BRITISH BOXING’s 2022 diary is already filling up with established names like Liam Williams, Chris Eubank Jr, Josh Taylor Amir Khan and Kell Brook booked – but the new breed will be supporting them.
Sky Sports, BT Sport and DAZN all have starlets, prospects and rough diamonds they hope to unleash on us and undercards will be popping with talent and potential.
The delayed 2020 Olympics finally took place in the summer and, while a few of Team GB’s biggest hopes fell slightly short, a whole new generation of talent is about to turn professional.
And SunSport recommends you delay your bar visit, toilet trip or tea break the next time you see one of these names on the bill, inside the arena or on the sofa.
Because these stars are so hot, blink and you might just miss them…
Caroline Dubois, 20: 0-0
One of the quietest characters in British boxing might be able to make the biggest noise.
Caroline Dubois, now 20, made the quarter-finals at the summer Olympics, three years after taking gold at the youth games.
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The right-handed southpaw almost made her pro bow in November before illness sidelined her but Sky Sports will justifiably make a massive deal about this freakish fighting prodigy in 2022 and no women will be safe.
Many experienced trainers, pundits and experts believe heavyweight Daniel’s little sister could be a once-in-a-generation talent capable of eclipsing anything we have seen in the women’s code before.
Karol Itauma, 21: 5-0
Frank Warren is quietly guiding Kent’s light-heavyweight along and neither man has made a mistake so far.
Itauma won gold in the same Buenos Aires youth games as Caroline Dubois and, although he had little senior amateur experience, he has looked perfect in his first five wins.
Itauma has only faced journeymen so far but those incredibly skilled and experienced men are often the hardest to stop, Slovakia-born Itauma has got three out early.
Don’t expect any trash talk or bragging from this studious star, who has juggled a job in finance with his early fight career.
But do expect the rest of the packed 12st 7lbs division to have nightmares trying to deal with this southpaw.
And keep an eye out for younger brother Enrico making another massive splash in the sport very soon.
Galal Yafai, 29: 0-0
The younger brother of pro stars Kal and Gamal, 2020 Olympic golden boy Galal made his own name in magnificent fashion in the summer.
With a host of bigger names getting the Team GB attention ahead of him in Tokyo, Yafai was able to quietly and brilliantly go about his business and become an instant hero for Great Britain.
And the no-nonsense Brummie already has plans for sensational fights in the pro ranks with classy Croydon brothers Sunny and Charlie Edwards in his crosshairs.
Yafai came up short in the 2016 Games so has turned over later in life but that should just mean he demands a fasttrack to world titles once he kicks off in 2022.
Adam Azim, 19: 2-0
It’s been about 25 years since The Office was the best thing to break out of Slough but now we have teenage sensation Azim targeting ribs with punches instead of laughs.
Excellent young trainer Shane McGuigan has taken the reins of the stand-out amateur’s training and that should excite any boxing fan when you look at the coach’s recent body of work with champions like Lawrence Okolie and Josh Taylor.
Azim might not have realised it at the time but having big brother Hassan to spar and wrestle with throughout childhood has probably toughened him up to.
Sky Sports are understandably super-keen on the lightweight so expect to see plenty of him in 2022 but give him plenty of time to grow too.
Lauren Price, 27: 0-0
The 27-year-old’s middleweight Olympic glory in the summer was one of the feel-good moments of the Games.
The Newport southpaw was raised by the grandparents who helped her become a sensational kickboxer, Cardiff City footballer and eventually boxer.
The hero has already spoken with Eddie Hearn about turning pro and world champion friend Savannah Marshall – who Price beat in the amateurs – reckons she could easily make welterweight in the pro ranks where she could be even more powerful and resilient.
Mark Chamberlain, 22: 9-0
The BT Sport banger has already blasted out six of his victims early and he has proven to be a lethal body puncher.
At lightweight ‘Mark Boy’ has towered over most of his early opponents but still not tried to bully them or rush his work.
The brutality is measured and calm and clinical.
The Portsmouth lad is another softly spoken assassin who lets his fists do the talking, so you will probably hear the agonising screams of his opponents before you hear Chamberlain chatter.
Pat McCormack: 26 – 0-0
Tyne and Wear twins Luke and Pat McCormack have rained terror down on the domestic and international amateur scene and shelved dozens of gold and silver medals around the proud family home.
After landing silver at the summer Olympics, Pat and Luke have linked up with top trainer Ben Davison and that means he will be learning alongside champions like Josh Taylor and Lee McGregor every day in the gym.
Pat’s style is expected to make him an almost instant success in the paid ranks so don’t expect him to need many learning bouts – these boys mean business.