Michael Hunter II has become a problem in the heavyweight division.
Unfortunately—and through no fault of his own—he’s also become a nightmare for his handlers to pair up in the ring.
“We have to find Michael Hunter a fight, no question,” Eddie Hearn, Hunter’s promoter told BoxingScene.com. “He’s really become the boogeyman of the heavyweight division.”
The second-generation boxer—whose late father Michael Sr. was a heavyweight gatekeeper for a time during 1980s and 1990s—is currently riding a seven-fight unbeaten streak. The lone loss of his career came in a hard-fought 12-round loss to Oleksandr Usyk in their April 2017 cruiserweight title fight.
Both are campaigning in the heavyweight division these days, Usyk having moved up in 2019 while Hunter (18-1-1, 12KOs) bulked up immediately after their aforementioned clash. The Las Vegas-based heavyweight rattled off six straight wins, including dominant showings over previously unbeaten prospects Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin.
In his most recent start, Hunter went 12 hard rounds with former secondary titlist Alexander Povektin (35-2-1, 24KOs). The two were forced to settle for a draw in supporting capacity to England’s Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21KOs) reclaiming his slew of heavyweight titles from California’s Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22KOs) last December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The DAZN bill was loaded with heavyweight action, including top-rated contender Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18KOs) outpointing Poland’s Mariusz Wach.
Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing is in the process of putting together several compelling heavyweight fights in the next few months. Joshua is due to face mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, a bout which will serve as the final leg of three heavyweight-themed main events which includes tentative bouts between Usyk and Derek Chisora
(32-9, 23KOs) as well as a compelling clash between Whyte and Povetkin.
That leaves Hunter, for the moment, as an available heavyweight eager to remain active though with his divisional peers nowhere nearly as cooperative.
“’Mike who?’ My favorite excuse,” Hunter recently quipped on social media, where he routinely calls out anyone on the division available to fight.
The good news is, there will be less to worry about on his end once his team can finally secure a notable heavyweight willing to answer the call.
“It’s no easy task but he’s willing to fight anyone,” notes Hearn. “So, we can expect him to jump back into the deep end and we hope to find him a fight soon.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox