Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Michael Hunter Details Sparring Ruiz To Prepare For Povetkin

Michael Hunter had a years long relationship with Andy Ruiz going back to his days as an Olympic hopeful training under the tutelage of Ruiz trainer Manny Robles.

Although he has former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman in his corner as his trainer ahead of his fight against Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) on Saturday as the co-feature to Ruiz’s rematch against Anthony Joshua, Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) parlayed his relationship with Ruiz into high-stakes practice.

“Sparring with the world champion was a big thing helping me in camp,” Hunter told in an interview. “There was no better fighter to spar with to prepare for Povetkin. Instead of Povetkin’s look alikes, I was going up against the heavyweight champion of the world.

“I think that Ruiz hits much harder than Povetkin will. It was a pleasure being a part of the team and it will be a big attribute to me in getting this victory. It was fresh, new and it worked out for the both of us."


Hunter believes he gave Ruiz a dose of Joshua’s timing and movement with his mimics.

“[The sparring] definitely got heated, said Hunter. “Andy doesn’t hold back. He’s a very heavy-handed person. It wasn’t light sparring. He’s a champion, and he has to present himself that way, especially now. There’s heat with that. I needed him. He needed me. It was the right thing to do but once they reached out, it was a no brainer.

“He will definitely be able to reach and touch Anthony Joshua. It was a good strategy for me as well because we are going to be in the same spirit, the same arena. I’ve known him for a long time, and I understand his road. I was also there for moral support, and it all went well. It was a cohesive, friend-and-family type situation. It seemed perfect.”

Hunter is coming off a decision win against previously unbeaten, top-15 heavyweight challenger Sergey Kuzmin in September.

Hunter is looking to make a statement and throw his name in the heavyweight ring as the next contender to keep an eye out for in the chaotic division.

“Nobody calls me out because they don’t want to deal with what I have to offer,” said Hunter. “After this performance, they will continue dodging me and not say my name. I’m not sure if I’ll get the same opportunity. But I want bigger fights, and I know the fans will call for it. The worst thing a fighter can do is not fight, but I want to show my face as much as I can in 2020. This is a young man’s sport, and I want to show people what I’m really about any chance I get.”

DAZN’s stream will start at 11 a.m. ET, with the main event expected to take place 3:30 p.m. ET.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Bronx2245 on 12-07-2019

Michael "The Bounty" Hunter and Usyk might be the two best well rounded fighters in the HW division! The only question will be their chins! I expect Povetkin to chin check Hunter early! If Hunter can pass the test, I…

Comment by DuckAdonis on 12-07-2019

Thinking Ruiz hits harder than Povetkin is a mistake imo. Who has Ruiz KOd aside from Joshua? He couldn't KO Liakhovich and Zumbano. He didn't put Dimitrenko down over 5 rounds. Those guys don't really have good chins

Top Headlines
Tyson Fury: After I Beat Wilder - I'll Sit Down With Dana White Alberto Machado's Handlers Pushing For Francisco Vargas Clash Oubaali vs. Donaire WBC Bantamweight Title Fight Heads To Purse Bid Hearing McGregor: Mayweather Going Through Money Fast - Rematch Will Happen Fortuna vs. Campbell: WBC Orders Purse Bid, Jan. 21 in Mexico City Claressa Shields Fires Back at Laila Ali: You're All Bark, No Bite! Chris Colbert: I Knew I Was Going To Dominate The Corrales Fight Felix Verdejo: I Give Myself a 'C' - I Want To Keep Working Hard Alvarez: I Wanted To Come Back as The Fighter That Beat Kovalev Rosario: I Saw My Power Affected Julian Williams Right Away Eleider Alvarez Blasts Out Michael Seals With One Shot Julian Williams: I Have Rematch Clause, It Will Be Immediate! Jeison Rosario Batters Julian Williams in Huge Upset Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz Get Wins in New York Jonathan Guzman Blasts Hernandez in Knockdown War Joey Spencer: I'm Going To Stay Busy, Have Four Fights in 2020 Tyson Fury: McGregor Back in Boxing is Great For The Sport! Floyd Mayweather Teases Rematch With Conor McGregor Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals - CompuBox Punch Stats Jeison Rosario vs. Julian Williams - CompuBox Punch Stats Eleider Alvarez Crushes Michael Seals With One Shot in Seventh Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Felix Verdejo Easily Decisions Manuel Rey Rojas Over 10 Rounds Jeison Rosario Batters Julian Williams For TKO in Five, Shocker To Win Titles Julian Williams vs. Jeison Rosario - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Colbert Drops, Out-Points Corrales; Wins WBA Interim 130-Pound Title Joey Spencer Stays Unbeaten, Out-Points Spring In 6-Rounder Sebastian Formella, Peter Kadiru Win Big in Hamburg Jorge Cota Stops Game Cornflake LaManna In Fifth Round Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals - LIVE Results From New York Vito Mielnicki Beats Wilson By Decision On Williams-Rosario Card Williams-Rosario - LIVE Results From Philadelphia Estrella on Ergashev Body Shot: I Couldn't Hear, I Couldn't Move Rosario: In His Heart & Mind, Williams Thinks I'm An Easy Fight Shishkin: I Want Canelo, Benavidez, I Want The Champions Next Julian Williams: I'm Coming To Dominate, Win in Spectacular Fashion Eleider Alvarez: Canelo Didn't Fight Same Kovalev I Fought Twice Colbert: We're Looking For Leo Santa Cruz at The End of 2020! Williams: Hurd Has To Live With Loss In Hometown, Ducking Rematch Seals: I Want Beterbiev; Would Be Explosive, PPV Entertainment
Latest Forum Threads