Leading contenders for the world heavyweight title, Hughie Fury and Michael Hunter, will face off live and exclusively on Sky Sports in a final WBA world title eliminator on Saturday 2 July at the AO Arena Manchester.
The WBA has ordered the winner of Fury versus Hunter to challenge the winner of the upcoming WBA heavyweight title fight between defending champion Trevor Bryan and British contender Daniel Dubois, which is scheduled for June 11.
The Manchester giant and the American Dangerman will gamble everything in this highly competitive, high-stakes showdown, and with the world title in sight for the victor, fireworks are guaranteed.
“I take the fights that everyone avoids,” Fury said. “Michael Hunter has fought against the best and is at the very top. These are the fights I want to show who is the best fighter out there.
“I’m looking forward to this challenge. I believe I’m one of the best fighters in the world and this is another great fight to prove I’m in the top 3 in the world heavyweight division.”
The same evening and at the same venue after the BOXXER event has concluded, Ricky Hatton will face his friend and fellow Legends Marco Antonio Barrera in a show match. Broadcast details for this event have yet to be finalized.
Fury, currently 26 (15)-3 and ranked No. 4 by the WBA, is excited about his clash with Hunter and has been focused on a second world shot since September 2017, when he was fighting for the WBO world title at just 23- years old, ended in a controversial point loss to Joe Parker.
The 27-year-old, managed by Mick Hennessy, was on top form at Newcastle last October when he forced sturdy rival Christian Hammer on his stool after five laps. By then, Fury was at his best, landing precision jabs and uppercuts and forcing Hammer’s first stop loss since 2015 to his cousin Tyson Fury.
With Hammer also taking heavy punchers like Tony Yoka, Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz at range, the break on Fury’s record looks even more impressive as he asserts his claim to a world title.
Since losing on points to hitter Povetkin in August 2019, Fury has gone unbeaten in three fights and has had victories over Hammer, Mariusz Wach and Pavel Sour.
WBA-ranked No. 2 Hunter, going into this fight with a 20(14)-1-2 record, has been sidetracked by many of the big names in the division and is targeting his first world heavyweight title after a point loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2017 for the WBO cruiserweight world title. He will aim to cause a big commotion by defeating Fury.
I take the fights that everyone avoids. Michael Hunter has fought the best and is among the best. These are the fights I want to show who is the best fighter out there.
Nicknamed “The Bounty,” Michael’s father Mike was a former heavyweight fringe fighter in the 1980s and ’90s who fought some of the big names of the era including Buster Mathis Jr., Tyrell Biggs and Frans Botha.
He represented America at the 2012 London Olympics and turned pro shortly after, starting at cruiserweight and quickly putting together an undefeated run before challenging Usyk.
Highlighting the serious threat Hunter poses to Fury, the 33-year-old caused massive excitement on his last visit to the UK in October 2019 when he stopped undefeated prospect Martin Bakole in the 10th round of a thrilling fight after a heavy landing Shots to get the referee to wave them off.
Since then he has gone unbeaten in seven fights, including a December 2019 draw against Povetkin in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, which Fury believes should rightly have been a decider victory in his favour.
“We’re excited to return to Manchester and the legendary AO Arena Manchester for a fight where everything is on the line,” said Ben Shalom, Founder and CEO of BOXXER.
“Hughie Fury has patiently built his way back to the world title, overcoming great challenges along the way. This is another big test against one of the division’s most shunned fighters.
“Hughie is nearing his prime and if he gets past Michael he will undoubtedly be in the mix for world titles in the months and years to come.
“Michael will also believe that this is the chance he’s been waiting for and with such a big chance for the winner, both fighters will give it their all.”
adam smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development, said: “What a fabulous match in the blue ribd division as Hughie Fury has a serious heavyweight test against the excellent Michael Hunter – whose talent we at Sky know well!
“Now can Hughie emerge from the shadows to deliver the best performance of his career – or will the classy and shunned American crash the world stage?”
A ticket to the BOXXER event grants access to the AO Manchester Arena from 5:30pm for the duration of the evening. Tickets will then grant free access to Europa Concerts’ Ricky versus Barrera show, which begins after the conclusion of the BOXXER event.
To register for tickets, go to boxxer.com