Is Filip Hrgovic the best of the current crop of young and unbeaten heavyweights? Maybe. The 28 year old Croatian made a statement of sorts last night in becoming the first man to stop crafty, tough, sometimes spoiler Rydell Booker. It wasn’t pretty – Hrgovic referred to his own performance as “stiff” and “tight” – but Hrgovic got the stoppage in round five when the ref had seen enough.
Now 12-0(10), Hrgovic wants a meaningful fight next. A meaningful fight he hopes will lead him to a shot at one of the world heavyweight titles. After stopping 39 year old Booker, his former sparring partner, now 26-4(13), Hrgovic called out just about every ranked heavyweight who isn’t currently holding a world title. Hrgovic called out Michael Hunter, Daniel Dubois, Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora and Zhang Zhilei.
“I want all these guys to fight and to beat. This would be my preparation for the best in the division,” a victorious Hrgovic said last night.
A fight between Hrgovic and free agent Hunter would be very interesting, and the fight would make sense for both men. Hunter, a classy heavyweight with skills, cannot seem to get himself a fight. He appears to have one now if he wants it. As for Dubois, Povetkin and Whyte, they are all busy – Dubois to fight Joe Joyce on November 28, Povetkin and Whyte to box their postponed rematch in January. As for Chisora, we know “War” will fight absolutely anybody, so maybe this is a fight that can be made for next year. And unbeaten Chinese giant Zhilei, who stopped Devin Vargas on last night’s card, seems to be hoping for a big fight with Anthony Joshua.
Hrgovic and his team have full belief the former amateur standout is not only the best young heavyweight on the scene, but the future dominant champion of the weight class. Hrgovic and his handlers say contracts sent to potential foes are not returned, that in a nutshell nobody wants to fight him. To get to the title, Hrgovic will have to go the mandatory route, Kasse Sauerland said a couple of days ago.
Hopefully, Hrgovic will get his chance some time in 2021.