Esquiva Falcao joins Top Rank

Top Rank's Olympic signing binge continued on Thursday with the signing of 2012 middleweight silver medalist Esquiva Falcao of Brazil.

Falcao, the eighth 2012 Olympian to sign with Top Rank, will make his pro debut in early 2014, the company said.

In a twist, Falcao's brother, Yamaguchi Falcao, 25, signed with Top Rank archrival Golden Boy in October.

In the Olympic final in London, Esquiva Falcao, a southpaw, lost 14-13 to gold medalist Ryota Murata of Japan, who also signed with Top Rank and made his pro debut on Aug. 25.

"We are thrilled that Esquiva has joined Top Rank. He has so much talent and we look forward to letting that talent shine on an international stage," Top Rank president Todd duBoef said. "Brazil boasts a robust media market and a rabid fan base. There is a reason why Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. We look forward to using those platforms in promoting Esquiva."

Falcao, who turns 24 on Dec. 12, is the latest 2012 Olympian to sign with Top Rank, which has landed four of the 10 gold medalists: Russian heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev, Murata, Ukrainian featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko (a two-time gold medalist) and Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming, who owns three Olympic medals (gold from 2008 and '12, bronze from '04).

Top Rank also signed three other highly regarded pro prospects who competed in the London Games: American junior welterweight Jose Ramirez, Mexican featherweight Oscar Valdez and Puerto Rican junior lightweight Felix Verdejo. Yamaguchi Falcao received a light heavyweight bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Prior to the London Games, no Brazilian had won an Olympic boxing medal in 44 years.

There has not been a top professional fighter from Brazil since the early 2000s heyday of former lightweight and junior lightweight titlist Acelino "Popo" Freitas.