EVER-IMPROVING heavyweight contender Michael Hunter says of all the surrounding heavyweights, fellow contenders and champions, it is Tyson Fury he would most like to face in the coming year.

Hunter and former heavyweight champion Fury shared a ring as amateurs and the American, though defeated, believes he saw enough in the rounds they spent in one another’s company to give him plenty of confidence ahead of a second meeting as pros.

“If I could choose to fight any of the top guys, it would be Fury,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve already been in the ring with him as an amateur.

“I had to fight him, and I fought very well. He was out on his feet but [the judges] gave him the victory. But I definitely did a lot more damage.

“We were supposed to fight again but he supposedly got injured!

“I would have to fight him, but I would absolutely be comfortable doing it.

“I’ve got his number. I would stop him.”

Hunter, 18-1-1 (12), won six in a row after losing a competitive fight against Oleksnadr Usyk at cruiserweight in 2017 but was recently held to a draw against fellow top contender Alexander Povetkin.

Given the dearth of decent challengers in the division, he has warranted his first shot at a belt and, yes, given Fury’s recent opponents, more than deserving of a second shot at ‘The Gypsy King’.

Tyson Fury
Hunter would give Fury a better fight than Schwarz (Action Images/REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Although he won’t want to get ahead of himself or look past Saturday’s fight in New York, there is talk, according to The Irish News, of Michael Conlan fighting Jessie Magdaleno at Feile an Phobail in Falls Park next August in what would be his first world title fight.

The Irish News reckon that should Conlan defeat former amateur rival Vladimir Nikitin at Madison Square Garden this weekend, then win again on St Patrick’s Day, he will be on course to fight Magdaleno in Falls Park in what would be quite the event for a man who grew up just a stone’s throw from the venue.

Conlan is currently ranked as the number one featherweight with the WBO, while Magdaleno sits at two. Shakur Stevenson is the current WBO champion, having won the vacant title against Joet Gonzalez in October, but the News believe he will vacate the belt after defending it against Josh Warrington in May.

Lots of variables then. Lots of ifs, buts and maybes. But if indeed it does happen, Conlan fighting in Falls Park for his first world title figures to be one of the highlights of the 2020 boxing calendar.

Michael Conlan
Conlan could fight for his first world title in 2020 (Action Images/Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)