During the post-Ali era, the sport of boxing hit a wall. The boxing brand suffered due to a lack of star power. The sweet science received a well-needed shot in the arm when four warriors invaded the squared circle. Sugar Ray Leonard, ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler, Thomas ‘The Hit Man’ Hearns, and ‘The Hands of Stone’ Roberto Duran all came up in the rankings during the same time period.
They were all dominant champions who faced each other and defined the golden era of boxing throughout the decade of the 1980s. Due to their contributions in regards to the resurrection of the sport of boxing, they were given the moniker of ‘The Four Kings.’
The current era of prizefighting witnessed the rise of four explosive and very talented boxers. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney, ‘KingRy’ Ryan Garcia, and Teofimo ‘The Takeover’ Lopez. All four men are highly skilled fighters who have dominated the field.
The only criticism they faced is the lack of head-to-head competition. When you compare this quartet to the original Four Kings, the biggest difference is the fact that Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, and Duran all laced the gloves up and fought each other.
However, the new generation of stars are still young, and they have time to make those prominent fights. The one thing they had going for them was their ability to separate themselves from the other contenders. They have shown the capability of dominating the field and keeping boxing fans thirsty for their future head-to-head matchups.
For a significant amount of time, it was a winning formula. On November 27th at the Hula Theater in Madison Square Garden, lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr. contaminated the formula. With superior hand speed and beautiful counterpunching, Kambosos shocked the world by earning a split decision upset victory over Teofimo Lopez and becoming the undisputed lightweight champion.
In addition to shaking up the boxing landscape, George Kambosos Jr. has given the field a shot of confidence. He’s living proof that if you’re dedicated, train hard, stay focused, execute your game plan, and believe in yourself, you can pull off what some may view as the impossible.
After defeating IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer, and fighting to a majority draw against Shavkat Rakhimov, JoJo Diaz moved up to the lightweight division. On July 9th, Diaz defeated Javier Fortuna by way of unanimous decision. In only his second fight as a lightweight, Diaz will have his toughest test to date as he will face Devin Haney on Saturday, December 4th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When you analyze the four boxing stars of this era, Gervonta Davis stands out as the alpha dog. He has overwhelming punching power and a high boxing IQ. Initially, he was scheduled to battle a hated rival, but due to personal issues, Rolly Romero had to step down, and a new opponent had to step up.
Enter Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz. He’s a hard-hitting boxer from Mexico City, Mexico. In his past two bouts, Cruz scored back-to-back unanimous decision victories. More than likely, he will be taking the toughest test of all when he faces Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis on Sunday, December 5th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
George Kambosos Jr’s stunning victory provided excitement, drama, and belief. He pulled off a major upset and shook up the boxing landscape. If JoJo Diaz and Isaac Cruz can follow in Kamboso’s footsteps, the boxing landscape will transition from being shook up to being turned upside down.