Filip Hrgovic and a new, hungry breed of heavyweights intend to overthrow Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury’s generation.
Hrgovic and his peers, the likes of Daniel Dubois and Tony Yoka, have duked it out at amateur level and are building threatening KO streaks as professionals.
Croatia's 8-0 Hrgovic fights Mario Heredia on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event, from midnight.
Live Fight Night International
The new era of heavyweights?
|Filip Hrgovic||27||8-0||Croatia||6’6’’||17st 4lbs|
|Tony Yoka||27||6-0||France||6’7’’/82’’||17st 1lbs|
|Joe Joyce||33||10-0||Britain||6’6’’/80’’||18st 4lbs|
|Daniel Dubois||21||12-0||Britain||6’5’’/78’’||17st 1lbs|
|Nathan Gorman||23||16-1||Britain||6’5’’/73’’||18st 4lbs|
|Otto Wallin||28||20-0||Sweden||6’6’’/78’’||16st 3lbs|
|Junior Fa||29||18-0||New Zealand||6’5’’/81’’||18st 2lbs|
|Jermaine Franklin||25||19-0||USA||6’2’’/77’’||17st 2lbs|
|Efe Ajagba||25||11-0||Nigeria||6’6’’/85’’||17st 4lbs|
|Evgeny Romanov||34||13-0||Russia||6’0’’||16st 3lbs|
|Frank Sanchez Faure||27||12-0||Cuba||6’4’’/78’’||15st 8lbs|
This up-and-coming generation built rivalries at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when France's Tony Yoka won gold four years after Joshua.
Yoka defeated Hrgovic in the semi-final then Britain's Joe Joyce in the final. But both Hrgovic and Joyce own previous amateur victories over Yoka so there is a score to settle in the pro game.
Yoka, who beat Dave Allen a year ago, has since been suspended for missing drug tests.
Hrgovic, meanwhile, has signed a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom and won on his US debut. He once cut David Haye in sparring causing the cancellation of a fight with Tyson Fury but now plans on making an even bigger impact.
Joyce, several years older than his up-and-coming peers, was recently taken the distance for the first time by Bryant Jennings but remained undefeated. His advancing years mean time might not be his friend, but Joyce is hardened in a way that not many heavyweights are.
Daniel Dubois is notably younger, 21, than the rest of these prospects but has a record that matches up to any of them. He defeated fellow Brit Nathan Gorman in vicious style in his most recent fight - a risky match-up for both men to gamble on, but now a result that elevates Dubois to the status of tried-and-tested.
Sweden's Otto Wallin will receive a huge opportunity when he fights Tyson Fury next month. It is a monumental step up for Wallin whose best victory so far is against compatriot Adrian Granat, back in their home country.
Junior Fa turned pro two-and-a-half years ago and has "the size and skills to make an impact" according to promoter Lou DiBella. Fa had an amateur rivalry with fellow New Zealander Joseph Parker - they fought four times, winning twice each.
Michigan's Jermaine Franklin "has the skills and heart of a champion and at some point would love to make a meaningful UK debut," his promoter Dmitriy Salita said. Rated as one of America's must-watch prospects, Franklin eked out a split decision win in his most recent fight against Jerry Forrest.
Efe Ajagba is best-known as the other boxer in the fight when Curtis Harper walked out of the ring immediately after the first bell in protest. Nigeria's Ajagba was taken the distance for the first time in his most recent fight by fellow prospect Ali Eren Demirezen, but won a unanimous decision.
Russia's Evgeny Romanov knocked out Deontay Wilder in the amateurs but, as a pro, is only 13-0 by the age of 34.
Frank Sanchez Faure has racked up 12 wins in 23 months as a pro, impressive going. He was an amateur national champion in Cuba, no mean feat in a nation feted for its boxers. Sanchez Faure told Sky Sports about Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte: "I can compete with them right now."
Estrada vs Beamon, Hrgovic vs Heredia, Giyasov vs Perez, Smith vs Lozano, Carroll vs Valenzuela - Saturday night at midnight, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event.