The United States Number One ranked Super heavyweight, Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.), has made the decision to remain amateur, he announced on Wednesday. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials super heavyweight champion will look to add more national and international titles to his already impressive resume before moving on to the pro ranks.
"I believe that staying amateur is the best decision for me right now," Hunter said. "I think that this additional time will give me the opportunity to grow and develop further as an athlete. I have grown a lot over the past three years, but I still have a lot to learn in the sport before moving on to the professional side. I look forward to gaining more experience and representing the United States with pride."
The retention of Hunter is a very positive piece of USA Boxing's plan to rebuild the amateur program and move toward greater international success at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and beyond.
"USA Boxing is very pleased that Michael will remain with USA Boxing. I think he was fired up about our new High Performance strategy, our flexible approach to time spent at the Olympic Training Center, and the overall positive direction we're heading as an organization," commented USA Boxing CEO, Jim Millman. "It will be exciting to see how far Michael can develop."
Hunter catapulted to the top of the sport in his three short years as a boxer, winning a bronze medal at the Under 19 World Championships with less than 10 bouts of experience before claiming his first USA Boxing National Championships title in 2007. He went on to win the Olympic Team Trials, but fell one win short of earning an Olympic berth in a highly contested international weight category.
Despite his limited experience in the ring, Hunter grew up around the sport as his father was an accomplished heavyweight, serving as a sparring partner for Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe.