Eddie Hearn is frustrated that Michael Hunter failed to agree to take the fight with 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) for the IBF heavyweight title eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger for champion Anthony Joshua.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn says he won the purse bid to stage the fight, but when he sent the contract to Hunter’s team, he was told they weren’t interested.
Not surprisingly, Hearn isn’t pleased with having wasted so much time trying to put the fight together between Hrgovic and Hunter.
Hearn says they’ll now go down the list in the International Boxing Federation top 10 rankings to pick the next opponent to negotiate to fight the 6’6″ ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic in the IBF title eliminator.
This is the current IBF top 10:
1. Not rated
2. Charles Martin
3. Oleksandr Usyk
4. Michael Hunter
5. Filip Hrgovic
6. Joseph Parker
7. Agit Kabayel
8. Tony Yoka
9. Luis Ortiz
10. Kubrat Pulev
“Not might, he pulled out of the fight,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social about Michael Hunter pulling out of the IBF title eliminator against Hrgovic.
“What a waste of time for Filip Hrgovic. You know the guys accept the position, we negotiate the fight, we got to purse bid, I win the purse bid; it’s a good purse bid, it’s solid money, and then he [Hunter] says, ‘Yeah, the Bounty Hunter is coming.
“Hrgovic, you’re going to get it, blah, blah, blah.’ And then I send the contracts, and then they just write, ‘We’re not taking the fight.’
“What is he [Michael Hunter] doing? He hasn’t got any offers coming in. If he’d won that fight, he’s [IBF] mandatory for the world title.
“It’s absolutely bizarre, and I feel for Filip Hrgovic because he’s been messed around as well. So we go back down the list and see who it is,” said Hearn.
It’s hard to know why Hunter chose not to sign for the fight with Hrgovic. Perhaps he saw it as a bad match-up for him because there’s no other explanation one can come up with to decide why Hunter wouldn’t take this fight.
Unless Hunter has another path to a title that doesn’t involve taking a risky fight, it doesn’t make sense for him to turn down the opportunity.
If Hunter beats Hrgovic, he would be the IBF mandatory for the Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fights winner.
Fighting for the IBF title against one of those two champions would set Hunter up for life with the money.
“After this fight, I will be IBF mandatory,” Hrgovic said to Sky Sports. “Whoever wins, Joshua or Fury, I look forward to that fight.
“It will be a huge fight for me. They are both big names, huge stars, great boxers,” said Hrgovic.