Super Heavyweight Michael Hunter to Compete in the 2008 AIBA World Cup, December 10-14 in Moscow, Russia

Dec. 08, 2008, 2:14 p.m. (ET)
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) returned to Moscow, Russia on Sunday to compete in the 2008 AIBA World Cup, December 10-14 at the "Megasport" Sport Palace. It will be the first bout for Hunter since the final Olympic Qualifier, April 25-30 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Hunter will be the only U.S. boxer competing in the invitation only event in Moscow. Eight boxers in each weight division will compete in the elite event, which is the first world-wide senior level competition since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The seven super heavyweights joining Hunter in World Cup action are 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Zhilei Zhang of China, Nigeria's Onoriode Ohwarieme, Russia's Niyaz Faysullin, Croatia's Marko Tamosovic, Colombia's Oscar Rivas, Ukraine's Rouan Kapitonenko, and Cuba's Robert Acea Alfonso. Hunter will look to avenge a loss in the final round of the Second Americas Qualifier to Alfonso if the two meet in Russia. Alfonso's win in the previous bout qualified him for the 2008 Olympic Games while Hunter fell just one win short of earning an Olympic berth in all three qualifying events.  

The event draw will kick off the tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9 with preliminary action beginning on Wednesday, December 10. Preliminary competition will continue through the 11th with December 12 serving as a rest day for all of the boxers. Semifinal action will be contested on Saturday, December 13 and the event will end with final round competition on Sunday, December 14.

All 2008 World Cup action will be contested at the newly created "Megasport" Sport Palace, a nine-floor building, decorated in Russian colors and resembling the propeller of an aircraft. The 14,000 seat area was initially created to serve as a hockey arena but can be transformed to host 22 different sport disciplines.

Coaches Barry Hunter (Fort Washington, Md.) and Roosevelt Sanders, Jr.  (Jacksonville, N.C.) will lead Hunter into action at the World Cup while Don DeVerges (Los Angeles, Calif.) will serve as the AIBA official.

The 2008 edition is the first World Cup since 2006, in which the competition was contested in a team format with boxers advancing as a nation not individually.