World-rated heavyweight Michael Hunter will be the feature attraction when he meets former amateur foe Mike Wilson in the first main event of a new Tuesday night boxing series promoted by Triller at the Hulu Theater inside New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
The series kicks off on August 3 and will also include former WBO 140lbs champion Chris Algieri in a catchweight encounter at 144lbs against an opponent to be announced, according to Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com.
Entertainment app Triller sprang to prominence with the high-profile Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones exhibition last year and subsequently promoted an event featuring YouTube star Jake Paul against former MMA fighter Ben Askren. Triller will also stage undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez’s delayed clash with IBF No.1 contender George Kambosos in a separate Pay-Per-View card on August 14.
The Madison Square Garden fight series will be called ‘TrillerVerz’ and events will also feature a ‘Verzuz’ MC battle, starting with a war of words between noted hip hop artists N.O.R.E. and Beanie Sigel.
Shows will be streamed on FITE and Triller TV with the ‘Verzuz’ battle taking place after the main event is over. Each ‘TrillerVerz’ boxing card will feature up to 10-bouts.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing back ‘boxing Tuesdays’ at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, combining the excitement and purity of boxing with the innovation and cultural relevance of Verzuz,” Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN.
Rated No.7 by the WBC, WBA and WBO, and No.11 by the IBF, Hunter (19-1-1, 13 KOs) is relishing the opportunity and his place in the spotlight. “I’m the main event. This is the first time this has ever happened to me,” Hunter told ESPN. “It’s kind of unreal. I’m really excited about it.
“It puts a different type of pressure on me, though. I kind of have to show up and perform in a performing way especially being with Triller. I fought at MSG one time before, obviously I wasn’t the main event, and especially being at MSG, this is the world-renowned arena, so I feel like this is the greatest opportunity for me to step up my game and show everyone who the No. 1 American heavyweight is.”
Oregon’s Wilson, nicknamed ‘White Delight’, has not fought since September 2019. The 38-year-old most notably lost a 12-rounder with former unified cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev in Monte Carlo in November 2018. Wilson (21-1, 10 KOs) was previously a two-time US national amateur champion at super-heavyweight (2004 and 2005). He lost to an 18-year-old Hunter in the 2007 final.