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.
Make no mistake – these are long odd for the “Outlaw” to come back to his hometown with the world title in hand. He will have to fight in a foreign country for the first time in his professional career, in front of an English crowd, on a rival promoters show, for purse that is far from a fair shake for a world title fight. There is no guarantee that this fight will even make it to American television.
With all of the obstacles stated – it is far from concluded that Lee Selby is a bona-fide champion. He spent the majority of his career fighting less than contender level opposition in his hometown of the United Kingdom. To the Englishman’s credit, he came to the USA for the first time as a professional in October of 2015 and defeated former world champion Fernando Montiel in a tough-yet-one sided rumble in Arizona.
Hunter has studied his opponent and went on record to say that he feels Selby is a “mentally weak” fighter.
Full details on the promotional purse bid process can be found here http://www.boxingscene.com/lee-selby-eric-hunter-featherweight-title-fight-ordered-by-ibf–100205
Regardless of where the fight is held, Hunter will bring his usual Philly trainers Sloan Harrison and Hamza Muhammed to prepare for battle. Get your pop corn ready, Outlaw might just pick this guy apart. Then again it might be possible for another Philly fighter to get shafted on the big stage. The local boxing scene can be a grimy place sometimes – but I truly believe Outlaw is one of the rare few that just about everyone around town wants to see pull off the big win.
What are your thoughts on this world title fight?