Unbeaten heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic, 12-0(10), just might be the most avoided heavyweight out there today. Certainly, as Eddie Hearn has said, it’s so, so frustrating trying to get Hrgovic a willing opponent in the IBF final eliminator the 29-year-old has been waiting and waiting to fight.
Speaking with Boxing Social, Hearn said that of the 15 top-ranked fighters in the IBF heavyweight rankings, not one has been willing to take the fight.
Hearn is exasperated at the way good fighters such as Luis Ortiz, Andy Ruiz, Michael Hunter, and others have not shown any interest in taking the fight with Hrgovic – a fight that, should they take it and win it, would earn them a shot at Anthony Joshua’s IBF belt.
Hearn explained to Boxing Social how it was going to be Martin Bakole for Hrgovic, but now Bakole wants a warm-up fight first. Hrgovic is fast running out of patience, and who can blame him?
“It’s probably the most frustrating thing going because we’ve been going down the IBF [rankings], probably every day, trying to find someone willing to step in the ring with Filip Hrgovic,” Hearn said.
“The latest one was Martin Bakole. Billy Nelson (trainer of Bakole) said we wouldn’t be ready for August but would be ready for September, we said okay, a bit disappointing but let’s go ahead, and now I’m being told he wants a warm-up fight.
“Someone in that top 15 has got a chance to fight Filip Hrgovic in a final eliminator for Anthony Joshua. And we have gone through – and I don’t want to shame everybody – we have gone through the whole rankings, and we’ve yet to find one person who will do it.
We need to make a fight for Filip Hrgovic because he’s waited too long now. I think people look at Hrgovic, and they think, ‘I don’t think I can beat Filip Hrgovic.’
You look at the names Charles Martin, Andy Ruiz, Luis Ortiz, Tony Yoka, just so many fighters who, if they win, you are mandatory to AJ! But I guess that shows you how much of a problem Filip Hrgovic is for people.”
Hrgovic, an amazing talent which shone as an amateur before going pro in September of 2017, has not fought since stopping Rydell Booker back in November of 2020.
It is amazing how nobody wants a piece of the Croatian. Inactivity may well prove to be Hrgovic’s biggest threat, not any other fighting man. Is Hrgovic that good, that dangerous, that not one ranked contender is willing to face him?
We never hear any of the fighters Hearn mentioned speaking Hrgovic’s name, that’s for certain. It’s frustrating for Hrgovic, it’s frustrating for his team, and it’s frustrating for his fans.
Hrgovic is cursed with being too good for his own good. Who knows what the solution is to this particular problem?