5 Underrated Lightweights To Watch Out For In 2023
The lightweight division is full of some of the most talented boxers in the sport. At Big Fight Weekend, we are looking forward to what the next year has in store for the division’s biggest stars, such as Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Devin Haney. However, we wanted to continue our series looking at underrated fighters to watch out for in 2023. We have already shown you the underrated middleweights, heavyweights, and welterweights to watch out for this year. Recently, we bought you the most underrated in the light heavyweight division, but now, we are bringing you the lightweights to watch out for in 2023.
Lightweights to Look For in 2023
Frank Martin is fast making a name for himself in the lightweight division. He boasts a 100% professional record, winning all 17 contests, with 12 coming by knockout. ‘The Ghost’ most recently recorded his most noticeable win, which was a unanimous points victory over the previously undefeated Michel Rivera. Martin has a brilliant team behind him, with Errol Spence Jr as his promotor and Derrick James as his trainer.
Frank Martin says he wants them all. Tank, Haney, Rollie….
— BOXING n BBQ (@BOXINGnBBQ) December 18, 2022
Martin has shown his brutal side with knockout wins over Jerry Perez and Romero Duno. Despite not starting to box until the age of 18, the Detroit native has taken to professional boxing like a duck to water. He has developed his ring IQ at a rapid rate. Martin uses his jab effectively to find his opponents and get them in range before following up, where he often shows his power.
Martin is physically strong, with great movement, which makes him a problem for anyone in the lightweight division. Martin is adept at getting under incoming punches, which allows him to launch effective counters.
Giovanni Cabrera has won all 21 of his fights. His intelligence shines through when he boxes. He is adept at setting the tempo and controlling his fights. Cabrera is capable of being aggressive when needed but also staying out of range.
Top Rank’s legendary promoter Bob Arum previously lavished praise on the lightweight prospect: “Giovanni is a legitimate lightweight contender who just needs an opportunity to showcase his talents.” Cabrera has suffered from inactivity, but his ability is clear for all to see. If he can fight with more regularity this year, he has the ability to rise up the lightweight rankings.
Mexican southpaw William Zepeda has won all 27 of his professional contests, with 23 coming by way of knockout. The 26-year-old fighter has held the WBA Continental Americas lightweight title since July 2021.
Zepeda is an aggressive fighter who often has plan A, B and C to overcome opponents. He throws impressive combinations while showcasing his effective movement, making him a hard target to hit. The boxing world is beginning to stand up and take notice of the Mexican’s abilities. Recently, he has appeared on Golden Boy Promotions cards, which has enabled him to showcase his skills in front of the thousands in attendance.
Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz is currently ranked number 2, with the WBC. The Mexican has won 24 of his 27 fights, with 17 by knockout. He has two defeats and one draw. His most recent defeat was a tightly contested loss against Gervonta Davis, losing via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113).
Cruz despite steeping in at short notice against Davis showcased his aggressive style and impressive accuracy, which saw him frustrate his more fancied opponent. He is extremely effective when coming forward. He has a great engine, which sees him continually chase down his opponents. Cruz is at his best when he can fight in close quarters and impose his power in fights.
Floyd Schofield has raced to a 13-0 record since making his professional debut on January 30, 2021. The New Jersey-born fighter has not been troubled in his professional career thus far.
Schofield is extremely accurate with his punches. He has proven he possesses plenty of power. The 20-year-old uses his crisp jab to great effect before unloading on his opponents with a barrage of punches. Schofield moves around the ring with impressive confidence and does not throw a punch unless he means it. Schofield makes every punch count and is without a doubt one of the lightweights to look out for in 2023.