PROSPECT OF THE YEAR (MINIMUM EIGHT BOUTS, NO REGIONAL TITLES)
WINNER: Manuel Avila, Fairfield. In this age of handlers rushing bonus babies before they’re ripe, “Tino” was developed the right way. Staying active with five gradually difficult bouts, the 20-year-old junior featherweight passed every test. Whether it was showing off his boxing skills against 54-bout veteran John Alberto Molina in September, or displaying his sense of urgency by stopping fellow prospect Ricky Lopez in the final round of a nationally-televised dogfight in December, Avila (11-0, 4 KOs) solidified his status as a 122-pounder to watch.
READERS’ CHOICE: Bruno Escalante (40%); Manuel Avila (32%); Guy Robb (19%)
-- Ryan Maquinana