“If you were to put us together side by side at 23-years old I think he’s a lot better,” said Golden Boy Promoter Oscar De La Hoya in a recent interview with reporter Elie Seckbach.
“I think he’s far more advanced than any fighter out there that I’ve talked to or seen including Mayweather.”
Can’t say that I agree with De La Hoya’s assessment, but his analysis brings an interesting topic of conversation.
Immediately, fighters who come to mind when I think of young prodigies are Mike Tyson, Wilfred Benitez, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather and Ray Robinson.
At 20-years old, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history, defeating Trevor Berbick via vicious 2nd round knockout. Tyson is also the youngest fighter to win the Ring Magazine and Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) fighter of the year award at age 20.
Benitez, is the youngest world titlist in history, capturing the WBA light welterweight title against Antonio Cervantes when he was only 17-years old.
At age 22, Benitez became the youngest fighter to capture world championship titles in three different weight classes after defeating Maurice Hope for the WBC super welterweight title.
Ali, Robinson and Mayweather hold the distinction of being recipients of the fighter of the year award at the young age of 21.
There are more factors aside from accolades that determine a fighter’s greatness. Since there is a huge fight this weekend featuring Mayweather and Alvarez, with De La Hoya as the promoter, let’s see how these three fighters in particular measure up at age 23.