Heavyweight Michael Hunter: ‘I will take anyone on’

Michael Hunter will step up his pursuit of major fights in the Heavyweight division as he faces Fabio Maldonado at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Saturday May 25, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Hunter (16-1 11 KOs) has notched four wins at Heavyweight since moving up from Cruiserweight, with his last three coming inside the distance and impressively in his last two outings, stopping the touted Martin Bakole in the tenth and final round of their clash in London in October and then traveling to Monte Carlo to stop former World title challenger Alexander Ustinov in the ninth round of their battle a month later.

‘The Bounty’ is already in the reckoning for major fights amongst the big boys, having found himself in the conversation to face Anthony Joshua on the Heavyweight rulers American debut at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1.

That honor has landed to Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr but with the Heavyweight scene as vibrant as ever and ready to come into focus over the next couple of months with champions and top contenders all in action, Hunter’s clash with the dangerous Brazilian banger Maldonado (26-2 25 KOs) is a pivotal one for him to remain in the reckoning for massive fights later in the year.

“I’m here to stay at Heavyweight whatever is next,” said Hunter. “There’s a lot of avenues for me, a number of big fights out there and I will take anyone on. I’m always in the gym and I’m a real, traditional fighter that will take anyone. I have a lot more doors open for me but the first task is to win and win well against Maldonado, who is a dangerous and experienced guy.

“I’ve always been a small Heavyweight. I just started off as a Cruiserweight as a pro but I’ve always been a Heavyweight really. I will just do what I do best and be me. I was a Heavyweight as a teen and as an amateur, I’ve boxed lots of Heavyweight fights but as I started to mature into the pro game and getting into my ‘man frame’ the weight started dropping off and Cruiserweight became a real option for me.

“Here I am now as a Heavyweight, my dream was always to be a Heavyweight, nothing else. I didn’t really think about Cruiserweight until I found out about the different divisions were, because as a kid you know the biggest, baddest man on the planet is the Heavyweight World champion and that’s what I want to be.”

Hunter’s clash with Maldonado is part of a huge night of action in Maryland as one of the world’s hottest talents, Devin Haney, is closing in on a first World title shot, and the 20 year old Lightweight sensation faces Antonio Moran on his DAZN debut.

In addition, rising Heavyweight Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic takes on Gregory Corbin in his US debut, and WBA World Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill looks to unify the division against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez.

Hasim Rahman: ‘I believe (Michael)Hunter beats all current heavyweight champs right now’

Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs), is calling out all top ten contenders in the heavyweight division. Hunter is riding an impressive four-fight winning streak where he captured two recognizable titles, both of which came under the tutelage of former two-time heavyweight world champion, Hasim Rahman, who took over as head trainer in October of 2018.

On October 13, 2018, Michael Hunter traveled overseas to London, UK, and scored a 10th round TKO over previously unbeaten foe, Martin Ilunga (11-1, 8 KOs), capturing the IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. Incredibly, the following month, Hunter again traveled outside of the United States to Monte Carlo, Monaco, and scored another unbelievable TKO against Alexander Ustinov (34-3, 25 KOs), this time winning the vacant World Boxing Association International Heavyweight title in the process.

“I’ve been telling everyone I’m on a mission to become the heavyweight championship of the world, and that I would go overseas and bring back knockout victories,” said a confident Michael Hunter. “I had no choice, I knew I needed knockouts, or else I wouldn’t get a decision in their native land. In both fights with Ilunga and Ustinov, I dug deep and got them both out of there. I believe in myself and I know I can beat any contender, or any of the heavyweight champions out there. With Rahman in my corner, no one is going to stop me.”

Rahman believes Hunter, who does all his training at the Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas, has all the talent to dethrone the current heavyweight champions, including Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury.

“Michael hunter is the best heavyweight in the world,” proclaims former two-time heavyweight world champion, Hasim Rahman. “Hunter beat every American heavyweight in USA Boxing from 2008 -2012. Michael has the heart, the speed, the DNA, and underestimated punching power to capture the heavyweight championship of the world. In addition, Mike has been in the ring with the likes of Tyson Furry, sparred with Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, the Klitschko Brothers, and more than held his own with them all. There’s no reason why Hunter shouldn’t be considered a serious candidate for a title shot. We’re willing to fight Joe Joyce, Dillan Whyte, Trevor Bryan, Joseph Parker, or any other heavyweight contender to earn a shot to all the heavyweight champs. I believe Hunter beats all current heavyweight champs right now.”

“I know my name is hunter, but I’m not a typical hunter with a gun.” Hunter concluded. “I promise I won’t shoot to kill, I’ll just knock you out, and you will live to fight another day. It’s hunting season!”

“Mike hunter is the future of the heavyweight division,” said Rahman. “Any of the names I mentioned, feel free to go goodnight. Mike Hunter will defeat you and put the world on notice.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime