By Phil Rogers


On Saturday night rising prospect Abdullah Mason steps out for his 13th professional bout against Ronal Ron on the undercard of Top Rank’s heavyweight doubleheader in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The unbeaten lightweight has thus far looked scintillating in the pro ranks, with 12 wins and 10 stoppages on his record and a chilling ‘KO of the Year’ contender in his previous fight against Benjamin Gurment.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, 20-year-old Mason is one of a quintet of boxing brothers, all of whom are trained by their father, Valiant Mason.

High praise has been bestowed upon the young southpaw from the likes of Tim Bradley Jr and former sparring partner, Shakur Stevenson, who said: “I think Abdullah Mason is the best young prospect in boxing. A lot of people can’t beat him. I think in the future he’s gonna be hard to deal with for everybody.”

Competition to reach the pinnacle of the 135lbs division will be fierce, however, with a glut of hugely talented young pretenders and amateur stars carving out their own route to the top. Boxing News takes a look at seven other fighters being touted as the future of the lightweight division.


Emiliano Vargas (9-0, 7 KOs)

The Top Rank counterpart thus far looks as though he’s inherited much of the skillset of his father and trainer, the esteemed “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas.


Andy Cruz (3-0, 1 KO)

Having dominated amateur boxing for a number of years, the two-time Olympic gold medallist left Cuban shores to pursue his professional dream via Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.


Sam Noakes (13-0, 13 KOs)

The British and Commonwealth Champion has impressed each time he’s been stepped up by Frank Warren and is looking to continue his development when he takes on Yvan Mendy for the vacant European lightweight title on April 20.


 Albert Batyrgaziev (10-0, 7 KOs)

The Russian former kickboxer won Olympic gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and has been quietly racking up some assured wins in his homeland since turning professional four years ago.


Keyshawn Davis (10-0, 7 KOs)

Lauded by many as a future star of the sport before he’d even thrown a professional punch, the young American has sharpened his outstanding amateur pedigree in the pros to great effect.


Floyd Schofield (17-0, 12 KOs)

“Kid Austin” is one of Golden Boy’s blue-chip prospects and, having sparred with the likes of Devin Haney, Adrien Broner, Shakur Stevenson and Robert Easter, the ever-confident 21-year-old has acquired one particularly prestigious fan in the form of Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Ashton Sylve (11-0, 9 KOs)

The lightning-fast hands of Sylve earned “H20” 10 national titles as a young amateur. Having turned pro in the unforgiving small halls of Mexico, Sylve has teamed up with Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and looks a welcome addition to an outstanding crop of talent at 135lbs.