transition from talented prospect to true star?

To qualify for this list a boxer must be 25 years of age or less and must not have appeared in a WBC, WBA, IBF or WBO title fight. Here they are - Boxing's Top 25 (25 and Under) Prospects for 2009:

1. Danny Jacobs, 21, super middleweight, 13-0, 12 KOs
Boxing's busiest prospect - 12-0 in 2008!

2. Victor Ortiz, 21, light welterweight, 23-1-1, 18 KOs
Best pro win: Jeffrey Resto TKO 2

3. James Kirkland, 24, junior middleweight, 24-0, 21 KOs
Trained by former women's Ann Wolfe. Best win: Brian Vera TKO 8

4. Andre Ward, 24, super middleweight, 17-0, 12 KOs
Olympic gold medalist for the United States in 2004. Best pro win: Jerson Ravelo TKO 8

5. Devon Alexander, 21, junior welterweight, 17-0, 10 KOs
Best pro win: DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley W 12

6. Deandre Latimore, 23, super welterweight, 19-1, 16 KOs
Best pro win: Sechew Powell TKO 7

7. Vanes Martirosyan, 22, junior middleweight, 22-0, 14 KOs
Best pro win: Michael Medina W 10

8. Demetrius Andrade, 20, junior middleweight, 2-0, 2 KOs
Widely considered to be the best pro prospect on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.

9. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. , 22, junior middleweight, 38-0-1, 29 KOs
Next bout will be his 40th as a pro and he's still only 22! Best pro win: Jose Celaya TKO 8

10. Abner Mares, 23, bantamweight, 17-0, 10 KOs
Best pro win: Diosdado Gabi TKO 2

11. Breidis Prescott, 25, lightweight, 20-0, 18 KOs
Knocked out high-profile prospect Amir Khan in just 54 seconds.

12. Danny Garcia, 20, welterweight, 10-0, 7 KOs
2006 U.S. national amateur champ and 2007 U.S. Olympic trials finalist.

13. Anthony Peterson, 23, lightweight, 28-0, 19 KOs
Best pro win: Javier Jauregui W 10

14. Fernando Guerrero, 22, middleweight, 12-0, 11 KOs
Best pro win: Tyrone Watson W 8

15. "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin, 25, middleweight, 20-0, 15 KOs
Best pro win: Antwun Echols W 10

16. Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia, 21, featherweight, 14-0, 11 KOs
Trained by his brother, Danny Garcia, former junior lightweight titleholder. Best pro win: Walter Estrada W 8

17. Mike Jones, 25, welterweight, 16-0, 14 KOs
Best pro win: Luciano Perez TKO 3

18. Amir Khan, 22, lightweight, 19-1, 15 KOs
Bounced back from devastating first round KO to fellow prospect Breidis Prescott with a second round TKO of Oisin Fagan.

19. Beibut Shumenov, 25, light heavyweight, 7-0, 5 KOs
A 2004 Olympian for Kazakhstan. Best pro win: Montell Griffin W 12

20. Kenny Galarza, 23, junior welterweight, 8-0, 8 KOs
Best pro win: Heraclides Barrantes KO 1

21. Lamont Peterson, 24, light welterweight, 26-0, 12 KOs
Best pro win: Antonio Mesquita W 10

22. Matvey Korobov, 25, super middleweight, 2-0, 2 KOs
A 2008 Olympian for Russia.

23. Carlos Velasquez, 24, super featherweight, 9-0, 8 KOs
A 2004 Olympian for Puerto Rico.

24. Bastie Samir, 22, middleweight, 3-0, 3 KOs
A 2008 Olympian for Ghana.

25. Deontay Wilder, 23, heavyweight, 1-0, 1 KO
The only fighter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team to win a medal (bronze).

Honorable Mentions: Saul Alvarez (18, welterweight), Bernabe Concepcion (20, super bantamweight), Humberto Gutierrez (20, lightweight), Cesar Seda Jr. (22, flyweight).

So where are some of boxing's other top prospects? Several, like Chris Arreola (27), Yuriorkis Gamboa (27) and Alfredo Angulo (26) are already older than 25. Other 25 and unders - like Andre Berto (25), Juan Manuel Lopez (25) and Jorge Linares (23) - already hold title belts. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly other top prospects who are missing from this list. Who do you think has been overlooked and deserves inclusion? Let us know ...

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