Looking at the top of the welterweight division it’s starting to look like an aging weight division in my opinion. With many of the top welterweights in their mid 30s or looking to move up in weight With the likes of Manny Pacquaio now in his 40s, Crawford talking about even moving up in weight and retiring, and even Spence as well talking about moving up to super welterweight eventually. It definitely leaves an opening for a new future for one of the glamour divisions of boxing.
But who could that be? In this boxing list, I take a look at 10 boxers who could potentially fight out over the next few years to become the number one welterweight in the division.
I have based this list off the current activity, achievements and their talent from when I published this list (Aug 2021). Some of the fighters are yet to fight at welterweight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them end up in the 147lb division at some point.
You can either watch my video version or read on below.
1. Josh Taylor
Taylor has had one of the quickest rises in boxing since turning pro, having competed in the super lightweight division to date. In just 18 bouts he managed to clear out the division becoming first four belt undisputed champion from the UK along with winning the World Boxing Super Series in 2019.
With him pretty much beating all the names in that division at the moment, I believe we will see Taylor move up in weight very soon. Already there have been suggestions of facing the likes of Terrence Crawford who was also undisputed at super lightweight. If he was to win, this could definitely set up Taylor as the man to beat at welterweight.
Read my boxing style analysis on Josh Taylor here.
2 Daniyar Yeleussinov
Yeleussinov is probably one some are not familiar on this list. The Kazakh professional boxer was a tremendous amateur, competing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, winning a gold medal in 2016 in Rio. As amateur he has defeated top pros including Josh Taylor, Josh Kelly, Jarmel Herring and Cissokho.
Having turned pro in 2018, so far he has only had 10 fights and in my opinion has not moved along quick enough. His big win so far to date is against former super lightweight Julious Indongo. I would like to see the opposition step up Yeleussinov as he is now in his 30s.
3. Jaron Ennis
Jaron Ennis has to be one of the most exciting fighters on this list in my opinion and I have no doubt he can challenge and win world titles in the future. As an amateur he won silver and gold at the prestigious golden gloves before deciding to go pro.
His amazing knockouts, punch variation, defensive skills and switch hitting make him one to watch for the future. But with impressive victories over the likes of Chris van Heerden and Lipinets. The young American has all the potential to dominate the welterweight division.
4. Conor Benn
This might be controversial one this list, but the son of former two weight world champion Nigel Ben still has much potential and time to reach the top of the welterweight division. Turning pro at 19, Benn had to quickly learn on the job the hard way through the rigours and toughness of professional boxing.
However, his dedication and heart is something the fans are starting to appreciate. Plus they know you will get your money’s worth in a Conor Benn bout, who always comes to fight. He might not takeover the division, but I wouldn’t be surprised if competes with the best or potentially wins a world title if the right opportunity arises.
5. Vergil Ortiz Jr
Virgil Ortiz Jr has to be one of the most exciting come forward pressure fighters on this list. Training with legendary Coach Robert Garcia, who has trained the likes of his brother Mikey Garcia, Nonitio Donaire and Marcos Maidana. The young Mexican American has all the promise to fulfil his potential.
With 100% KO record to date since the video was made. Ortiz has really started to prove his powerful punching and pressure fighting against good opposition in defeating likes of Maurice Hooker and Kavaliauskas. Anyone who fights Ortiz on this list will have a hard time in the welterweight division.
6. Regis Prograis
Prograis was once regarded as one the brightest talents that could dominate the sport, due to his power and slick southpaw style, that has caused problem for anyone that comes up against him.
The former WBC and WBA super lightweight champion, lost his title to Josh Tyalor back in 2019 for the WBSS and Muhammad Ali trophy. After disappointment, many have forgotten of Prograis’ abilities and have had rumour of struggling to make weight at times. A move up to welterweight could give him some big fights and potential rematch with Taylor.
7. Teofimo Lopez
Lopez really came to stardom by defeating Vasyl Lomachenko for all 5 lightweight belts (if you include the WBC franchise belt) Lopez won this fight in a convincing unanimous decision, making him the youngest four belt champion at just 23 years old.
However, like some others on this list, Lopez has been said to struggle to make Lightweight and want to try his hand super lightweight eventually. However, he is certainly big enough with even Tyson Fury claiming how big he is for the weight currently. It probably won’t happen soon, but I could definitely see Lopez move up to welterweight as he gets older.
Read my boxing style analysis on Teofimo Lopez here.
8. Ryan Garcia
Another fellow lightweight on this list is of course ‘KingRy’ Ryan Garcia, who definitely has the potential to fight at Welterweight one day. Standing at 5’10 (same as Taylor, Ortiz and Ennis and Yeleussinov) he is definitely big enough to fight at welterweight as he gets older.
Right now he has proven he has the power at super featherweight and lightweight, but would love to see him move up in weight one day to see if he can handle bigger guys at welterweight. Training under the guidance of team Canelo, they will no doubt at some point want to move him up in weight like Canelo has been so successful in recent years.
9. Devin Haney
The Dream Devin Haney is one of the slickest boxers on the list and with over 26 pro fights at 22, this kid has all the potential to eventually make it up to welterweight. Having defeated top former world champions Linares and Gamboa, he has proven elite skills at such a young age.
I do see Haney eventually fighting at welterweight, but when you look at the size difference between him and some of the other talents at welterweight now, Ennis and Ortiz it could prove difficult. Despite this he is real flashy defensive operator in the ring with a brilliant jab that will get him far.
10. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis
The final boxer on this list is of course Gervonta Tank Davis who is definitely the smallest on this list at only 5′ 5½″. I do struggle to see how the current lightweight can make it all the way up to welterweight and I do believe that would be his ceiling.
However, time and time again after moving up in weight, he’s proved that he’s got the natural power to KO anyone. His team have even been rumoured to be trying to get a fight with former welterweight world champion Keith Thurman, which I would love to see. However I would personally like to see him fight the other top lightweights first before making such a move.
Read my boxing style analysis on Gervonta Davis here.
Hope you enjoyed this boxing list, let me know in the comments below who you think will dominate the welterweight division over the next few years. Personally I think Ortiz Fr, Ennis and Taylor could look like fighting it out.
Check out more Boxing Blogs like this here.
Now over the years since writing here on Boxing Life, a question I get often through email and my social media channels is, “What boxing gloves does [this boxer] use?”. For the most part, a...
Devin Haney is an undisputed lightweight champion and rising star that splits opinion for most. His dazzling boxing skills are clear to anyone, but people seem to criticize the fact he does not have...