GALVESTON, Texas — World-rated heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, is on a mission to position himself for a world heavyweight title shot in 2021.
Keeping busy is the key for promotional free agent Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) and it all starts for him December 18th, when he faces West Virginia’s Shawn Laughery (10-3, 6 KOs), who has replaced veteran Chauncy “Hillyard Hammer” Welliver, in the 10-round co-featured event on “Battle of Rio Grande” card, airing live on pay per view from Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.
The “Battle of Rio Grande,” main event pits undefeated, former world super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs), who challenges North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight titlist Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez(32-3, 25 KOs).
“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE will stream worldwide on the FITE mobile apps, all major OTT apps and website (www.FITE.tv), and Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, and DISH in the United States, as well as in Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.
In addition, preceding the live pay-per-view broadcast at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, fans may view a free LIVE PPV PRE-SHOW featuring some undercard bouts. “Battle of Rio Grande” Pre-Show will be available at FITE, DirecTV, DISH, Shaw and select cable operators.
“I think that dealing with Zurdo Promotions and getting this first fight off as a free agent really sets the tone,” Hunter said. “I plan to stay busy the next couple of months Teaming up with ‘Zurdo’ and having such a big name next to mine is a great way to put myself in position for the world heavyweight title.”
The 32-year-old Hunter, who fights out of Las Vegas, was a decorated amateur boxer who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He captured gold medals at the 2012 U.S. National Championships and 2011 National Golden Gloves, silver medal at the 2006 National Golden Gloves, and bronze at the 2006 World Junior Championships.
The son of a former pro boxer, the late Mike “The Bounty” Hunter, Michael turned pro March 9, 2013, stopping Chad Davis in the third round. Hunter won his first 12 pro fights, including a 10-round decision over previously undefeated Isiah Thomas (15-0), before losing by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk (11-0) for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior heavyweight title. He is unbeaten in the following seven fights, moving up to heavyweight to collect six victories and a 12-round split decision versus Alexander Povetkin (35-2) in his most recent bout a year ago. Povetkin, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist from Russia, currently is the reigning WBC Interim world heavyweight champion.
Hunter is a top 10-ranked by all four major sanctioning bodies — #4 International Boxing Federation (IBF), #7 WBO, #10 WBC and World Boxing Association (WBA) – in addition to being # 8 in The Ring magazine’s independent ratings.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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