Michael Hunter (23-1-2, 16 KOs), 35, secured a unanimous decision victory over Cassius Chaney (23-2, 16 KOs), 36, on Friday night as part of the Adrien Broner-Blair Cobbs fight card in Florida. Hunter, who remains undefeated at heavyweight, frequently pays tribute to his late father, Mike Hunter, by replicating moves the former contender used in his own fights. This old-school mentality, rooted in his father's rigorous training and relentless sparring sessions, has been a defining element of Hunter's approach to boxing since childhood.

Despite sometimes feeling out of place in the modern era, Hunter is driven by a desire to avenge his sole loss to Oleksandr Usyk, which he attributes to pre-fight complications and inadequate preparation. His motivations have evolved to focus on his family and the storied boxing tradition from which he hails. Hunter's career, marked by challenges with promoters and tough fights, highlights his resilience and dedication, making his journey a compelling narrative in the world of boxing.

BoxingScene: Let’s start in a different way. Do you remember in Team Combat League when you pushed the referee back after a knockdown? It was a unique move.

Hunter: I've done that a lot because that's my dad's move. He's done that on numerous occasions. If you watch his fights, he's always pushing the ref out of the way. He's ready to go get him so actually, I think I do remember that now. Sometimes I'll just get my pop’s spirit and I like to perform that way.

BS: That's something that can't be taught that looked instinctual. 

Hunter: Yeah, I totally agree. Like I said, it's something I've been watching since I was a little kid. Before I even put on my own pair of gloves. I used to see my dad do that all the time. So just that attitude and that spirit that he had.

BS: I recall hearing stories where you stated your father would spar so long he’d pee his pants, because he didn’t want to stop sparring. Can you talk about that?

Hunter: Yeah, just that old school vibe. They're not done with a workout. So you know, the job has to get done. If you're going to do it, you got to you got to do it all the way. As a kid, I thought it was kind of crazy and kind of gross. But, all the old school fighters had that attitude. My dad would spar guys from 120 pounds to 220 pounds. He was there all-day long. It was that James Toney era.

BS: Do you feel you're in the wrong era? 

Hunter: I would definitely say that. I'm a little bit more old school. I probably belong in a different era. I've done the amateurs. I got my amateur pedigree so I've had to learn how to adjust. I've been in twelve-rounders as a pro.I just think that, I'm a great fighter, and a great strategist, and I'll perform  at any at any level.

BS: What would a title mean to you at this point? 

Hunter: It would mean a lot for me and my family. My dad never fought for a world title. So this is like a lineage type of thing. My grandpa on my mother's side was always talking about the  people that he was dealing with Archie Moore, George Foreman, and Joe Louis. These were his guys that he helped manage and help bring up. So this would mean a lot. My uncle on my mom's side. He's also a trainer. He helps Devin Haney a lot. He has been training him since he was a kid. The world title just would mean a lot and would put a stamp on my family's name. So that's what I want to do.

BS: What is your motivation? You’re now 35. What keeps you going?

Hunter: My motivations have kind of changed, a little bit. The main one is just my family. That long history of boxing that I come from a generations after generations of boxing. Obviously, I’ve got family, got a son. My motivations have kind of stacked on as the years go to went on. Before it was just winning a gold medal. I have a lot to be motivated for. I try not to bank on my motivation. I try to bank on discipline, and just do my job.

BS: Did you ever think about calling it quits? 

Hunter: No, I was never close to call me quits. But I've had a love-hate relationship with this sport and this thing we call boxing. Some days are better than others. But, it's given me so much opportunity to travel. I've traveled the world through boxing. The way I think and the way I know are through boxing and through the martial arts. It’s my life. My older brother, my little brother, my sister, my whole family has been in boxing. I never really felt like totally quitting or just giving up especially when the job wasn’t done yet. I know that I'm a great fighter. I know that I can compete with anybody, and just knowing that just keeps me going.

BS: What are your dreams in the sport? Have they changed as you've gotten older?

Hunter: One of them is to get to the world title, my other one is to fight Oleksandr Usyk. I would love to fight him again. I didn't have a good showing at that point. I had little malfunctions outside of the ring. These are the things that you don't really get to see, if you look at the tale of the tape on that fight, you'll see that I was underweight the night of the fight compared to the weigh-in, and he had a hydrated,10-12 pounds. So there was a lot of mistakes that happen outside of the ring. That's where most of the time the fight is really won. Doing the work outside of the ring and doing your due diligence there. I've always had the short end of the stick, being the B-side fighter. [Usyk’s team] posted that he'd beat Michael Hunter in America, but really, I was in their neck of the woods and their waters. So I had all the downsides on me. So that's one thing if I had a fight camp, ready to compete, like all these other guys like Tyson Fury did, Anthony Joshua and all these other guys with a full camp and really be able to be prepared for the fight, then I think that it would have been a different story. But nevertheless, I would love to get that fight back. That's my only martial arts ninja competition that I really want. Other than that, it would be those world titles.

BS: Were you in camp with Joshua when he was with Derrick James?

Hunter: Yes, I was. It was a great camp. Guy works hard. He’s a good hard working kid.

BS: Any tension there?

Hunter: They're focused on their own fights, they make millions of dollars. But, I definitely think I got my respect and if I did not, I definitely did at the end of the camp. They probably heard around, and heard the stories. They got to see me first-hand, what it really was like. It wasn't like really me trying to kill them or nothing like that, but I definitely got my respect in there. He's a hard working guy. I see that. We got to give him a lot of credit and there's a lot of times we criticize him because he is kind of learning. I know he went to the Olympics and all that but he's still learning on the job, trying to find himself. That's what I see. I know he's experienced, he has a lot of fights and been on a lot of big stages. So I don't know if that would be an excuse for him. But, from what I see, he's still trying to kind of figure himself out. 

BS: What’s the great trait of Anthony Joshua?

Hunter: I think his is his strength. Also, that he works hard. I will say he has a decent little eye. He's learning. I think that that's an attribute in itself that he's not set in his ways that he's still learning. So he could be different. You never really know what you're going to get with him. He could change up a little bit. But I think that yeah, his strength.

BS: What’s the great trait of Tyson Fury?

Hunter: Tyson fury, man, he's big. He comes from a long line of boxing. So he has movement different than somebody that's like let's say, compared to Joshua. He's a puncher, but I’m saying Joshua’s movement is not as fluid as Tyson Fury. He's been boxing probably since when he was smaller, and he moves like that. So for him to be 6’9” or 6’10” and to be able to move like that is his greatest attribute. I think he has some other good attributes such as being a dog and him being coming from a fighting family. You can't really be a weenie, coming from that from my family. That's another good attribute, he's a natural born fighter.

BS: How come you haven't gotten to fight in Saudi Arabia since 2019?

Hunter: I think that has a lot to do with the promotion. Eddie [Hearn] isn’t really too fond of me anymore. Just because I tried to feed my family which really sucks. But I mean, nevertheless, to me, in my opinion, he was still my best promoter. He still got me the best fights, even then. I know. It was very hard for him to get those fights. The fights never really went well as they planned. He had to work something out but he got the job done. I think that I've been being held back by Eddie Hearn. It sucks.

 BS: If you could change one thing about your career what would you change?

Hunter: When I fought Usyk. That I was actually on a full belly fighting Usyk? I think that everything else would have been different. There's a lot of things I could say I could change, but I think that, if I had to change one thing would be actually for me to be hydrated, and for the Usyk fight. And like I said, you can look at the tale of the tape. You can go find that and go just go look it up and you can see that I was underweight. I think they said I was two pounds underweight, but I was actually like five pounds underweight from just dehydration. Not being able to eat. 

BS: Would you fight for the WBC bridgerweight title? 

Hunter: I would love to just compete. I don’t know what the cards hold for me. But absolutely. I would love to  especially against Lawrence Okolie. I know he's a great fighter. He got Lukasz Rozanski out in one round. I think that's my weight class. Either way. If I'm a little bit  above  the bridgerweight then I'm a little bit heavy if I'm under that I'm a little bit small. So that is my natural weight class is the bridgerweight weight class so I wouldn't have to any weight or gain any weight or anything. So it'd be perfect ideal for me.

BS: Are you a future boxing coach?

Hunter: I would like to take on maybe some special type of people, maybe, I'm kind of like, the guy in the background like Bruce Lee. I would rather just kind of help with certain rules and laws of the of the sport, trying to bring the best out of the person. I think eventually I'll probably do some type of training with somebody, somebody special.