Michael Hunter Talks Potential Rematch With Usyk, With Bakole

By James Slater - 06/11/2024 - Comments

Newly crowned WBA “Gold” heavyweight champion Michael Hunter has been beaten by just one man, this being Oleksandr Usyk, while Hunter is the only man to have beaten Martin Bakole. And Hunter is in a pretty good position right now. Fresh off his shutout win over Cassius Chaney at the weekend, 35 year old Hunter is keen to run it back with both Usyk and Bakole.

As time is not on his side, at least one would think is the case, Hunter wants in on the big-money Saudi action, and the man from California says he wants his chance to “shine.” Speaking with IFL TV, Hunter, 23-1-2(16) says Bakole “has to come through me” if he wants to progress in the heavyweight division. First, Bakole faces unbeaten contender Jared Anderson in August. Hunter says the rematch can happen if Bakole gets the win.

“I think if he takes care of Big Baby Anderson, they’ll be talking a lot more about it,” Hunter said regarding a return with Bakole, who he stopped in October of 2018. “I think he has a task in front of him with Big Baby Anderson – I don’t know how that’s going to go – but yeah, if he wants to right his wrong, he has to definitely come through me at some point. He can run as much as he wants, but he can’t hide. I’m just waiting for him, whenever he wants that rematch he can come and get it at any point.”

A return between Hunter and Bakole would certainly be interesting, with the fight perhaps taking place on one of the big Saudi cards at some point. But first Bakole must come through against Anderson in Los Angeles. As for a return with Usyk, who scored a unanimous decision win over Hunter down at cruiserweight back in April of 2017, Hunter feels it would be a different story up at heavyweight.

“I hadn’t fought in a year prior to that, that was my first fight in a year, and I had $3,000 worth of camp to deal with it. So, there was a lot of different things that you don’t get to see behind the scenes, that end up biting you on the butt,” Hunter said when looking back on the loss to Usyk. “If he’s a real people-pleaser and he wants a real challenge, I think he should definitely step in and put me in there. I know he’s beaten all the guys, and I know there’s not too many competitors, but they’re still continuing to talk about him and I getting in the ring. I gave him a run for his money, and I think we would have a great competition if we got in there again; I think it would be just a beautiful boxing display, and the fans would get to see a very high-in chess match. I think it would be beautiful for boxing and for history as a whole. Step up, baby!”

Of these two possible return fights, it seems a Hunter-Bakole II is more likely than a Usyk-Hunter II. Usyk must win his rematch with Tyson Fury, and then the Ukrainian may drop back down to cruiserweight, this being something he recently said might happen. But Hunter deserves another big fight before he’s done. Now having won his last three fights, Hunter’s win over Chaney got him some attention.

Hunter is a good boxer and he has paid his dues. Hunter against someone like an Agit Kabayel would be interesting, or maybe Hunter against a Joseph Parker or a Joe Joyce, should Joyce beat Derek Chisora in July.

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Last Updated on 06/11/2024