Joshua vs Ruiz 2 undercard: Two fights you need to watch
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.
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).
Joshua vs Ruiz 2 Undercard
Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter, 12
Hunter vs Povetkin
Filip Hrgovic vs. Eric Molina, 12
Hrgovic vs Molina
Dillian Whyte vs. Mariusz Wach, 10 or 12
Scott Quigg vs. Jono Carroll, 10 or 12
Mahammadrasul Majidov vs Tom Little
Diego Pacheco vs TBC
Hopey Price vs TBC
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.
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
Won KO 5 David Price
Mar 31, 2018
Won UD 12 Christian Hammer
Dec 15, 2017
Won UD 12 Andriy Rudenko
Jul 01, 2017
Won TKO 6 Johann Duhaupas
Dec 17, 2016
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
Look for the winner of Hunter vs Povetkin to get a title shot within the next 6-18 months.
Hrgovic vs Molina
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?
Related FightSaga Stories
- ALEXANDER POVETKIN
- ERIC MOLINA
- FILIP HRGOVIC
- Hrgovic vs molina
- hunter vs povetkin
- joshua vs ruiz 2
- MICHAEL HUNTER