Michael Hunter hopes to make his return to the ring in 2019 at Madison Square Garden and continue his surge in the heavyweight division as he targets a future top-five ranking.
The 30-year-old moved up in weight last year after leaving the crusierweight division since his defeat to undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk in 2017, with wins over Martin Bakole and Alexander Ustinov in 2018, the American now expects to fight next at the New York venue in early March.
Hunter looks likely to team up again with Eddie Hearn, having worked with the Matchroom promoter for his most recent victory over the Russian Ustinov in Monte Carlo at the back end of November, and details of his next bout could be announced in the coming weeks.
Speaking on the future Hunter has been quoted as saying “I’m hoping March,”
“I think it’s going to be in Madison Square Garden. I’m pretty sure I’ll be working with Eddie.
“Still in the works, they haven’t really thrown any names at me.”
Following his fast rise through the heavyweight division, Hunter had been offered a fight against Carlos Takam in December on the undercard of Whyte Chisora 2, but requested more time to prepare for a former world title challenger, who took out Senad Gashi inside 7 rounds at The O2 just before Christmas.
The Californian has made it clear he still has his eyes set on entering the ring against a fellow contender and aims to work his way up through the ranks into contention for a shot at the world title.
Hunter went onto say “I would like to fight somebody like that [Takam],” said Hunter.
“Maybe even a showcase fight, one of the two, somebody with a name.
“I’m not really sure exactly, but I just want a fight where it’s going to look very pleasing on my record.
“I plan to try and get in the top five this year. That’s kind of the plan here, is to creep in the top 10, and maybe finish real strong at the end of the year.”
Hunter is no stranger to the British shores either, after making his UK debut against highly rated prospect Martin Bakole, snatching his unbeaten record at York Hall, stopping his man in the 10th round at Bethnal Green in October, and would jump at an opportunity to fight in the UK again.
“I would have liked to come back for this fight, but it just didn’t come up on the date.” he said. “Yeah, I’m definitely hoping to come back this year.”
By Kenny Leavett.