Hunter vs Chaney Predictions: Victory likely for the forgotten man

 | Friday 7th June 2024, 10:17am

Friday 7th June 2024, 10:17am

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Former world title challenger Michael Hunter returns to the ring on Friday, June 7 against Cassius Chaney. The heavyweight fight will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, California. Something called the WBA ‘interim’ heavyweight title will be on the line. Fite.tv will screen the bout on the undercard of Adrien Broner vs Blair Cobbs. 

Here are my Hunter vs Chaney predictions ahead of this battle of the big men.

Hunter vs Chaney Tips

  • Hunter on points @ 13/8
  • Fight to go the distance - Yes @ 8/11

Hunter vs Chaney Odds

Hunter has not lost a fight in seven years, has never lost a fight at heavyweight and is ranked eighth in the world by the WBA. ‘The Bounty’ is also an Olympian, having lost to unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev at London 2012.

So why is it that, in an era where the heavyweights are back on top in terms of attention and profile, is Hunter’s name known only to boxing’s hardcore fanbase? The likes of Zhilei Zhang, Deontay Wilder and Francis Ngannou have got repeated chances following defeats. So why can’t heavyweight boxing find room for a man who rarely gets beaten?

The answer lies in the fact that Hunter is on the outside looking in when it comes to the current boxing ecosystem. The 35-year-old will be fighting on a Don King card, if you can believe that. Once the centre of the heavyweight universe, the 92-year-old has faded from mainstream view.

To call him a ghost at the feast would explain the funereal experience of consuming one of his shows nowadays. But if King is the spectre haunting heavyweight boxing, Turki Alalshikh might as well have Peter Venkman sat ringside between Cristiano Ronaldo and Eminem. The Saudis have done what King once did, stacking the world’s premiere heavyweights in one place and monopolising the division.

King has attempted to elbow his way back in. In recent years, his strategy has revolved around leveraging the spurious WBA ‘regular’ title. The secondary heavyweight belt is regarded by few as a genuine world title, but is intended to give the winner a shot at the real champion.

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Trevor Bryan held the title under King’s guidance, before Daniel Dubois ripped it from him via brutal knockout. Bryan was punished for failing as King’s red right hand with a beating at the hands of Cassius Chaney, Hunter’s opponent here.

King is back in the belt business here, with the winner receiving the frankly-stupid WBA ‘interim’ title. With the WBA ‘regular’ trinket in the hands of Mahmoud Charr, who won it in a courtroom rather than a ring, the organisation is looking for another way to syphon sanctioning fees while undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk holds their true title. 

The idea here, as with the ‘regular’ nonsense, is that either Chaney or Hunter will eventually get a crack at the winner of Usyk’s rematch with Tyson Fury. But let’s be real, there is no chance of that fight taking place. What is likely is a Don King production headlined by Charr vs the ‘interim’ titleist to decide the undisputed champion of WBA foolishness.

The belt at stake might be a waste of leather, but this isn’t a horrendous fight. Hunter was good enough to take then-cruiserweight champion Usyk 12 rounds a few years back. He also has a draw with former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin on his ledger as well as a decent victory over Martin Bakole. 

Chaney’s seventh-round knockout over Bryan stands out. Unfortunately, so too does a points loss to George Arias in 2021. The 36-year-old hasn’t lost in two fights since, but Hunter will test him in a way Bryan and one-round victim Matthew McKinney could not. 

Expect Hunter to reassert himself here. The former world title challenger will be acutely aware that, at 35, time is running out on his career. Hunter’s chance to make an impression on a stacked heavyweight scene is waning. A major statement is needed if he is to attract the attention of those raking in the Saudi millions.

I believe Hunter will get the job done here with some fuss. Chaney is no pushover. But Hunter’s experience at a higher level and finer skills we see him win the day. I’m going for ‘The Bounty’ by decision here in a competitive, but relatively comfortable, fight. You can back this selection at 13/8.

You can find all our latest boxing betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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