Earlier this year, Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic got the call to fight Michael Hunter in an IBF final eliminator. “The Bounty” wound up bailing on the fight in favor of a WBA eliminator against the hapless Mike Wilson, and three months later, it seems Hrgovic couldn’t find an alternate opponent to the IBF’s liking, and he’s now set to stay busy September 10th against unbeaten Marko Radonjic.
Montenegro’s Radonjic (22-0, 22 KO) is BoxRec’s 229th-ranked heavyweight, which should give you some idea of his level of opposition. His last two victories were his first over opponents with winning records, meaning any outcome other than Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KO) flatlining him within four rounds would be a shock.
“This is going to be a great fight between two top heavyweights,” said Hrgović. “I have a lot of respect for Radonjic for taking this fight when many wouldn’t. I’m excited to box at the Wörthersee Stadium. I expect a lot of Croatians to travel to support me and I look forward to fighting in front of the Austrian fans too. Radonjic has a good record, he has won all his fights by knockout, but he has never fought anyone like me. On September 10, he will feel my power and the ‘Montenegro Hammer’ will fall!”
“Filip Hrgović is a great fighter and I’m really looking forward to fighting him,” says Radonjic. “It will be an exciting fight between two big punching heavyweights. I know Hrgović is a good boxer but I’m confident I can beat him. I will take the IBF International Title home with me. The ‘Montenegro Hammer’ is coming to win!”
Honestly, I’m more interested in where the IBF goes from here.
Matchroom Sport Chairman, Eddie Hearn, said: “Filip Hrgović is one of the most avoided men in the Heavyweight division and finding an opponent with the courage to step in the ring with him has been a challenge. Virtually the whole of the IBF top 15 turned down the opportunity to face him in a Final Eliminator. It’s great to see the Croatian contender in action against the undefeated ‘Montenegro Hammer’ Marko Radonjic. Both men hold perfect records and I’m expecting an explosive Heavyweight fight in Austria on September 10.”
Hrgovic is presently ranked 4th behind the empty #1 slot, #2 Charles Martin, and #3 Oleksandr Usyk. Martin already turned down an eliminator with Michael Hunter and Usyk’s fighting champion Anthony Joshua in a month. Do they order Martin to fight Hrgovic and start the process all over again?