When word came this weekend that an injury was forcing Teon Kennedy to pull out of the December 8th nationally televised NBC Sports Network Fight Night co-feature bout with undefeated Jerry Belmontes, another hungry Philly fighter jumped at the chance to take his place. West Philly's Eric "Outlaw" Hunter, 16-2, 9 KOs, has signed to face the rising Belmontes, 17-0, 5 KOs, in an extremely attractive matchup of up and coming prospects. The Fight Night telecast will begin at 9PM ET.
Hunter is a fighter with a big reputation in the tough boxing gyms of Philly. He's been touted by many since his amateur days as one of the most talented boxers on the local scene.
In July, Hunter returned from a lengthy layoff with a flashy stoppage of Jason Rorie in Philadelphia. It was a fight that Hunter vowed would be the launching pad for the rest of his career, and the first step in reaching his potential. He promised to stay active and look for the key fights that would move him up the ranks. Clearly a nationally televised 10-rounder against the talented Jerry Belmontes was exactly what he was looking for.
"This is an incredible opportunity for Eric Hunter," said Hall of Fame promoter J Russell Peltz, matchmaker for the Fight Night series. "Here is a young fighter with a lot of ability but his career was in limbo and all of a sudden he gets a chance to fight on the hottest boxing series on television and it's in his hometown. Most fighters would give their eye teeth for this kind of opportunity and Eric jumped at it. Good for him!"
Eric Hunter appears ready to keep his word and fight his way to the top of his division.
However, Jerry Belmontes has his own plans and high expectations to meet. As an amateur, Belmontes, was a superstar, and the "Corpus Christi Kid", as he is known, has knocked off every professional fighter put in his path. In his last start, Belmontes made his East Coast debut with a solid 8-round unanimous decision over Joselito Collado in Newark, NJ.
Peltz sums it up by saying this match up is " a crossroads fight between two very good junior lightweights, the winner of which should be rated in the top 15 when the fight is over."