They have all the skills and abilities. They may have plenty of available opposition. So, why are these fighters not superstars? Here's a look at five boxers who are not living up to their full potential.
Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs)
He's beaten just about every top light heavyweight of his day and has a smooth, flawless skill-set that is far ahead of most fighters in his division. Yet, "Bad" Chad is rarely mentioned among the sport's very best and generates almost no buzz among fans. Dawson's major problem may be his laid-back attitude which allows him to cruise to victory, but never inspires him to fight with urgency. A September match-up with similarly dispassionate Andre Ward at super middleweight won't likely raise Dawson's stock as a marketable battler.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs)
The Cuban former Olympic gold medalist has all the ability in the world, often drawing comparisons to fighters such as Roy Jones and Meldrick Taylor, but has yet to become a bankable star, even in the talent-rich featherweight division. Part of the problem was former promoter, Top Rank, who kept Gamboa in against light opposition and intentionally sat on possible high profile match-ups with the likes of Juan Manuel Lopez and Celestino Caballero. A recent signee to 50 Cent's TMT Promotions, Gamboa is getting a second chance at trying to get his fame to match his ability.
Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 KOs)
A young Dirrell generated comparisons to fighters ranging from Sugar Ray Leonard to Roy Jones, but the 28-year-old has yet to show anything other than glimpses of greatness. Another new member of 50 Cents' promotional company, Dirrell will be starting a second chapter in his career in the deep 168-175 lb. weight range. The talent has always been there for "The Matrix," but ring inconsistency and a lack of a coherent career plan have held him back.
Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs)
If one were to describe Alexander, isolating all of his positives, point for point, it would sound like a description of the perfect fighter. Alexander is a 25-year-old southpaw, has elite-level quickness, and has shown respectable one-punch power on occasion. Throw in a solid amateur career and a heavy-hitting promoter (Golden Boy), and Alexander should be King of the World by now. Instead, he has looked flat at times, unfocused and way too raw for a fighter working on his third world title belt. Still less than the sum of his parts, Alexander needs to start putting it all together as he readies himself for a shot at Randall Bailey's IBF welterweight title.
Kendall Holt (28-5, 16 KOs)
Holt's got power, hand speed, and a respectable overall skill-set, but has yet to grow beyond the Friday Night Fights/Premium Channel undercard status. Holt is the fighter who dropped and nearly stopped Timothy Bradley and the same pug who put in a hardcore performance against Ricardo Torres in Torres' native Barranquilla, Colombia. Unfortunately, Holt is also the fighter who frequently loses concentration and often walks into major bouts with minor motivation. In the case of "Rated R," his body is willing, but a psychological block has always stood between Holt and long-term success.
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 BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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