Perhaps the dark horse of the current heavyweight division, former Olympian Michael Hunter, who is unbeaten as a heavyweight and 15-1(10) overall – the loss coming via decision against Oleksandr Usyk down at cruiserweight – wants to stay as busy as he possibly can. Tomorrow night, the Hasim Rahman-guided contender meets man-mountain Alexander Ustinov in Monaco, and already Hunter is looking to try and slip another fight in before the end of the year, in December.
Hunter, like every other heavyweight contender out there, wants a shot at Anthony Joshua, but the son of Mike “The Bounty” Hunter also aims to get Usyk back in the ring – in a return fight that would take place at heavyweight.
“Hopefully I will get to fight him again,” Hunter told Sky Sports about his Usyk aims. “I know he’s going to be moving up to heavyweight and hopefully my time will come where I meet him again. I was one of his toughest opponents, I would definitely say that. I can meet him on the boxing skills most of the time.”
Before he can get too excited about a rematch with Usyk (but Hunter would certainly make an interesting first heavyweight opponent for the undisputed cruiser king when he does make his move up) – the 30 year old must deal with veteran Ustinov. In October, Hunter took care of the much bigger (than him) Martin Bakole; scoring an impressive stoppage win in London. Hunter says he feels like a “giant slayer” at the moment.
“I’m pretty confident I’m going to chop him down,” Hunter said of former world title challenger Ustinov. “That’s the plan, to chop him down, and probably get him in the later rounds.”
If Hunter can stop Ustinov, and become only the second man to have done so (Kubrat Pulev being the other; in the 11th round) he will have picked up a decent win and a good statement. Then who knows, might Hunter be in the frame for an unexpected shot at AJ (as a “wildcard” opponent maybe), or for that sequel with pound-for-pound star Usyk?