Michael Hunter Wants To Be The Face Of The Bridgerweight Division, Wants Oscar Rivas
Some laughed at the newly formed WBC Bridgerweight division, a division set between heavyweight and cruiserweight, at 225 lbs., yet, Michael Hunter, the 2012 Olympian, has yet to hold a full-fledged world title despite having at one time held the WBO NABO cruiserweight title, IBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title, and the WBA International heavyweight title. The cruiserweight who moved up to heavyweight for the better paycheck now has made up his mind, and his eyes are set on the WBC’s bridgerweight division.
“We were just talking about [the bridgerweight divison],” said Hunter with a chuckle. “I would definitely exercise to get it [SIC], and I saw the guys who were ranked there, and some of those guys are easy pickings, especially the guy who is number #1…”Kaboom” Rivas, I beat him in the amateurs, that is an easy pick.”
Coming in at 226-and-a-half pounds, for his last fight, against Olympic Gold Medalist and former world champion Alexander Povetkin, whom he fought to a draw, Michael Hunter is right in the division’s wheelhouse, and potential the ideal bridgerweight. On top of that as mentioned above, Oscar Rivas, the #1 rated bridgerweight fighter in the world, has a loss to Hunter in the amateurs and Hunter takes exception that Rivas hasn’t made bridgerweight since 2018.
While critics, media, and other organizations seem to hate the concept of the bridgerweight division, for Hunter this could be a saving grace, as he was recently seen as a budget cut to Matchroom USA, and is currently a free agent, fighting this Friday in Galveston, Texas, on a card promoted by Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.
“They got a billion dollars for one year to throw shows,” said Hunter when speaking to the learning curve in the infancy of DAZN and Matchroom Boxing’s relationship. “They’re the youngest company of the three major companies, and I think it was an adolescent spending their money crazy, they spent a lot of money on Canelo…then a couple of things happened that didn’t see happening. Them losing their belts [SIC] and then the COVID situation, and they had to readjust and I was one of those parts that got left out.”
Guys like Hunter are the ones it is easy to pull for. Born into the sport, spending his whole life in the gym, and has never has gotten his big break. His first shot, was against Oleksandr Usyk, a generational talent, whom he fought on HBO, and lost to, since then Hunter was with Matchroom, but saw himself often as the B-side. Case-and-point, fighting Martin Bakole in Bakole’s hometown, giving 40 lbs to him and having to knockout him out in the 10th and final round to win the fight.
Hunter is right there for a title shot, but now, sees the Bridgerweight as a division that caters to his frame, size, and abilities. In essence, Hunter feels like he could be the face of the Bridgerweight division. On top of that, most of the calls Hunter is getting fights for are against promotional a-sides with the deck stacked against him, bridgerweight provides potentially the chance from a somewhat even playing field.
“The bridgerweight world title sounds better and better the more that I think about it,” said Hunter, who is hoping to be placed in the Bridgerweight rankings soon. “I would definitely be a good face and champion since once I got the belt they wouldn’t be able to get me to let go of it.”
Hunter fights this Friday, on the “Battle of Rio Grande” PPV, headlined by and promoted by Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, on Friday, December 18th, 2020, as Hunter faces Alfonso Lopez, live in Galveston, Texas. The bout can be purchased on FITE TV.