Top 5 Boxers Aged 23 and Under

For a sport that, according to its most persistent critics, is “dead,” “dying,” “on life support,” or in constant need of being "saved" by the next big fight, boxing is producing an impressive conveyor belt of young talent. Welterweight contenders Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz are still only 25, as are super middleweight knockout artist David Morrell, future superstar Shakur Stevenson, and former lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, while current lightweight champ Devin Haney is just 24. Ryan Garcia, despite suffering the first defeat of his professional career, was just in one of the biggest sporting events of the year, also at age 24. 

But what about those even younger? Who is next in line? If every young boxer were a free agent and you were a promoter looking to establish a small and youthful stable of fighters, who would be the perfect core group? Inspired by the NFL draft (and this tweet from The Last Round podcast) we have compiled a list of five of the brightest talents aged 23 and under, several of whom are on the cusp of being ready for prime time or have even crashed the main event stage already.


Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Date of Birth: January 20, 2000

Age: 23

Record: 18-0 (11 KOs)

Rodriguez burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion in 2022, overcoming former champs Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to annex and retain a super flyweight title. Had it not been for Dmitry Bivol’s exploits against Canelo Alvarez and Zurdo Ramirez, he might well have been the 2022 Fighter of the Year. He subsequently dropped back down a weight division to take a vacant flyweight belt. Skilled and explosive, he seemingly has almost limitless potential.


Jared ‘Big Baby’ Anderson

Toledo, Ohio, USA

Date of Birth: November 16, 1999

Age: 23

Record: 14-0 (14 KOs)

Seemingly a heavyweight champion in waiting, Anderson has yet to experience what it is like to wait for a scorecard to be read out. Not one of his professional opponents have survived to the final bell, including the likes of veteran Jerry Forrest, who was blown away in two after lasting 10 rounds (and scoring two draws) against Carlos Takam, Zhilei Zhang, Michael Hunter, and Kubrat Pulev in his four previous outings. In his first contest of 2023, Anderson pounded fellow unbeaten George Arias until Arias’ corner pulled the plug after three rounds. It feels like “when” not “if” for Big Baby.


Xander Zayas

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Date of Birth: September 5, 2002

Age: 20

Record: 15-0 (10 KOs)

Just 20 years old, junior middleweight Zayas is on a fast track to the top as he aims for a world title opportunity in 2024. So highly regarded that Top Rank made him their youngest ever signing at just 16 years old, Zayas compiled an amateur record of 118-14, winning multiple Puerto Rico and United States national championships in the process. Remarkably, he has faced just one opponent with a losing record, and his opponents’ record in 2022 was a combined 58-10-1 – impressive for a prospect who was a teenager for all but one of his pro bouts so far.


Jesus Ramos

Casa Grande, Arizona, USA

Date of Birth: March 7, 2001

Age: 22

Record: 20-0 (16 KOs)

If you hadn’t heard of Jesus Ramos before he stepped into the ring against fellow unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer on the David Benavidez-Caleb Plant undercard in March, you almost certainly sat up and took notice afterward, Ramos brutalizing Spencer until his opponent’s corner threw in the towel in round 7. Possessed of sharp skills and extremely heavy hands, Ramos’ ledger already includes victories over the likes of Javier Molina, Vladimir Hernandez and, most impressively, the on-fire Brian Mendoza, earning him a spot on Ring Magazine’s Top 10 154 pound rankings. Because Jermell Charlo holds the unified belts, a shot at a title will be hard to procure, but Ramos looks to be the top young contender in line.


Caroline Dubois

London, United Kingdom

Born: January 11, 2001

Age: 22

Record: 6-0 (5 KOs)

A quarterfinalist at the Tokyo Olympics, lightweight Dubois turned professional in 2022 and after winning a unanimous decision in her pro debut is on a streak of five stoppage wins. One of 12 children (including older brother, heavyweight contender Daniel), she began boxing at age eight while disguised as a boy called Colin, as the nearby boxing club didn’t allow girls to train. Since then, she has established herself as a world-class talent who wants “to be remembered as a great fighter. Not just a great female fighter but a great fighter in general,” and who is targeting a title shot in late 2023/early 2024

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