Some fighters don't get the credit they deserve because they lack the right promotional outfit to take their case to the media. Others get so buried with criticism that their talents don't get the proper level of recognition.
Whatever the reason, there are always plenty of fighters who fall into the "underrated" category. Here's a look at 2012's updated list of boxing's most underrated stars:
Brian Vilora (31-3, 18 KOs)
Most smaller fighters tend to fall into the underrated category just due to the fact that boxing's little giants never get their fair share of media attention. In the case of Brian Viloria, the reigning WBO flyweight champ has come back from the brink of professional oblivion to become reborn as the top 112 lb. fighter in the world. "Hawaiian Punch" can do a little of everything-- boxing, brawling, and any sort of combination of both. Viloria will meet the heavy-handed WBA flyweight champ, Hernan Marquez, this Saturday in a highly-anticipated unification bout.
Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KOs)
It's hard to believe that there are still those who doubt the UK's Froch and his status as a main stage super middleweight fighter. "The Cobra" is at the tail end of a brutal four-year run of world class opposition that has seen him register an impressive mark of 6-2. During the four-year run, Froch faced Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Andre Ward, and Lucian Bute. He may not be the best 168-pound fighter in the world, but the reigning IBF titlist is, no doubt, an elite player. This Saturday, he will take on former world title challenger, Yusaf Mack.
Saul Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs)
The reigning WBC junior middleweight champion and burgeoning Mexican superstar may be an odd choice for a list of underrated fighters, but so much has been made of his status as a protected champion that the true nature of his development is being buried beneath the criticism. The fact of the matter is that the 22-year-old is well ahead of the curve, developmentally, and has become a solid, well-rounded fighter. Forget the silly world title around his waist, just look at the young man behind the belt.
Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs)
"Siri" made this list last year and his situation hasn't changed much since 2011. He's still WBO featherweight champion and still in possession of a nice mix of fundamental technical knowledge and old school trickery.
Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs)
The heavy-handed battler from Argentina has truly earned his spot among the top junior welterweights in the world with big wins over Humberto Soto and Ajose Olusegun. Matthysse was also on the losing end of highly-controversial decisions against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander.
Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KOs)
The Scottish WBO lightweight champ is on a two-year run that has seen him go from regional-level talent to world class player. The all-action fighter is now a major player at 135 lbs. and may be on a collision course with Adrien Broner for division supremacy.
Carlos Molina (20-5-2, 6 KOs)
In a fair and just world, Molina would own victories over James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. However, in the shadowy world of big time boxing, "King" Carlos is 0-2-2 against the trio. Still, robberies notwithstanding, the increasingly crafty battler does own official victories over the likes of Kermit Cintron and Danny Perez.
Gabe Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs)
On the road to being a journeyman, Rosado managed to change the course of his career and is now a legitimate Top Ten contender in the stacked junior middleweight division. Best of all, Rosado did the turnaround the old fashioned way-- through hard work and risky developmental challenges.
Carson Jones (34-9-2, 24 KOs)
Jones is as old school as any fighter in the sport today. Learning his craft on the road and far away from the mainstream spotlight, the blue collar boxer has emerged from the club circuit of the sport as a legitimate challenge to anyone in the welterweight division. Most recently, Jones battered, bloodied, and nearly beat UK mega-prospect, Kell Brook.
Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs)
The talented Spaniard has become a controversy-magnet in recent years, suffering ridiculous losses via controversial decision to both Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud. Campillo is a very solid boxer with good all-around skills, but from the looks of things, he will absolutely not catch any breaks on the road.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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