Heavyweight contenders Hughie Fury and Michael Hunter will face off in a final WBA world title eliminator on Saturday July 2nd at the AO Arena Manchester, live and exclusively on Sky Sports.
The WBA has ordered that the winner of Fury vs Hunter will go on to challenge the winner of the upcoming June 11 WBA world heavyweight title fight between defending world champion Trevor Bryan and British contender Daniel Dubois.
Manchester giant Fury and American dangerman Hunter will put everything on the line in this high-stakes crossroads fight. With the world title in sight for the victor, fireworks are guaranteed.
Fury (26-3-0, 15 KO’s), ranked at #4 in the WBA, is fired up for his clash with Hunter and he’s been focused on a second world shot since September 2017 when his challenge for the WBO World Title, at just 23-years-old, ended in a controversial points loss to Joe Parker.
Fury, managed by Mick Hennessy, was in top form last October in Newcastle when he forced rugged rival Christian Hammer to retire on his stool after five rounds. Until then Fury was at his best, landing accurate jabs and uppercuts and forcing Hammer’s first stoppage loss since his 2015 defeat by Hughie’s cousin Tyson Fury.
Fury, still just 27, is on an unbeaten three fight run with victories over Hammer, Mariusz Wach and Pavel Sour since his points loss to heavy hitter Povetkin in August 2019.
“I take the fights everyone avoids. Michael Hunter has fought the best and is up there with the best. These are the fights I want, to show who is the best fighter out there. I’m looking forward to this challenge. I believe I’m one of the best fighters in the world and this is another big fight to prove I stand with the top three in the world heavyweight division," said Fury.
WBA #2 rated Hunter (20-1-2, 14 KO’s) has been swerved by many of the big names in the division and is targeting his first world heavyweight title shot after a points loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2017 for the WBO cruiserweight title. He will be aiming to cause a big upset in defeating Fury.
Known as the ‘Bounty’, Michael’s father Mike was a former fringe heavyweight contender in the 80s and 90s who fought some of the big names of the era including Buster Mathis Jr., Tyrell Biggs and Frans Botha.
He represented America in the London 2012 Olympics and turned pro shortly after starting out in the cruiserweight ranks and quickly put together an undefeated run before challenging Usyk.
To highlight the serious threat that Hunter presents to Fury, Hunter caused a massive upset on his last visit to Britain in October 2019 when he stopped the unbeaten prospect Martin Bakole in the 10th round of a thrilling fight, the referee intervening to wave the fight off when Bakole was defenceless under a flurry of heavy blows .
Since then Hunter has gone unbeaten in seven fights, including a December 2019 draw with Povetkin in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, which he believes should rightly have been a decision win in his favour.
“We’re excited to return to Manchester and the iconic AO Arena Manchester for a fight which has everything on the line. Hughie Fury has patiently built his way back to world title contention and has overcome big challenges along the way. This is another big test against one of the most avoided fighters in the division.” said BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom.
“Hughie is only just about to come into his prime and so if he can get past Michael then he puts himself unquestionably in the mix for world titles in the coming months and years. Michael will also believe this is the chance he is waiting for, and with such a big opportunity on the line for the winner, both fighters will be giving everything.’
Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development Adam Smith, said, “What a fabulous match up in the blue ribbon division as Hughie Fury has a serious heavyweight test against the excellent Michael Hunter - whose talent we know well on Sky! Can Hughie now emerge from the shadows to produce a career-best performance or will the classy and avoided American gatecrash the world scene?”