Eddie Hearn eyeing Filip Hrgovic vs. Michael Hunter
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is planning on matching heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic against Michael Hunter next. Hearn is excited about making that fight, as he believes that the boxing public will have a lot of in seeing the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) tested by the 32-year-old Hunter.
Hrgovic-Hunter is a fight that will test how a judge of talent Hearn is, as he recently chose not to offer a new contract to the 2012 U.S Olympian Hunter after his 10 round draw against Alexander Povetkin last December.
It was interesting that Hearn chose to let Hunter go from Matchroom even though he fought well enough to beat Povetkin. On top of that, it looks bad that Povetkin turned around and knocked out Matchroom fighter Dillian Whyte in the fifth round in his next contest in August.
Whyte isn’t being let go by Hearn despite being beaten by Povetkin and exposed. Hearn is excited about setting up a rematch between the two.
If Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) beats Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs), it’s going to be a blackeye for Hearn to let this fight happen. It’s clear that the huge 6’6″ Hrgovic, nicknamed ‘Stone Man,’ is slow and very hittable.
Although Hrgovic is still unbeaten, he’s not fought anyone remotely good since turning pro in 2017, and he’s wasted those years facing dreadful opposition. In Hrgovic’s last fight last Saturday, he stopped 38-year-old Rydell Booker in the fifth round.
Hearn: Hrgovic-Hunter, let’s go
“It’s difficult because he hasn’t had many fights as a pro, but he’s very, very good,” Hearn said to Boxing Social about Hrgovic. “I know sparring is sparring, but when he sparred David Haye back in the day, he said, ‘This kid can really fight.’
“We know what happened in the Hrgovic-Dubois spars, and this kid is dangerous; he’s special. The fight is Michael Hunter. There’s no point in beating around the bush.
“That’s the fight. I spoke to Kallie Sauerland today, our promotional partner in Hrgovic. That’s a great fight. It’s difficult. It would be very nice if Michael Hunter fights for free in that one because, apparently, he wants to fight for free.
“I’m sure we won’t be able to pay him the kind of money that he was used to when he was with Matchroom for that fight, but I’m sure there’s still good money in the fight, and it’s a great fight for both guys.
“Hunter can’t seem to get a break and an opportunity. No one really wants to fight Hrgovic because he’s too dangerous. So Hrgovic-Hunter, let’s go,” said Hearn.
Hearn is talking; he seems to be very confident that Hrgovic will win against Hunter. Hrvovic was beaten in the Olympics by Tony Yoka, and he also has loses to Roberto Cammarelle and Ivan Dychko.
He lacks an inside game, stands upright, and is easy to hit. Hrvovic also tends to throw a lot of punches to the back of his opponent’s heads. I’m sure it’s accidental, but that’s where Hrgovic’s shots land.
We’ll have to see what happens if Hunter beats Hrgovic the same way he defeated Sergey Kuzmin and Martin Bakole. Hunter does well against slow, plodding heavyweights, and Hrvovic is that type of fighter.
If Hunter beats Hrgovic, it’ll likely be the last time that Hearn lets him get a crack at one of his heavyweights from his Matchroom stable.
No one wants to fight Michael Hunter
“When the Povetkin fight fell through [for Dillian Whyte] if I went to Sky with that condensed schedule we had with Usyk-Chisora and AJ and the interest in the Povetkin rematch and said, ‘We’re going to fight Michael Hunter,'” Hearn said.
They would either say, ‘No, thank you, not at this time. We’d rather you wait for Povetkin,’ or ‘Okay, we have to warn you in this environment, that’s just not going to do the numbers.’
“In the end, it was like, ‘Dillian; I think you should just wait eight weeks past the original date. The fight that you must take against Povetkin is the one that you need.’
“I’ve always said that Michael Hunter is a great fighter, great personality, and he looks good. No one wants to fight him, and unfortunately, he hadn’t built the profile that he should have built, especially when he was coming through the system.
“We paid him a lot of money for his fights, and I’d love to work with him again. So Hrgovic-Hunter, let’s go. I don’t know if it’s his [Hunter] style.
“If he were a star and doing massive numbers, I would have offered him a new deal,” Hearn said in talking about why he released Hunter from Matchroom Boxing.
“There’s no other reason. I’m not saying that people don’t want to fight him, but AJ agreed to fight him, by the way. AJ agreed to fight him and Ruiz. Those were the two guys at the time, but he’s very difficult to beat,” said Eddie.
You can argue that Hrgovic is no more popular than Hunter is, especially in the UK. Hrgovic has no fan base in the UK, and it’s unclear if he ever will.
For Hrgovic to be adopted by the British boxing fans, he’ll need to fight a lot in the UK and start fighting quality guys instead of the third-tier fodder that his promoters have been feeding him since he turned professional.
Hunter is a tough fight for Hrgovic, said Hearn
“He moves a lot, he’s light, he’s quick. I don’t know,” Hearn said of Hunter. “I don’t feel he’s got the profile. And I know this doesn’t mean anything in terms of how good of a fighter he is.
“Michael Hunter has 9,000 Twitter followers. This is a guy that should be a star. The main problem is the way he was built. He fought Usyk and gave him a great fight, and I never even heard of him.
“When he came up to heavyweight and beat Martin Bakole, I’d never heard of Michael Hunter. That’s terrible. But then I read that he fought Usyk, and I thought, ‘Oh, okay.’
I can’t say enough good things about Michael Hunter. I’ve got no problems with him at all, and by the way, it’s a very tough fight for Hrgovic. I don’t think there’s anyone out there that wouldn’t want to see that fight,” said Hearn.
Hunter isn’t popular in the UK, but then again, neither is Hrgovic and Oleksandr Usyk. It’s hard for foreign fighters to become popular in the UK without fighting the best British guys.
Gennady Golovkin became popular in the UK after defeating Martin Murray, Matthew Macklin, and Kell Brook. If Hunter and Hrgovic had fought a lot in the UK during their short careers, they’d have some fans in that country if they fought quality guys.
Hearn didn’t want Whyte to fight Hunter
“First of all, Dillian Whyte isn’t fighting on November 21st,” Hearn said in justifying his reasons or not wanting Whyte to fight Hunter.
“If he was, then it’s another conversation,” said Hearn about his reluctance to let Whyte face Hunter. “My conversation about Tyson Fury is this. Who would you rather see Fury fight, Michael Hunter or Agit Kabayel?
“If you’re going to fight Agit Kabayel or Carlos Takam, I think Michael Hunter is a good fight. I’m not saying Dillian Whyte against Michael Hunter isn’t a good fight.
“Why take that fight when you’ve got the Povetkin fight that does twice the buys, and by the way, Sky might not even approve that on pay-per-view. He’s [Whyte] just been knocked out. He has to fight Povetkin.
“That’s the fight. Don’t mess around. Just wait and prepare and take that fight next,” Hearn said about not wanting Whyte to take a risky fight against Hunter.
You can’t blame Hearn for protecting Dillian Whyte from Hunter because he knows what could happen if he makes that fight. Hunter would likely expose Whyte like Povetkin did and end his days as a Sky Box Office pay-per-view guy.
Hunter would close down one of Matchroom’s revenue streams by beating Whyte and wrecking what’s left of his sagging career.
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