NEW YORK—Michael Hunter II didn’t waste any time taking the fight to a bigger foe in his latest win.
Afterward, he didn’t waste any time in attempting to line up his next order of business.
“I want (Alexander) Povetkin,” Hunter (18-1, 12KOs) bluntly stated, calling out the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and former heavyweight title challenger shortly after Friday’s near-shutout win over previously unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11KOs) in New York City. “If you see me Povetkin, I’m coming for you.”
It seemed a bold step even after dominating Povetkin’s Russian countryman in Kuzmin live on DAZN from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Then again, Hunter—whose late father of the same name was a heavyweight contender during the late 1980s and early 1990s—has no intention of wasting his time at this weight. It’s why he moved up from cruiserweight following a brief stint resulting in his lone career defeat, a competitive but clear 12-round loss to unbeaten World cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usky in Apri; 2017.
Six wins have followed, including the landslide victory over Kuzmin. It comes two weeks after the 40-year old Povetkin (35-2, 24KOs) resurrected his career with a clear-cut 12-round win over England’s Hughie Fury.
The timing works out to pair the two together.
“That’s the fight I want to make in Saudi Arabia, Michael Hunter vs. Alexander Povetkin,” promoter Eddie Hearn told BoxingScene.com and other reporters following Friday’s show in NYC, referring to the Dec. 7 card in Riyadh, S.A. headlined by the heavyweight title fight rematch between California’s Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22KOs) and England’s Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21KOs). “It’s a good next fight for Hunter, who’s kind of like a miracle man. He goes in there sort of like a blown-up cruiserweight, because—let’s be honest—that’s really what he is.
“He’s going in there beating up big guys. He didn’t lose a round tonight against Sergey Kuzmin, who is supposed to be a Top 15 heavyweight. He made him look average. He’s undersized but he’s got big heart and he really knows his way around a ring.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox