Michael Hunter knows Mike Wilson much better than most boxing fans.
Hunter beat Wilson on points in an Olympic qualifying tournament 14 years ago. The heavyweight contender remembers Wilson as a nationally acclaimed amateur in his weight class, a fighter who beat many opponents who became successful professionals.
38-year-old Wilson’s professional career has not been nearly as successful as Hunter’s, but he can earn another major fight by pissing Hunter off in their 10-round heavyweight bout Tuesday night at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York .
Wilson (21-1, 10 KOs), of Medford, Oregon, has competed primarily in cruiserweight contenders since his professional career in August 2009.
Fite.tv will be streaming Hunter-Wilson as the main event of a free five-fight show that’s scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. EDT.
“I respect him as a fighter,” Hunter told BoxingScene.com. “When I showed up, you looked up the USA Boxing website and saw that Mike Wilson was number one in his weight class. So, that’s a face that I’m very familiar with. As a kid, I followed that face for quite a while. I fought him in the amateurs so we have some history. He knows the type of fighter that I am and I know the type of fighter that he is. “
Wilson has won both of his fights since losing a unilateral, unanimous 12 round decision to Russian southpaw Denis Lebedev (32-3, 23 KOs, 1 NC) in November 2018. Hunter, 33, will fight for the second time since his 12-round split draw with former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (36-3-1, 25 KOs) in December 2019.
Hunter, a 2012 US Olympic gold medalist, and Wilson were due to compete at LoanDepot Park in Miami on June 19. All bouts on this map have been postponed because undefeated united lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez tested positive for COVID-19 on June 15 and withdrew from his mandatory title defense against George Kambosos Jr.
“You know, we both have families and this isn’t going to be just a walk in the park,” said Hunter. “He’s struggling a lot. If you are like this and are willing to risk everything for your family and children, getting you out of there won’t be easy for anyone. I know this will be a tough battle for me, but I am very confident that all of the hard work has been done, all plans and plans have been drawn up and that we will surely get the job done. “
Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.