Joshua vs Ruiz 2 undercard: Two fights you need to watch

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The undercard has been finalized for the heavyweight title rematch between champion Andy Ruiz Jr and challenger Anthony Joshua and it's pretty good. In fact, the preceding fight, Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KO) vs Michael Hunter (17-1, 11 KO), will have landscape implications regardless of the winner.

Hunter vs Povetkin
With all the buzz about about Joshua vs Ruiz 2, Hunter vs Povetkin isn't getting a lot of press but is almost as intriguing as the main event.

Forty year old Alexander Povetkin, from Russia, has lived in the division's top 10 since 2010 yet remains one of the sport's most underrated warriors.

A 2004 Olympic Gold medal winner, Povetkin was one of the most accomplished amateur heavyweights ever boasting a career record of 125–7 with all of his losses avenged. And as a pro, his lone defeats have come at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko (2013) and Anthony Joshua (2018).

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Joshua vs Ruiz 2 Undercard

Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter, 12
heavyweights
Hunter vs Povetkin

Filip Hrgovic vs. Eric Molina, 12
heavyweights
Hrgovic vs Molina

Dillian Whyte vs. Mariusz Wach, 10 or 12
heavyweights

Scott Quigg vs. Jono Carroll, 10 or 12
super featherweights
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Non televised

Mahammadrasul Majidov vs Tom Little
heavyweights

Diego Pacheco vs TBC

Hopey Price vs TBC

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Fresh off a recent win over young gun Hughie Fury, Povetkin will be the underdog against 31 year old Michael Hunter, a former cruiserweight fighting for the seventh time as a heavyweight. The son of 1990s legendary heavyweight journeyman Mike 'The Bounty' Hunter, the current Michael Hunter participated on the 2012 US Olympic team and has only one blemish on his resume - a spirited unanimous decision loss to top 10 pound-for-pound fighter Oleksandr Usyk.

In Hunter's most recent bout, he looked solid if not awesome in defeating red hot young lion Sergey Kuzmin (then 15-0) by a unanimous decision. But, how will he cope with a fighter as seasoned, skilled and strong as Povetkin?

Conversely, will Hunter's finesse and speed be too much for the 40 year old Russian who'll enter this fight with some mileage on his odometer?

Past his prime or not, Alex can still hang in the upper sphere of the heavyweight division but Hunter is still a question mark of sorts at the division's elite level.

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Alexander Povetkin: Last 6 fights
Box Rec No. 6 

Won UD 12 Hughie Fury
Aug 31, 2019

Lost TKO 7 Anthony Joshua
Sep 22, 2018
Highlights

Won KO 5 David Price
Mar 31, 2018
Highlights

Won UD 12 Christian Hammer
Dec 15, 2017
Highlights

Won UD 12 Andriy Rudenko
Jul 01, 2017
Highlights

Won TKO 6 Johann Duhaupas
Dec 17, 2016
Highlights

Michael Hunter: Most significant fights
BoxRec No. 21

Won UD 12 Sergey Kuzmin
Sep 13, 2019

Won TKO Alexander Ustinov
Nov 24, 2018

Lost UD 12 Oleksandr Usyk
April 8, 2017

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Look for the winner of Hunter vs Povetkin to get a title shot within the next 6-18 months.

Hrgovic vs Molina
Who?

Twenty-seven year old, 6'5" Filip Hrgovic is only 9-0, 7 KO but don't let that fool you. As a representative of Croatia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Hrgovic won a bronze medal as a super heavyweight and has ions of amateur experience.

Most fellas, even amateur standouts, make their pro debuts against opponents with 15 fights or fewer but Filip made his professional outing against a fella who had 56 pro bouts (Raphael Zumbano 39-15-1-1 NC, 31 KO) and stopped him in Round 1.

He's also defeated sturdy opposition in Kevin Johnson and Amir Mansour.

And yes, he's already ranked No. 11 in the division by BoxRec; ahead of contenders such as Michael Hunter, Dominic Breazeale, Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce.

“With good mental and physical preparation, I believe Filip could win by KO against [Jarrell] Miller or Povetkin,” battle tested journeyman Johann Duhaupas told BoxingScene.com last week.

“I first met Filip at the Klitschko camp in Austria and he impressed me,” said Duhaupas. “He has a good right hand, fast and strong, and you can see he aims to become a World Champion. I smell it in him. His style and ability are similar to Vitali Klitschko."

High praise from a very tough, well-travelled heavyweight; But his opponent on Saturday, Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KO), isn't a creampuff either having shared the ring with the likes of Chris Arreola, Deontay Wilder, Tomasz Adamek, Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale.

The 37 year old possesses a nasty right hand and has seen it all as a pro. Against Deontay Wilder, he exceeded expectations and seemed to have Wilder frustrated on several occasions, much to the chagrin of those who had hoped he's assume the 'showcase' role. Molina was eventually KO'd by the WBC Champ but not before earning respect.

This undercard battle will give us more insight into Hrgovic. How good is he? And how will his performance against Molina compare to Wilder and Joshua's?

Hunter vs Povetkin and Hrgovic vs Molina are two fights on the Joshua vs Ruiz 2 undercard you should definitely consider watching.

 

 

 

 

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