Eddie Hearn wins purse bid for Filip Hrgovic vs. Michael Hunter fight
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn reveals that he’s won the purse bid to stage the IBF heavyweight title eliminator between 2016 bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic and #4 IBF Michael Hunter with the winner of the match to become IBF champion Anthony Joshua’s mandatory.
Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing company promotes the career of the 6’6″ Croatian Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs), so it makes sense for him to be hoping he wins.
If ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic beats the 32-year-old Hunter, it would set up an in-house Matchroom promoted fight between Joshua and Hrvovic.
It’s expected that the four-year professional Hrgovic will be a huge favorite against Hunter when that fight is made. Hunter, 6’3″, doesn’t possess the power or the size that Hrgovic possesses.
Hunter’s high work rate and combination punching ability will at least give him a fighting chance of defeating the more powerful Hrgovic.
For Hunter to win, he’s going to have to put it on Hrgovic in the same way he did in his wins over Martin Bakole, Sergey Kuzmin, Iago Kiladze, and Alexander Ustinov.
Hunter won’t be able to beat Hrgovic by boxing him because he’ll be the A-side, and his power shots will likely impress the judges more.
The way for Hunter to win is to take Hrgovic in the trenches and wear him down in the same way that Tony Yoka did in beating him in the amateurs.
Up until two years ago, the 2012 U.S Olympian Hunter (19-1-1, 13 KOs) was promoted by Hearn, but he chose not to renew his contract after he fought to a 12 round draw against Alexander Povetkin in 2019.
Since turning professional in 2017, Hrgovic has wins over these fighters:
- Eric Molina
- Mario Heredia
- Rydell Booker
- Amir Mansour
- Kevin Johnson
- Sean Turner
- Tom Little
One area where Hrgovic has been heavily criticized by boxing fans is his tendency to throw rabbit punches during his fights. For whatever reason, many of Hrgovic’s shots tend to land to the back of his opponent’s heads.
We’ll have to see how Hunter deals with the rabbit punches from Hrgovic. Hunter isn’t the type to let his opponents foul him all night long without complaining to the referee to get him to do his job of policing the fight.
If Hunter wins this fight, it would set up an improbable title shot for him. After Hunter’s draw with Povetkin in 2019, it was believed that he likely would never get a title shot against Joshua.
But here Hunter is one fight away from earning a crack at the winner of the two Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fights. Whoever wins the Hrgovic vs. Hunter fight, they’re going to need to wait until at least 2022 before they’ll have a chance to fight for the IBF world title.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) April 20, 2021
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