The Lowest Common Denominator

By William Trillo

As soon as Adonis Stevenson clubbed Andrzej Fonfara on the top of the head and virtually incapacitated the Polish fighter my immediate thought was to wonder if this is another in a growing line of fighters who have went to Virgil Hunter for help only to find themselves getting steamrolled into oblivion. It’s hard not to consider the facts when it comes to Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo and now Fonfara. No one will argue their respective careers went south when they went to the training camp up north, (Northern California that is).

Hunter’s claim to fame has always been his association with Andre Ward and he has gravy trained that into some other high profile fighters corners. That is an indisputable fact. Now… there are plenty who say any trainer could have trained the naturally gifted Ward into Super Stardom but I will not go that far simply because I think the bond Hunter has with Ward is something special but…I am not convinced Hunter can take fighters like Angulo and Fonfara and turn them into anything noteworthy. Let the record speak for itself.

Just thinking out loud…Can someone explain to me why Fonfara would go into a rematch with Stevenson and go toe to toe with him from the opening bell? Seems to me the smart thing to do would be to stay outside, use your jab some, move a lot, clinch and grab after throwing punches…you know…kind of what Andre Ward does throughout the fight, in every fight. It’s as boring as hell and awful to watch but hey…Ward has taken that routine to the top. And by the way, it’s a hell of a lot safer than putting yourself in Superman’s wheelhouse and allowing him to bounce thunder off the top of your head.

In Hunters defense, I will say he made the right call in stopping the fight. Fonfara was finished before round one was over. Sending him out in round two at least gave the fighter a chance to redeem himself. But alas, it was clear in seconds his night was over. There was no need for it to continue.

I will be curious to see if there will be any fighters in the near future who will be so anxious to head to Oakland in search of Hunter’s tutelage. My guess is Virgil’s run as Flavor Of The Month is going to come to a grinding halt sooner rather than later.

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P.S. And if Hunter is all that then why did Team Ward reach out to Sergey Kovalev’s trainer John David Jackson to ask him if he would jump camps and help Ward in the rematch? Unless of course you just did it to try to muck up the chemistry in Camp Kovalev. Why else would you leak false rumors about Jackson reaching out to your side first?

2 Responses to “The Lowest Common Denominator”

  1. David McGarry says:

    Amir Khan suffered two very severe knockouts long before he teamed up with Virgil Hunter. The trainer tried to get him to adopt a safety first approach, but there’s only so much you can do with a boxer as weak-chinned and lacking in stamina as Khan.

    Angulo had his share of problems in and out of the ring and, as far as I could tell, lacked the self discipline to become a world champion.

    Is Virgil Hunter a mediocre trainer or bad judge of suitable candidates for training?