By Luis Sandoval
Renowned boxing trainer Virgil Hunter has his hands full these days as his stable of fighters has ballooned over the past year as more and more fighters have sought out his services. His most prized pupil has been and probably always will be Andre Ward who is considered among the top pound for pound fighters today.
The number one pound for pound fighter just fought recently as Floyd Mayweather Jr put on a dominant performance against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in the biggest fight of the year so far. I caught up with Virgil Hunter in Los Angeles and asked The Bay area based trainer for his thoughts on Mayweather’s performance.
“It was just an awesome and superb performance by a great, great fighter. He's got great people around him. His dad did a magnificent job coming in and taking over for Roger [Mayweather]who I wish him well in his health. Diabetes is nothing to play around with. But Floyd [Mayweather] Sr came in and didn't miss a beat with Floyd. Giving him the appropriate rest and recognizing what he needed to do at 36 years of age and I think it spoke for itself. He was strong, he was quick, [and] his reflexes were intact” Hunter would tell BoxingScene.
While some like Hunter appreciated the skill Mayweather displayed in the fight, others felt the performance wasn’t exciting enough for their taste. Hunter felt Mayweather’s performance was masterful and feels some people simply can’t appreciate the sweet science.
“He just put on a magnificent display boxing and how boxing should be. Hit you and you don't hit me. That's the way the sport should be. Anybody can go out there and teach rock em, sock em fighting, toe to toe dumb stuff but that's how boxing should be” said Hunter.
“I always say this: those who want to see the toe to toe thing, if they had a son and they brought their son to a trainer and that trainer said 'look, I'll teach your son how to go to war, toe to toe' and another trainer said 'I'll teach your son how to hit and not to be hit', they're going to leave their son with the one who says I'm going to teach him how to hit and not get hit. So they need to quit being hypocritical about how boxing should be. That’s [boxing in] its purest form and purest art and that's what should be respected. But you know today we don't have educated boxing fans with the MMA coming along with cock fighting type of image that it presents. You have fans who aren't very knowledgeable of the art of the sweet science but it was displayed at the highest level and it was just a beautiful thing to see”.
Hunter’s appreciation of Mayweather’s skill and boxing acumen is one he will continue to advocate as he himself tries to instill the same fundamentals in his fighters.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene Radio, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.