In just 12 fights, Jessica McCaskill holds all four major belts at Welterweight and April Hunter is looking to follow suit in the coming years.
Hunter (3-0) is in a unique position as the first female professional boxer to hail from Newcastle and appears to have everything at her disposal to achieve those ambitions, ahead of her fourth professional outing on the undercard of Lewis Ritson’s IBF final eliminator with Jeremias Nicolas Ponce from the Eagles Community Arena on Saturday.
The Welterweight prospect has secured three straight wins by decision since her debut in October 2019 and ended an over 16-month absence with victory in Barcelona in April.
A former stablemate of Joe Laws, Hunter left her North East routes to relocate to Liverpool and specifically the famous Rotunda gym, where she is trained by Joe McNally and Declan O’Rourke.
Since that switch, the 26-year-old has added former WBC Cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew to her team in a managerial role and believes she is in good hands with the guidance of the ‘Bomber’.
“Obviously I’m training out of the Rotunda,” Hunter said on a media Zoom conference call on Tuesday.
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“And they’re all like a little family in there, so I know with Tony I’m really well looked after, he’s got my best interests at heart.
“Like you say, he got us in Barcelona and I’m out again at home, so he’s doing good stuff.”
In the UK particularly over the last year, female boxing has been given arguably its most exposure and recognition, underlined by the Matchroom bill on November 14 2020, headlined by Irish great Katie Taylor and also featuring WBC Super Featherweight champion, Terri Harper and now WBC interim Super Bantamweight titlist, Rachel Ball.
WBO Super Middleweight world champion, Savannah Marshall is another standout talent, who is on course for a future undisputed clash with three-weight world champion, Claressa Shields and Hunter has been a beneficiary of sparring with Marshall, an experience she sees as invaluable.
“Bad headache!” Hunter joked when asked how she found the sparring.
“Savannah’s my really good friend. I’ve been going up to Peter Fury’s gym on a Wednesday night, to spar Savannah on the Thursday morning and we’re going to keep that as a regular this camp, because for a female boxer it’s like the equivalent of Tom Hart in the gym going over to spar Canelo.
“I’ve got that on my doorstep and she’s my friend, so I’m going to keep using that as much as possible and I think that’ll be one of the big parts of my career that takes us that extra length.
“You cannot buy that and especially for female sparring I think the pool in the UK for the sparring it’s hard to get, I struggle myself.
“So to have that on my doorstep 40 minutes away and for Sav to take the time out to help me and give me rounds is just crucial for my career.”
According to Boxrec.com, Hunter is rated at #24 in the Welterweight world rankings, although some of the names above the Wallsend fighter have similar experience.
Leading the way is the undisputed champion, Jessica McCaskill who retained her belts with a rematch win over former long-reigning titlist, Cecilia Braekhus in March.
‘CasKILLA’ held all the titles within her first 11 fights and whilst Hunter will need more experience before tackling the likes of McCaskill, she believes a world title shot could be a realistic target within 10 bouts.
Hunter also admits she would be open to facing McCaskill’s stablemate and fellow undefeated Welterweight, Summer Lynn who was hinted as a potential future opponent by manager and trainer Rick Ramos on social media earlier this week.
— Rick Ramos (@RickRamosBoxing) June 8, 2021
“It’s obviously up to my coach, it’s up to my team, but the way he’s speaking, I’d say 10 fights and we’ll be ready to go [for world titles].
“As a fighter you’ll fight anyone won’t you. I’ll leave that down to Tony and my coach Joe and I’m sure if it makes sense we’ll make that fight happen [against Summer Lynn].”