By Charles Brun: 2012 U.S Olympian Michael Hunter thinks it’s time that Tyson Fury give up being the lineal heavyweight champion, because he’s not proving himself worthy of that belt-less title with the level of opposition he’s fighting. Hunter says Fury hasn’t fought the kind of guys recently that suggest that he’s a lineal heavyweight champion. Hunter thinks Fury should just give up the “fake title.” Asked if he would want to fight for the lineal heavyweight title, Hunter said that he’s not interested in “fake titles.”
Michael Hunter vs. Sergey Kuzmin this Friday on DAZN
Hunter (16-1, 12 KOs) will be in action this Friday in a 12 round fight against heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin (15-0, 11 KOs) on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Hunter-Kuzmin are fighting on the undercard of Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev.
Fury has been using his “lineal heavyweight title” as a way of boosting his status with boxing fans. It’s unclear whether the casual fans view Fury as a champion. The hardcore fans know that Fury isn’t a world champion. He’s a guy that disappeared from boxing for three years after beating 40-year-old Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury restarted his career in 2018, and has defeated Sefer Seferi, Francesco Pianeta and Tom Schwarz. Those are basically 2nd tier heavyweights; although the WBO surprisingly had Schwarz ranked #2 with their organization.
“I think he [Fury] should let it go,” said Hunter to IFL TV when asked his thoughts on Tyson Fury’s lineal heavyweight title. “It’s been a while. He hasn’t really proven anything that states…He’s fought two opponents that weren’t champions. I’m not sure what he’s going to do about it, but I think he needs to give up that title. For fake belts, no not really; I don’t want to fight for fake belts,” said Hunter when asked if he wants to fight for Fury’s lineal heavyweight title,” said Hunter.
Hunter expects Wilder to put off Fury rematch
“I thought Tyson actually won the fight [against Deontay Wilder]. They called it a draw,” said Hunter. “I kind of gave the edge to Tyson. He shouldn’t have got dropped in the last [round]. I think that was partially his fault. If they do it again, I think Tyson will get the victory this time, but I don’t think they’ll end up fighting.
I think they’ll end up doing something else depending on Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz. If Andy Ruiz wins again, I think they Deontay wants to fight Andy, and I think they’ll push Tyson to the side. He [Wilder] also has to win against [Luis] Ortiz, so he’s got some events he’s going to need to overcome,” said Hunter.
Fury fought WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to a 12 round draw last December. Hunter says he thinks Fury should have been given the win. However, when it came to explaining what happened to Fury when he was knocked cold by Wilder in the 12th, Hunter could only say that “he shouldn’t have gotten dropped.” That’s what a lot of fighters say after they’re knocked out, but it doesn’t change the reality of what happened.
Hunter hoping for great performance against Kuzmin
“I stopped my last 4 heavyweight opponents,” said Hunter. “So I think me winning in great fashion will make a big statement, and that’ what I look forward to doing,” said Hunter about his fight against Kuzmin. “We’ll see. I’ve fought bigger opponents, but this will be a test for sure, because of his amateur background, and he’s undefeated. It’s always hard for someone to let that ‘O’ go. They get real stubborn when they have an ‘O’ on their record.
It’s going to be a real challenge, but I’m up for it. They call me the ‘Giant Slayer,’ so this is another one on my list. I’m just worried about my fight against Sergey Kuzmin, and I’ll be looking to slay him on Friday. I am excited at fighting in Saudi, but we’ve got to look real good in this performance, and this is what I plan to do,” said Hunter.