Why The Super Flyweight Division Is The Dark Horse Of Boxing In 2017
Over the last few years we have repeatedly heard about how welterweight is the best division in the sport, or how light middleweight is the best division. One that has gone under the radar however is the super flyweight division
The truth however is that neither has been the “best” division. Without a doubt they have been the most attention grabbing and the ones with the biggest money fighters.
The likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez, Keith Thurman and the likes bringing attention and money to the division, but they haven’t been the best in terms of action or depth.
There are strong arguments for either the Cruiserweight division or the Super Featherweight division to be regarded as “the best”.
Both of those weight classes have provided great fights over the last few years, have a top 5 or so fighters who are well matched and plenty of intriguing bouts that we could get in the near future.
The fighters might not be getting multi-million dollar pay days but both divisions have been brilliant thanks to the likes of Denis Lebedev, Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi at Cruiserweight and Orlando Salido, Takashi Miura and Roman Martinez at Super Featherweight.
Interestingly, both of those divisions now seem to be haunted by Ukrainian boxing geniuses, Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, but below those two we still have a host of warriors and other emerging talents, like Gervonta Davis and Miguel Berchelt at Super Featherweight and Mairis Briedis and Yunier Dorticos at Cruiserweight.
Whilst both of those divisions can argue to being the best there is a third contender in the mix.
The Super Flyweight division, which for me is actually the best in the sport in terms of both talent depth, action and consistency.
The talent there hardly needs me to rave about.
It has Roman Gonzalez, Naoya Inoue, Carlos Cuadras and Juan Francisco Estrada as the 4 most notable names. It then has that talent backed up with the likes of Kal Yafai, Jerwin Ancajas, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Sho Ishida and Johnriel Casimero.
Gonzalez at his best:
Below those top names we have a wonderful mix of exciting warriors, such as Jamie Conlan, Rex Tso, Koki Eto, Jonas Sultan, Aston Palicte and Kenta Nakagawa.
Go below that and you have a number of rising young prospects as well like Hayate Kaji, Masayoshi Hashizume, Joshua Franco, Kyle Yousaf, Jade Bornea, Waldemar Pagan, Tran Van Thao, Naoto Iwai and Charlie Hoy.
Not only is the division red hot right now, but with the list of top contenders, it’s going to be hot for some time to come and remain hot when some of the prospects reach their primes in the coming years – adding further depth to the weight class.
And staying with the “depth” aspect it’s clear that some of the top Flyweights will also move up, with Daigo Higa and Kazuto Ioka almost certainly looking at the super flyweight division as being part of their future to.
It also has enough “faded” names for fighters coming through to enhance their profiles against.
Fighters such as Hernan Marquez, Kohei Kono, Ramon Garcial Hirales, Luis Concepcion and Sonny Boy Jaro all have names and are looking like faded forces than any top emerging talent could be matched with in the near future.
In regards to action the division is consistently delivering FOTY contenders.
Since 2014 Rex Tso has been involved in FOTY contenders against the likes of Mako Matsuyama, Michael Enriquez, Ryuto Maekawa and Hirofumi Mukai.
Likewise Jamie Conlan has been in thrillers with Junior Granados, Anthony Nelson and Yader Cardoza, getting off the canvas to win all 3 of those wars.
Notably that’s just those two men alone doesn’t include the great wars we’ve seen from other fighters, such as Roman Gonzalez Vs Carlos Cuadras, Kenta Nakagawa Vs Hayato Kimura, Kenya Yamashita Vs Katsunori Nagamine and Koki Keto Vs Jun Blazo.
Whilst super flyweight division division may not get the attention it deserves from fight fans world wide, it certainly has a strong argument as being the best division in the sport and has talent from around the world.
The world champions at the moment are form Nicaragua, Japan, the UK and the Philippines and the top contenders include fighters from Mexico, Thailand and Hong Kong giving the division a global feel as well as an exciting one.
Yes, there are other great divisions, and some much weaker ones, but for me the super flyweight division really does stand out as the best in so many ways.