Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter, whose contract with Matchroom Boxing expired after his December fight with Alexander Povetkin, has parted with Eddie Hearn and co. “on good terms” and intends to return to the ring in September.
“I’m working on a fight in September but I’ve parted ways with DAZN and Matchroom. I’m putting that out there. I’m basically a free agent now, and I’m looking for opportunities. I’m not sure where that’s going to lead me. I love Matchroom, I don’t have a problem with Matchroom. I like the company, but I think it wasn’t feasible for them to continue to allow me to be a part of their company, but not fully embracing the company. They had to make a decision where they fully embraced me or let me go.”
Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KO) also reiterated his desire for an IBF eliminator against Charles Martin, who sits two spots above him at #2 in the sanctioning body’s rankings.
“Absolutely. Anybody that thinks they can beat me and they’re in the top 10, is definitely on my list right now, whether they’re above me or below me. There’s no other way that Michael Hunter will get a title shot, unless it’s a mandatory spot. I know that for sure.”
Patrick Stumberg thinks that’s a fair assessment, what with the 31-year-old’s lopsided risk/reward ratio and the critical mass of conflicting obligations facing Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Hunter has yet to taste defeat since a loss to Oleksandr Usyk sent him from cruiserweight to heavyweight, picking up notable wins against Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin before fighting Povetkin to a competitive draw. He looks to have plenty left in the tank and figures to be a solid pickup for any promoter that fancies him. I hear Top Rank’s last heavyweight acquisition went full “I never thought leopards would eat MY face” on them, so maybe they’re in the market.