On April 9, 2016 – Welshman Lee Selby retained the IBF Featherweight title via a 12 round unanimous decision over West Philly’s Eric “Outlaw” Hunter at the sold out O2 Arena in London.
It was a tough spot for Hunter, who competed for short money in front of 20,000+ opposing fans. While there were no advantages in his favor, it seemed like he left many opportunities on the table during the fight.
In a performance that can be best described as frustrating, Hunter did show some glimpses to suggest that he belongs at the top level. His best moment of the fight came in round two when he knocked the champion clean-to-the-canvas courtesy of a counter left hook to Selby’s ear.
Here is a preview from Eric Hunter’s media day on March 30, 2016 from the DSG Gym. This marked the final local appearance for “Outlaw” before he set off for London where he fights IBF Featherweight champion Lee Selby at the 02 Arena.
This video has more of a professional look than what you usual see. Hit full screen and turn on the volume for full effect. Credit to staff videographer Mateusz Krzesiczan for the work and edits.
If you are available on Wednesday (3/30/16) at 1 pm, Eric Hunter and team will host an open-to-the-public workout session at Danny Swift Garcia‘s Dsg Boxin Club in Juniata. As most know, Hunter will fight for the IBF featherweight title on April 9th in London.
The champion Lee Selby is billed overseas as “The Welsh Mayweather”. While I think the Brits are faking the funk with that moniker, there is no mistaking that this will be a very tough assignment. Quite a few locals think Outlaw can pull off the road victory. This is a good opportunity to see first hand how prepared Hunter is for a big fight that will be televised around the globe on Showtime Boxing.
After 10 long years of waiting in the wings for the chance to fight for a world title – West Philly’s Eric “Outlaw” Hunter’s (21-3, 11 ko’s) dream is about to come true. It has been confirmed that his long rumored fight with IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (22-1, 8 ko’s) will take place on April 9, 2016 at the 02 Arena in London, England on the under card of the IBF Heavyweight title fight between Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua, televised live on Showtime.
Outlaw simply said “I did it my way” when I asked about the breaking news earlier this evening.
His quote hits the nail on the head. Since turning professional in 2005, “Outlaw” has ridden the proverbial boxing roller coaster on his way to the top of boxings 126 pound division ladder. In ring talent was never the issue. His 183 amateur wins and designation as a 2004 Olympic alternate testify to his skill set. In the early days if it wasn’t a long layoff – it was an inopportune loss. If there wasn’t something up with management, there was an issue with a promotional deal. Despite all of the roadblocks the sport and business of boxing threw at him, he always found a way to outlast the issue at hand.
In recent times, he forced his name back into the public eye by scoring big knockouts in two of his last three outings. At 29-years-old, he stares a lifelong goal directly in the eye. Time will tell if he can capture the moment.
Live from the Golden State – Philadelphia based Featherweight Eric Hunter(20-3, 10 ko’s) looks to continue his climb up the 126 lb ladder when he faces Antonio Escalante (29-7, 20 ko’s) of El Paso, TX in a FOX Sports 1 10 round main event this Friday night. This is a tale of fighters with career’s headed in polar opposite directions. “Outlaw” Hunter who weighed in at 126.6 lbs has been on a roll since signing with Golden Boy Boxing while Escalante (who weighed in at 129.4) continues to lace them up in hopes of reclaiming the long-lost glory he once held as a “sure-shot” prospect coming out of the Texas amateur boxing circuit.
Escalante has been stopped in three of his last four bouts and some say he is continuing on to please the hangers-on around him. Escalante himself claims he has taken this fight against Hunter for all of the right reasons. Not long ago, he was the one under contract with Golden Boy Promotions. He would love to prove the old boss wrong. Since a personal setback late last year, he is now living a clean lifestyle and in the gym every day, reunited with his original trainer Edwin Rosario. If anything, he is fighting for pride as he does not want his supporters to say that he gave up.
Hunter comes in riding a three fight winning streak and is steadily moving up the ranks into the national spotlight. Long heralded in Philadelphia boxing circles as one of the most talented young fighters of this generation, it took much longer than expected for Hunter to reach the position of fringe contender. But like the wise man once said “timing is everything and patience is a virtue”. Hunter has let it be known that he in the sport to make millions. He has overcome a fair share of adversity to get to this point. Now the lights are starting to get brighter and the competition is getting stiffer. Like the late, great Al Davis used to say – “Just win, baby!” With the proper backing now in place – the sky is the limit. It is all up to Outlaw to make it happen. Don’t believe me? Check out this interview I did with Oscar De La Hoya on this very topic.
Enjoy the bonus workout footage then tune in or set your DVR to Fox Sports 1 (channel 583 on FIOS) around 11 PM EST on Friday for this fight which takes place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. — with Eric Hunter.
On December 3, 2010 live on Showtime – West Philly’s Eric “Outlaw” Hunter (15-2, 8ko’s) lost by disqualification against former Cuban Olympian Luis Franco (8-0, 5ko’s) – the official time of stoppage was 2:34 in round 8 because of repeated low blows. It was a tough spot for Hunter who took the fight on less than two-weeks notice, traveling to fight on Franco’s promoters card on the opposite side of the country.
While the loss may be a very tough pill for Hunter to swallow at the moment, it gives him an opportunity to learn and grow. Even the all-times greats have taken losses at one point or another. It is all about how you bounce back from adversity. If Hunter is to be the true champion that many feel that he can be, he will learn from this experience and bounce back stronger. Stay tuned…
On the under card, local Jr. Middleweight Julian Williams improved to 4-0 with a 6 round unanimous decision win over Mario Evangelista.
Philly Keith Sports was granted an exclusive ringside photographers pass for this event at the Chumash Casino. Check out the full photo gallery shot by staff photographer John Costill
On Friday December 4, 2010 – West Philly Super Featherweight Eric “Outlaw” Hunter (15-1, 8ko’s) heads off to Santa Ynez, California for a live, televised 8 round showdown against undefeated Cuban national Luis Franco (7-0, 5ko’s). The bout will be broadcast around the world on Showtime’s – ShoBox “The Next Generation” series. TV’s go live at 11:05 Eastern Time.
There are a lot of opinions floating around regarding this fight. Some are saying that Franco is tailor made for a smart boxer like Hunter. Others are quietly saying that Outlaw is in over his head against a fighter with over 400 amateur bouts. The popular opinion is that Franco’s promoter Gary Shaw is trying to pull a fast one – thinking that he can catch Hunter unprepared by offering the fight on two weeks notice.
If that is Shaw’s reasoning for taking this bout, he is sadly mistaken as it is a well known fact that Hunter lives in the gym. Franco may have fought and occasionally beaten some of the best Cuba had to offer as an amateur, but Outlaw was no slouch as a pre-pro as well racking up over 180 wins and holding a spot as an alternate on the 2004 US Olympic team.
Don’t be fooled – the promoter, the TV station and most of the ticket paying audience will be pulling for Franco to win this one. It will be a lonely trek across the country for a chance at getting where many feel he belongs – amongst the top young fighters at 126 lbs in the world! Don’t be surprised if Hunter is the one with his arm raised at the end of the night.
With all of the subplots and current direction in the career of both fighters, this is an interesting bout. Hunter, since joining forces with the Cohen family, has put together his best stretch as a pro – showing a renewed dedication and consistently taking fights over the past 15 months against different levels of opposition. Hunter is trained by Sloan Harrison and is promoted by Prize Fighter Promotions.
On the un-televised portion of the show, local Light Middleweight Julian Williams (3-0, 3ko’s), a recent Gary Shaw signee, will take on Mario Evangelista (3-7, 3ko’s) for a scheduled 6 rounder. The 20-year-old from West Philly was an amateur standout and is expected to make a successful transition to the pro game.
Eric “Outlaw” Hunter (15-1, 7ko’s) of West Philly scored a 4th round KO over Missouri’s Andre Wilson (11-5-1, 9ko’s) Saturday night at the Fitzgerald’s Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi. At Bally’s in Atlantic City – Teon Kennedy (16-0-1, 7ko’s) administered a merciless mauling on Alex Becerra (20-9, 9ko’s) forcing Becerra’s corner to stop the bout before the start of round 11. With the win, Kennedy adds the NABA super bantamweight title to go with his USBA strap and will likely improve on his top 10 rating in the IBF. In the all Philly Super Middleweight co-feature, Kenzington’s Dennis Hasson (11-0, 3ko’s) overcame an early cut over his left eye to win a hard earned 8 round unanimous decision against West Oak Lane’s Tommie Speller (5-5, 3ko’s). Check out Ken Hissner’s recap here http://phillykeith.com/PeltzBoxingBallys9-25-10.htm
On September 24, 2009 Bionic Bull Promotions came to South Philly with a 6 fight card at the Yesha Hall on the corner of 23rd & Snyder in South Philly. In the main event Hammerin’ Hank Lundy stays undefeated with a 6th round KO over fizzled veteran Justo Sanchez. As expected, ringside observers say that the bout was a one sided show for Lundy who was faster and overall just better than his 35 year old foe.
In the co-feature Dhafir Smith scored a 2nd round knockdown en route to a split decision win over Maryland’s Demetrius Davis in an 8 round Super Middleweight bout. Many said it was a good fight that could have gone either way. Final scores were 77 – 74 x twice for Smith which was enough to over ride the one card 77 – 74 that was in favor of Davis.
Eric “Outlaw” Hunter returned after 13 months off and seemed to have little problems with Wilshaun Boxley of Coon Rapids. MN, sweeping the scorecards 60 – 54 across the board.
Cruiserweight Dan Grafton won his pro debut with a 4th round KO over Patrick Johnson of Indiana.
In the two ladies bouts Belinda Laracuente won a UD over Lakeyshia Williams and Rachel Clark won a majority decision over Natalie Brown.
It has been a while since I put together a Philly top 10 list and in that time it is still pretty obvious who is #1 in the town, that would be B-Hop. But in the past year there has been a lot of activity amongst the rank and file who made moves to get to the top. Some succeeded, some failed, some have rebounded and others are on their way.
This time around I give you two lists. First is a national Philly top 10 pound for pound which gives my ranking to those from this area who are either champions, within title contention or TV fighters. These guys are all over the world and are known industry names.
The next list is themed “21 & Under” ranking the Philly pros with 21 pro fights or less. These fights can take place anywhere in the world. This list tracks the activity of the young pros who seem to be on their way to making big moves in the boxing circuit within the next few years. These rankings are based on pro performance and potential, not solely on amateur career.
This was done as a replacement for the local top 10 list that ranked boxers competing within city limits. There was just not enough activity to compile one. Take a look and feel free to send any feedback to me via email.