In December we are going to be sharing our "20 for 20", a list of 20 fighters to keep an eye on for the new year. Ahead of that we will be looking at a number of fighters who just missed out on that list.
These are the fighters who perhaps won't be ready for a world title by the end of next year, but we feel will make a mark in the year, and go on to do big things in the following year or two. Typically they are the prospects who perhaps need a little more time to develop, or who are still a bit too young for the big fights, or maybe just don't seem like they are quite there yet. These are our "Honourable mentions - 20 for 20" fighters and these will be posted daily until the start of December!
Bakhodir Jalolov (6-0, 6)
Whilst we are, and always have been, predominantly focused on professional boxing we do have a passing interest in the amateur scene and in 2019 Bakhodir Jalolov had a big year in the amateur ranks, winning the World Amateur Championships at Super Heavyweight. As well as his amateur triumph he also shined in his two professional bouts, picking up his first professional title in April. He has shown he can box, he can bang and although he's not the most exciting fighter in terms of risks he's a dynamite boxer-puncher with freakish speed and movement for such a natural giant.
Stood at 6'7" he looks like the most fluid giant in the Heavyweight division, and as long as his team can keep him busy he can go a very, very long way, and do so very quickly. There is however a real risk that frustrations and inactivity in the pros may see his attention divert back to the amateurs, and the 2020 Olympic in Tokyo. If that happens it would be a shame in some ways, though would, if he wins gold, add massively to the attention he's getting and help him call the shots going forward.
Expectations for 2020?
Predicting what Jalolov will do in 2020 is almost impossible. He has options in both the professional and amateur codes, and it really does depend on him as to which route he wants to take through the year.
If Jalolov continues down the amateur route, looking to build on his success in the World Championships, then he'll be regarded as one of the favourites for gold in Tokyo. The amateur route would guarantee him some fights against top competition, and that really is what he needs, and a gold medal, as mentioned, would be huge for his career.
If he instead decides to fully commit to the professional ranks it then comes down to whether or not Lou DiBella can actually do his job as a promoter and promote Jalolov. The Uzbek got more attention from knocking out Richard Torrez in the World Championships than he has in his 6 combined professional bouts and it's really worrying that he's still such an unknown despite being such a stand out fighter.
Although we selfishly want to see Jalolov fighting in the professional ranks we totally understand why he'd fight in the Olympics given how badly promoted he has been so far.
Below we've included Jalolov's final bout of the 2019 World Amateur Championships.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features