Philadelphia is rich with talent on both of the aforementioned levels. Fighters like Ray Serrano and Joey Dawejko, who train in Los Angeles at the Wild Card Gym, continue to try and reinsert their names among the welterweight and heavyweight contender discussion, a status that after Serrano's last victory in Atlantic City and Dawejko's win at the SugarHouse seems to be just around the corner.
Welterweight Jaron "Boots" Ennis continues as a super prospect that is as active as any young fighter in the world. It seems like we are getting closer to the types of fights that may ask real questions from this super talent. Christian Carto, who is also a supreme prospect at bantamweight, finished his busy 2017 with his second decision victory, after posting his first eleven wins by knockout. His opposition continues to increase in terms of quality as this boxer-puncher continues to mature. Lightweights Steve Ortiz, T.J. Velasquez, and Damon Allen Jr. are another set of supreme talents.
Hard Hitting Promotions has a young stable of talent with exciting fighters like super lightweights Samuel Teah, Jeremy Cuevas, and Branden Pizarro. Pizarro suffered his first loss at the SugarHouse after a great fight against another prospect Christian Rivera who is signed to Cotto Promotions. Despite the loss, Pizarro has the sky as his limit in terms of talent and desire. It will be fun to watch his return and future.
Of course there is the level of fighters like Jason Sosa, welterweight Ray Robinson (most ignored boxer in the sport), and Tevin Farmer. Farmer challenges for the vacant IBF Super Lightweight Championship this Saturday on HBO. These are fighters who are at the level that all of the aforementioned names and I'm sure I missed a few who are trying to reach for stardom. Jesse Hart will also return soon and be back in discussions for another super middleweight title shot.
It is going to be my pleasure to continue to follow all of these local fighters. Some as they continue their progression from local fan favorite into serious contender and eventual world champion. Others as they continue to try and break through the tough ceiling in the sport, and gain opportunities to display their talents in front of the world. For that I have to say thank you to Miguel Cotto for not just the memories, but for the opportunity to be part of the sport, which will allow me to follow these talents up close and personal.
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