Michael Hunter Wins Impressive Victory in Opener While Deontay Wilder Drops a Heartbreaker at the 2007 Boxing World Championships

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – The United States team suffered its first loss of the 2007 AIBA World Championships within minutes of recording its fifth victory. Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) recorded a third round stoppage in his match-up with Andres Ruiz Ponce of Mexico, but heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) dropped a 23-20 decision to Poland’s Krzysztof Zimnoch..

The two U.S. boxers were scheduled to compete at the exact same time, but due to an earlier stoppage, Hunter took the ring first for his contest with Ruiz Ponce. He put on a show from start to finish, and moved out to a 6-1 lead after one. Yet it was the second round when Hunter began to truly showcase his speed and movement, pouring on the points to take a commanding 17-1 lead at the midway point. He closed the show in the third round, extending his advantage to a 21-1 margin at the 1:08 mark of the third to take the mandatory stoppage victory.

“I knew I have more bouts to come so I wanted to make it easy as possible. The first round I tried to feel him out, and see what he had,” Hunter said. In the second round, I could tell that I was a lot faster than him so I picked it up. In the third round, I just went to the body and finished it.”

Wilder took the ring for his first-ever international bout as Hunter stepped out of the ring and he enjoyed the early momentum in the bout. Despite battling a bad cold and ear infection, Wilder outboxed Zimnoch through the early going, taking a 4-1 advantage after the first round. He continued to use his height advantage in the second round, maintaining control of the bout and enjoyed a 9-5 lead at the halfway mark of the contest. Yet Zimnoch began mounting a comeback in the third stanza of action, pressing Wilder as he struggled to catch his breath due to his illness. Wilder held a slim 15-13 advantage as the final round began, and despite his efforts to keep Zimnoch at bay, the Polish boxer grabbed his first lead with just over a minute remaining in the bout. The two battled for control of the bout over the final minute with the Polish contingent in the arena out-yelling the United States’ fans, and Wilder competing valiantly for the victory. Yet it was Zimnoch emerging victorious, as he won a 23-20 final decision, eliminating Wilder from the tournament.

“I wasn’t looking for a slugfest, I wanted to jab and throw a straight one-two, but that’s what it evolved into. By my dealing with a severe cold, it slowed me down a little bit,” Wilder said. “If I can control my breathing, I can move the way I want. If I can’t breathe, I can’t move. I thought I was winning but I should have kept up with the jab game instead of the slugfest. You live and learn and you move on.”

Deontay Wilder Quotes

“I’ve been battling the cold with the Chicago winds, it hit me at a late time and I wasn’t able to control it.”

“I’m a much better boxer than this or I wouldn’t have made it this far, but I wasn’t expecting this. I never get down on myself, there is a first time for everything, I’ve never lost this fast.”

“I thought I had it by the way then fans were whooping and yelling, so I might have slacked off at the end. But I have to learn how to lose; I’m just going to work harder. I wasn’t planning on losing this early so I have a long week ahead.”

Michael Hunter Quotes

“My jab was working, I just kept the fast jab going and came down the middle. My coaches were telling me that I was faster than him and to box. I didn’t want to make it a fight, I have a lot of bouts to go.”

“It is different (than the junior world champions); the competition is tougher, and there are older guys now. Before, it was guys my age, I’m 19 and now there are guys that have their man strength so I have to use my speed.”

U.S. Results

201 lbs/91 kg: Krzysztof Zimnoch, POL, dec. Deontay Wilder, Tuscaloosa, Ala./USA, 23-20

201+ lbs/91+ kg: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev./USA stopped Andres Ruiz Ponce, MEX, RSCO-3

Article posted on 24.10.2007

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