1-Naoya Inoue (7-0, 6)
It's been a while since we saw the “Monster” in the ring but Japanese youngster Naoya Inoue may well be the most fun to watch fighter on the planet and manages to be fun to watch whilst also being defensively sound and offensively destructive.
The youngster from Kanagawa is as destructive as they come, with both vicious power in both hands, and manages to break opponents up with shots to either the body or the head. Unlike many on this list however he's not an out and out pressure fighter, instead he's a boxing machine who can do it all, box, slug or brawl. In Japan he's a star and unlike many Japanese boxers he's also a man known around the boxing world courtesy of his amazing 2014 which saw him claim world titles at both Light Flyweight and Super Flyweight, beating recognised world champions for both of those titles.
Next expected in the ring in Late December
(Video courtesy of boxing channel)
3-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (36-4-1, 33)
Pressure, power and aggression tend to excite fans and few fighters bring that combination together quite as well as 28 year old Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
In many ways Srisaket is like a mini-Golovkin and always marches forward looking to get up close and break his foes down. Technically he's not as good as Golovkin and not as powerful in relation to his division but he does tend to throw a lot of shots and is really exciting. Sadly like many Thai's however he seems to fight a lot poor opposition leading some fans to question his ability. Wins against Yota Sato and Jose Salgado should however convince fans that he's the real deal and a must watch fighter.
The Thai destroyer is looking to get a rematch with the last man to defeat him, Mexican Carlos Cuadras. That bout isn't expected immediately though we'd be shocked to not see by the end of Q1 2016.
(Video courtesy of )
5-Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18)
The stereotype regarding the “little men” is that they can't punch though no one seems to have told 28 year old Filipino slugger Jonathan Taconing, who boasts a 75% stoppage rate and has an average bout length of just over 4 rounds.
Taconing does everything a fight fan could wish to see, he brings pressure, he brings power, he brings an intense will to win and it often looks like he has a genuine bitterness towards the sport. Whilst that bitterness is understandable, given the way he was robbed of a WBC Light Flyweight title in 2012, it's also really exciting and when Taconing steps into the ring we always suspect we're going to see fireworks.
His heavy hands and aggressiveness was last seen in the ring when he beat Ramon Hirales Garcia, he's now expected back in action to defend his OPBF Light Flyweight title before a potential world title fight either at the end of this year or very early next year. And in all honesty that shot it well over due considering the ability of some recent challengers in the division.
(Video courtesy of SirJOB)
7-Koki Eto (17-3-1, 13)
When we talk about blood and guts warriors few will match Koki Eto who was involved in a series of FOTY style bouts in 2013/2014.
Eto is, of course, best known for his 12 round war with Kompayak Porpramook though battles with Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Ardin Diale and Denchailek Kratingdaenggym were also thrilling bouts. Technically Eto is limited but he has an insane will to win, a real grittiness and a mentality that seems to be based around thinking his offense is his best defense. We wouldn't be shocked to see his career feature several more thrillers before it's over and win or lose he's going to be a lot of fun to follow.
At the moment there is, sadly, no news on his next bout, though there is speculation that he may be in the running for a notable bout with an IBF ranked contender, or a defense of his OPBF Flyweight title. A rematch with Diale however seems to be a bout that many fans, who saw the first, are wanting.
(Video courtesy of sweetboxing2)
9-Denver Cuello (36-5-6, 24)
When a fighter is dubbed “The Excitement” you know for a fact he will be fun to watch and that's the case with Filipino fighter Denver Cuello.
Cuello, like many others on this list, proves that the little men can punch and be thoroughly fun to watch. At one point he, like Pacquiao, would have been much higher on this list though recent years we have seen Cuello troubled by injuries which have resulted in him looking less spectacular than he once did. If those injuries are healed fully then he may well prove to be the exciting fight who blew through the likes of Ganigan Lopez and Omar Soto. If he's still fighting injured however he may well be in some dull contests in the future.
At the moment there is no set date on his next bout, but he will likely be eyeing up the winner of the recently announced WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin and Young Kil Bae, which will take place on November 27th.
(Video courtesy of PEPERODRIGUEZNEWS)
2-Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30)
Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin may well be the most feared man in the Middleweight division right now but fans and the media love him and his style which is based on intelligent pressure and incredibly heavy hands.
At times the 33 year “GGG” can be seen to be defensively naive but his chin has never looked like letting him down and in fact his “poor” defense has opened up opportunities for his power, as seen in his amazing stoppage against Daniel Geale. His ability to excite fans has turned him into a star around the world and should lead to a series of huge fights over the next 12-24 months, including a probable show down against either Saul Alvarez of Miguel Cotto. Wins against either of those two would have Golovkin as the de facto kingpin at Middleweight and see a growing call for him to move to Super Middleweight for a potential showdown with Andre Ward.
Next expected in the ring against David Lemieux in October.
(Video courtesy of HBOBoxing)
4-Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22)
Japan has a number of excellent fights at Super Featherweight, included in those is the incredibly fun to watch Takashi Miura.
Miura is a marauding southpaw puncher with a serious chin, spiteful powerful and a style that often makes it look like he enjoys beating people up. Whilst plenty of fans have seen Miura he's still generally an under-rated fighter which is a shame as his competition in recent years has been solid and he's shown a willingness to travel, as seen in his 2013 FOTY contender with Sergio Thompson.
Although over-shadowed by compatriot, and fellow champion, Takashi Uchiyama we actually think Miura is the more exciting of the two and his style is certainly more active than Uchiyama's calm and calculating boxer-puncher style.
The rumour is that Miura is now set to get on the road again and face Francisco Vargas in the US in a bout that has “FOTY” written all over it.
(Video courtesy of Star Boxing)
6-Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-2, 11)
Probably the most exciting fighter, pound for pound, on the planet today is Katsunari Takayama a Minimumweight warrior who has been involved in so many thrilling contests that it would be hard to know where to begin if we were doing a highlight reel for him.
Last year Takayama was involved in possibly the FOTY when he took on Francisco Rodriguez Jr in an IBF/WBO world title unification and since then he has been involved in two more tough bouts, including a 9 round war with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. Sadly at 32 years old Takayama does look like he's an “old man”, especially given his division and given his style we don't expect him to last too much longer, sadly. At his prime however he was an all out warrior, tough as old boots, aggressive and his one major downfall was that he light on power, something that will likely have sped his "aging" progress as a fighter.
Although no announcement regarding his future has been made he's rumoured to be in action on September 27th against Ryuji Hara.
(Video courtesy of profighttube5010)
8-Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38)
Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao has been one of the sports most exciting fighters for more than a decade. Whilst it's fair to say he has slipped, significantly, from the fighter he once was he does still manage to excite fans and is that's both inside the ring and outside of it.
The Pacquiao of a few years ago would have topped this list but the “Pac Man” does seem to have lost some of the fire that once made him a bonafide pay-per-view star. Things are also not helped by the recent memory of his dull contest with Floyd Mayweather Jr and his less than memorable showing against Brandon Rios. With talk of a Pacquiao Vs Amir Khan bout it does seem likely that Pacquiao will be in at least one more high octane contest before his career is over though the shine has certainly dulled on him in the eyes of many fans.
His ring return is likely to come next Spring though nothing is set in stone as of yet.
(Video courtesy of Tolya Colon)
10-Daigo Higa (7-0, 7)
The youngest man on this list is Daigo Higa, who has just turned 20 and yet already looks like a man who is going to be must watch every time he steps in the ring.
Higa is a stablemate of Koki Eto and fights in a similar, though more refined, manner. He's aggressive, aggressive and aggressive. Every time Higa is in the ring he comes forward, looks for the knock out and, so far, has scored one every time. For many his break out win came earlier this year, against Kongfah CP Freshmart, though fans in Tokyo were impressed by his wins over Virden Rivera and Cris Alfante, which were both impressively quick stoppages of solid fighters.
We've been informed that Higa's team are hoping he'll make a ring return before the year is out, though there is no set date or opponent being linked to him as of yet.
(Video courtesy tko.in.th)
-Wanheng Menayothing-Intelligent pressure fighter, even though he lacks lights out power he is great fun to watch
-Akira Yaegashi-A real warrior who is coming to the end of his career though will always go out on his shield and give fans good value.
-Takuya Kogawa-A warrior through and through. Though he lacks power he does enjoy a tear up and is scarcely in a dull fight
-Suguru Muranaka-Another warrior who enjoys a tear up and is more than happy to let his hands go despite not being a note puncher.
-Knockout CP Freshmart-With a name like “Knockout” you already know he's looking for the stoppage every time.
-Rex Tso-Like many featured above this man from Hong Kong is flawed but that's what makes him so much fun with every fight being a war
-Kyoo Hwan Hwang-Korean teenage has got ability though often lets his "Korean instinct" kick in and turns every fight so far into a slugfest