01
Mar
2021

Fury as heavyweight is stripped of belt for not fighting during pandemic

Phil Jay 13/11/2020
Michael Hunter Heavyweight

Ed Mulholland / Matchroom.

Talented heavyweight contender Michael Hunter has revealed the World Boxing Association moved to removed his Inter-Continental strap for lack of activity.

Despite promotional issues and becoming a free agent during the worst pandemic in one hundred years, the WBA seemingly had no sympathy for Hunter’s position.

Parting way with Matchroom following a successful multi-fight deal came as a surprise to everyone. Hunter has been frantically seeking out another opportunity ever since.

Hunter will now return to action on the newly-formed Zurdo Promotions bill on December 19. Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez tops the show.

Revealing that the WBA had already stripped him of the belt, Hunter is hoping a warm-up fight against an opponent to be named will leave to something more substantial.

“Independent for this fight. I don’t want to lose my rankings. The WBA stripped me of the I/C title for being inactive for six months. When the world was shut down for eight?” Hunter explained.

Currently rated at number ten, Hunter may drop anyway – possibly out of the rankings altogether – before his next outing occurs.

All will be revealed when the WBA release their next list.

Promoter Lou DiBella, one of those potentially interested in giving Hunter a long-term deal, was not happy with the decision.

“C’mon. Please. Stripping him is typical boxing f—ery,” pointed out the Hall of Famer. “So if he’s not contracted with one of the few promoters with a bubble paid for by an exclusive platform, he should get stripped mid-worldwide pandemic?

“Nonsense. Hate this kind of s—. Good luck in December,” he added.

Fury over the strap spilled out to the fans too. Many believe those in the WBA hierarchy should have shown far more common sense.

As we all know, it’s not the first time the WBA Rankings have been questioned. It certainly won’t be the last.

November will tell us more.


WBA HEAVYWEIGHT RANKINGS – OCT 20.

1 TREVOR BRYAN – INTERIM CHAMP – USA.
2 OLEKSANDR USYK – UKR.
3 DEONTAY WILDER – USA.
4 LUIS ORTIZ – CUB.
5 ANDY RUIZ JR – USA.
6 ADAM KOWNACKI – POL.
7 CHARLES MARTIN – USA.
8 CHRIS ARREOLA – USA.
9 AGIT KABAYEL  – GER.
10 MICHAEL HUNTER – USA.
11 DERECK CHISORA – GBR.
12 KUBRAT PULEV – BUL.
13 EFE AJAGBA – NIG.
14 SERGEY KUZMIN – RUS.
15 FRANK SANCHEZ – CUB.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.