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Michael Hunter’s Dream Within Reach at Olympic Boxing Trials

Michael Hunter Jr. has had the same dream since he was a boy.

Hunter, 23, the son of professional boxer Mike “The Bounty” Hunter, will be one of 80 boxers vying for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic roster beginning July 31 in Mobile. The boxing trials at the Civic Center will run through Aug. 6, and the winners will represent the U.S. at the 2011 World Championships.

Hunter Jr., a native of Las Vegas, said he had a wealth of boxing knowledge long before he stepped foot in the ring.

“As a kid, my dad and I always talked about me fighting in the Olympics and getting a gold medal,” he said. “In 2008, I was so close, yet so far at the same time. Growing up around boxing with my dad, I knew a lot about the game long before I started my career. My dad didn’t compete in the Olympics … he always wanted to but didn’t. I want to do this for him as much as myself.”

Despite winning in the 2008 trials, Hunter fell short of qualifying internationally for the Beijing games. Now a heavyweight, he won his first national title in April at the National Golden Gloves, earning a trip to Mobile.

“I learned a lot in 2008,” he said. “I experienced a lot of good things as well as a lot of bad things. … I know what it takes to get that gold medal and I’m going to get it.”

Coached by Ken Croom at Broadway Gym, Hunter was the 2006 under-19 national champion, 2007 and 2009 USA National champion, and the 2011 National Golden Gloves champion.

Source: Cassandra McAboy, al.com

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