Former U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter has joined the Matchroom Boxing stable and will be making his first appearance under their banner on May 25th as part of the Oleksandr Usyk-Carlos Takam undercard in Maryland.
His opponent will reportedly be revealed tomorrow, at which point I’ll update this post.
Hunter (16-1, 11 KO) had the misfortune of being booked against Artur Beterbiev in the first round back in London, but joined a large chunk of the U.S. squad in turning pro soon afterwards. He proceeded to go 12-0 as a cruiserweight, including a win over Isiah Thomas, before unsuccessfully challenging Usyk for the WBO title.
This prompted a move to heavyweight, where he’s become a wholly unexpected contender. He defied a nearly 42-pound weight difference to shock top prospect Martin Bakole in October, then a 65-pound gap against Alexander Ustinov a month later. The man’s literally just not cutting weight; he weighed in around 213 for both of those fights and the strategy appears to be working.
I’m not sure what the 30-year-old’s ceiling is or whether the powers-that-be will match him against Usyk again, but I’ll be rooting for him.