Filip Hrgovic vs. Michael Hunter purse bid on April 20thth
By Charles Brun: A purse bid for the heavyweight IBF title eliminator between #4 Michael ‘The Bounty’ Hunter and #5 ranked Filip ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic has been rescheduled for April 20th, a fight that will decide the next mandatory for IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
This is a very winnable fight for Hunter against the robotic Hrgovic, as long as he doesn’t get hit with one of Filip’s rabbit punches that he tends to throw. Hunter has an excellent chance of winning this fight with Hrgovic, which would be a massive disappointment to promoter Eddie Hearn.
That’s not to say that the winner of the Hunter vs. Hrgovic will necessarily get a chance to fight Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), as he may get dethroned by WBC champion Tyson Fury in July when the two fight.
The titles are expected to be peeled off one by one after the first Joshua vs. Fury fight so that the IBF belt may be vacated. The same can be said of the WBO strap.
If Fury gets his hands on the IBF title, it’s debatable whether he’ll elect to fight the Hrgovic vs. Hunter winner. He may decide to vacate the IBF strap and go in the direction of the highest-paying fight, which obviously would be the talented American Deontay Wilder.
The 2016 Olympic super heavyweight bronze medalist ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) has been fighting woefully bad opposition since turning pro in 2017.
Despite fighting in the Olympics, the tall 6’6″ Hrgovic is being matched by his handlers like a novice fighter, recently putting him in with over-matched 40-year-old Rydell Booker, 38-year-old Eric Molina, Alexandre Kartozia, and Mario Heredia.
2012 U.S Olympian Hunter (19-1-1, 13 KOs) hasn’t been matched in the same way as Hrgovic by his promoters, who have already had him fighting these guys:
- Alexander Povetkin
- Martin Bakole
- Sergey Kuzmin
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Fabio Maldonado
- Iago Kiladze
- Alexander Ustinov
- Isiah Thomas
You can glean from how Hunter and ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic have been matched; the handlers for the talented American have more confidence in him than the Croatian management has of him.
Interestingly, Matchroom Boxing chose not to renew Hunter’s contract with them shortly after he defeated their fighter Martin Bakole and fought to a controversial 10 round draw against Alexander Povetkin BEFORE he knocked out Dillian Whyte.
The magic question is, why didn’t Matchroom keep Hunter when he clearly beat Bakole and arguably deserved a victory over Povetkin? They kept Bakole and Zhilei Zhang in their stable and let the talented Hunter walk. It’s bizarre.
At the very least, Eddie Hearn should have used Hunter as an opponent for Whyte, but then again, that might have been bad for Matchroom if Dillian were beaten. Whyte is popular in the UK despite his best win against 41-year-old Povetkin after coming down with COVID 19.
Hunter almost had Povetkin knocked out in the first round of their fight in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia. Povetkin was down in the first round and on the verge of being knocked out, and he was still healthy and in his prime. This wasn’t the depleted Povetkin that Whyte defeated after the Russian fighter had suffered COVID.
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