Seven fighters to watch out for in 2021 including first-round KO king Edgar Berlanga and ever-improving Conor Benn

BOXING fans might have been locked out during coronavirus lockdown, but the action continued at great pace around the globe.

From Eddie Hearn's back garden to the bright lights of Las Vegas, the sport has thrilled spectators sat watching in their living rooms.

As we move into 2021, there will be renewed hope that fans will be allowed back inside stadiums and venues to cheer on their heroes.

Here, SunSport checks out seven boxers on their way up to watch out for in what could be a monumental year of ring action.

Edgar Berlanga

Nicknamed ‘The Chosen One’ Berlanga already has a lot to live up to.

But the New York super-middleweight has people instantly on the edge of their seats.

The 23-year-old has astonishingly knocked out all 16 of his opponents in the FIRST ROUND.

Legendary promoter Bob Arum has described him as the 'greatest power-punching phenomenon' since Mike Tyson.

Ellie Scotney

Former B&Q worker Scotney had Sky Sports commentators purring as she put on a boxing masterclass on debut to score a points shutout against Bec Connolly.

The Catford starlet, 22, should have made her paid debut in March but the original Covid-19 lockdown canned that O2 bow.

Women’s boxing is going great guns with a whole host of world champions – and seeing Scotney’s name up there down the line would make up for lost time.


Karol Itauma

Itauma was the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics gold medallist and promoter Frank Warren’s stable are very excited with the prospect.

The 20-year-old light-heavyweight made his debut on December 5, winning every round against Lewis van Poetsch.

And there are brains to match the brawn too – Itauma is training to become a financial advisor on the side. That should help keep on top of his fight-winning purses.

Hamzah Sheeraz

The Ilford talent became the super-welterweight European champ in just his 10th fight.

Sheeraz, 21, has gone on to make two defences of that strap as Frank Warren brought boxing back during lockdown.

Despite getting a KO against Guido Nicolas Pitto last time out in the very last round, Sheeraz didn’t look like he wanted to go through the gears.

Maybe he’s saving them for 2021 and a crowd to roar him home.

Fabio Wardley

The Dillian Whyte-protege got his grounding in white-collar boxing, but has taken to the pro game seamlessly.

Eloquent and reserved, English heavyweight champ Wardley, 26, does his talking in the ring, and was mightily impressive in stopping Richard Lartey in two rounds in November.

That was two rounds fewer than it took Daniel Dubois to stop the Ghanaian, while Nathan Gorman went the full 10.

Conor Benn

Arguably the most-improved British fighter of 2020 – and that’s after only one fight this year.

Benn showed drastic improvements to his style, patience and movement when he won almost every round against former world title challenger Sebastian Formella last time out.

It seems top trainer Tony Sims could be the man to transfer ‘hype’ into world titles.

Some questioned Benn’s chin, but the 24-year-old walked through everything Formella could throw and was a class above.

Vergil Ortiz Jr

Like his countryman Berlanga, Ortiz Jr has secured 16 KOs in 16 as he rips through the welterweight division.

As an amateur, he was a seven-time national champion and was the winner at the 2013 Junior Olympics.

He was also named as Ring Magazine's Prospect of the Year for 2019.

With 2020 being a year no-one could predict, Golden Boy Promotions' very own 'Golden Boy' is one to keep an eye on next year.

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