Michael Hunter Fortunate To Escape With a Draw in Jerry Forrest Rematch
Michael “Bounty” Hunter (20-1-2, 14 KOs) was looking for a repeat performance during his rematch with Jerry “Slugger” Forrest (26-4-2, 20 KOs) as the two squared off at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. But that didn’t exactly turn out to be the case.
The two men fought in June of 2014, with Hunter winning by an eight-round decision. Since then, Bounty has moved on and made a name for himself at cruiserweight and heavyweight. In April 2017, he gave then-WBO world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk a tough battle before losing by decision. From there, Hunter moved up to heavyweight and worked himself to become a world-rated, top contender (2nd WBA, 7th WBC, and WBO). He wanted to continue the momentum.
He again faced a Forrest who often fights up to what his nickname suggests. However, the 33-year-old southpaw has come up short whenever stepping up his level of competition. He turned around that negative trend in the rematch.
TOUGHER THAN EXPECTED
Hunter got off to a strong start as he connected with straight right-hands and sweeping left hooks in the opening round. However, he has a bad habit of fighting in spurts and can look lackadaisical. That was the case in rounds three, four, and five as Forrest began to gain confidence. Hunter was making the mistake of moving to the right. He paid for it by eating a series of straight left-hands from Forrest who had Hunter bleeding from the mouth.
In the middle rounds, the effects of the shots began to show on Hunter’s face as he had significant swelling under both eyes. Forrest had more energy and a greater sense of urgency. He continued to press the action as Hunter looked fatigued. The late rounds saw Forrest continue to press the action. At the final bell, Hunter had the face of a man relieved that the fight was over.
Overall, it was a closely contested match. It was reflected on the judge’s cards who scored the fight a split-decision draw (96-94 Hunter, 96-94 Forrest, 95-95). Hunter has talked about how he’s ready to face the elites in the division, but he didn’t show it against Forrest. He will remain highly ranked by the sanctioning bodies. However, he was lucky to survive this one without a loss on his record.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
By: Michael Wilson Jr.