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!
Mark Antonio (5-0, 5)
Filipino youngster Mark Antonio seemed to drop off the map in 2018, in fact he was out of the ring for almost 2 years, but returned this past October to record his 5th early win, and it now seems like the excellent 22 year old will get back down to business and show us all what he can do. As an amateur he was a notable fighter, who twice claimed bronze in Filipino competitions and as a professional he has shown a lot of explosive promise. He's skilled, heavy handed and exciting, and with almost 2 years of his career lost we're excited to see what he'll do in 2020.
Before his break from the ring he was on an upward trajectory, and had stopped his first 4 opponents in a combined 14 rounds, and in just 5 months. Notably his last 3 bouts have been scheduled for 5 rounds, so the hope is that every fight will be a step forward, and that he has the desire to make his team chase better tests going forward.
Expectations for 2020?
With 23 months of inactivity on his record already it seems likely that the 22 year old Antonio will want to make up for lost time, and 2020 gives him that opportunity. We're expecting him to score one or two more easy wins before taking on a serious test or two later in the year. The Super Flyweight-come-Bantamweight won't be up against any monsters any time soon, but he will be up against more notable opponents than he's faced so far.
The oriental scene at 115 and 118 is deep but there are fights that could see Antonio giving his career a huge boost. Domestic bouts are likely to be lined up for him in 2020 and hopefully those will include at least one durable foe, who can extend Antonio 8, if not 10, rounds, as he gets some much needed ring time.
Shaking ring rust is a key for him in 2020, and then looking at bigger bouts.
We've included Antonio's bout with Michael Padayag below for those who haven't seen the Filipino hopeful in action.
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