Michael Hunter appeared to insert himself into the conversation of being a top heavyweight contender with his dominant fourth-round TKO victory over Mike Wilson on Tuesday evening from the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The 2012 United States Olympian imposed his will from the opening bell. He boxed and used his power advantage to finally send Wilson to the canvas for the first and last time to put the heavyweight division on notice. But was Hunter's showing good enough to put him in a marquee fight? Was it impressive enough to earn a crack at former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Joseph Parker, or fellow contender Dillian Whyte?
"He did what he was supposed to do," DAZN boxing expert Barak said on Wednesday's The DAZN Boxing Show. "You still got to give him credit for that because sometimes you're getting over somebody that you're supposed to dispatch, and you don't do it. Michael Wilson was somebody who, yes, he had an amateur pedigree. Wasn't a super, great pro. He didn't fight the best. But, you know, he only had one loss. It was a decent record. He did what he was supposed to do. The thing is, I felt like he abandoned a little bit of his skills. He abandoned a little bit of skills because he was anxious, and he wanted to get him out. He had to throw caution to the wind.
"He didn't think about defense at times, and he threw haymakers to get him out of that. I went to this fight. I seen a lot of people I've never seen before because people were there to see the VERZUZ battle. A lot of them were like, 'Hey, of course, I want to see a fight to a, and if the VERSUZ battle turned into a fight, I'm here to see that. I think he gave that particular crowd exactly what that particular crowd wanted to see, and that's somebody go down."
Barak's co-host, Ak, agrees with his partner but added that even though the crowd perhaps played a factor in Hunter's performance, he still got the job done at the end of the day.
"I think that the pressure that he felt was the crowd, rough (and) tough crowd," his counterpart Ak said. "New York crowd, they want action. All about that action. So I think he felt that. But he got him out of there. Give him the benefit of the doubt. (Hunter) got him out of there early like he was supposed to."
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