Olympian Michael Hunter (17-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of Fabio Maldonado (26-3, 25 KOs), who suffered his first knockout defeat Saturday night in Oxen Hill, Maryland.
Maldonado, coming in, lost two fights in a row, both by decision, to Oscar Rivas and Oleksandr Teslenko.
“You know, I just tried to use my quickness, my speed, and my ability. I knew I had the agile footwork over him so I just wanted to use that to be impressive,” Hunter said after the fight.
Hunter, since losing at cruiserweight to Oleksandr Usyk in 2017, has built up a winning streak of four fights with knockouts of Martin Bakole and Alexnader Ustinov since moving up to heavyweight.
“It is the heart where I win at. I run them down. We are all over 200 pounds, but the difference is that I just have a bigger heart than everyone else,” Hunter said.
When the contest started, Hunter could not miss with whatever he threw at Maldonado who was defensive for the whole bout trying to figure Hunter out.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) May 26, 2019
With a combination of punches to the head and body, in the second round, sent Maldonado sailing across the ring. He was giving a standing eight count as he would have gone down but the ropes kept him upright. When the action continued, Hunter started working him over and was battering Maldonado to the head and body for a second knockdown.
Maldonado to his credit, made it up to his feet again, with the referee giving him one more chance to recover – and Hunter jumped all over him with punches flying in from both hands – sending Maldonado down for the third time and the fight was ended.
As far as his next opponent, Hunter is willing to fight Dillian Whyte – should Whyte defeat Oscar Rivas on July 20 at the O2 Arena in Las Vegas.
Still the top target on Hunter’s list is unified champion Anthony Joshua, defends against Andy Ruiz on June 1st.
“I would love that [Anthony Joshua] fight at any time. Any mandatory, anytime, really. I will take any fight anytime. I am here to stay and I will take on anyone. I want to fight Joshua next. He is the cash cow and it’s an easy fight to make, we are both on Matchroom and DAZN. It should be easy to make that next. I’d like to fight Dillian Whyte if I couldn’t get AJ next,” Hunter said after the fight.