Over the last few years it's been getting harder and harder and harder to define what a prospect is. The fact fighters like Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka having been able to win world titles after just a handful of fights have meant we can't just consider someone a prospect due to have a lot of talent and not many fights. In fact a lot of the truly tremendous amateur stand outs seem to be rushing from novice to contender in double quick time. A great example of that is Murodjon Akhmadaliev, who debuted in March and is already in line for a WBA title fight.
As a result when we looked for our Prospect of the Year we decided that if a fighter was world ranked, by any of the 4 major world organisations, they weren't to be classed as a prospect. This rules out Akhmadaliev, who is ranked #1 by the WBA, along with fellow Uzbek's Shakhram Giyasov and Shohjahon Ergashev and the likes of Junto Nakatani and Carl Jammes Martin.
What we were left with was a lot of fighters, though one that really caught our eye a lot in 2018 was 20 year old Uzbek Light Middleweight Ulugbek Sobirov. Sobirov isn't a fighter who got a lot of attention by the boxing press in 2018 despite having a genuinely amazing year. He was busy and went 9-0 (5) during the year, with 5 wins over opponents with winning records, as well as well travelled, with fights in Uzbekistan, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Given his young age, his high level of activity, his willingness to travel to his opponents back yard and his controlled performances he's our prospect of the year and one of the men we suggest actively following in 2019. He's not got the flair of some of his countryman, or the attention that others have gotten but he has had a fantastic year!
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!