Hunter also said he thought Angulo’s injury was the result of being thumbed by Lara.
“I don’t want to get off into what I felt really was a thumb, but that’s how you get a scratched cornea, is you get poked in the eye. I’m not going to say whether it was intentional or not, but I had warned the referee in the dressing room to look out for little things when the fight got heated,” said Hunter.
“There is nothing that is going to make Angulo turn around like that unless there is something quick and abrupt, and we’ve seen enough fights to know that a thumb will do that in a split second. That can make a fighter stop and cringe. I had to hear all of the crap about you can’t thumb with a Grant glove, but you can thumb with any glove if you know how to turn it over. But I didn’t want to get off into that.”
HUNTER: LARA’S ‘THE BEST 154-POUNDER OUT THERE’
“Look, in my opinion, Lara’s the best, without a doubt, 154-pounder out there,” said Hunter. “I know there are comments about his style and whether or not he’s entertaining, and things like that, and I’ll leave that to other people. But if you’re speaking from a skill aspect, and experience and everything, he’s the best 154 out there.”
Better than RING champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?
“Look, if he wasn’t better, that fight would have happened. They can minimize Lara’s style and skills all they want,” said Hunter. “But the public has been calling for that fight, and, for whatever reason, it hasn’t taken place. So, I think that kind of speaks for itself. Who would win? That’s open to debate.”
…ON REBUILDING ANGULO
“I think that he did a lot things right, considering that he had few advantages, and I think that he has an upside,” said Hunter. “It was a tough, tough fight, so we’ll go back to the drawing board now, and it’s easier to implement his defense…I believe that Angulo is going to get better because he wants to,” said Hunter.
“It’s quite obvious that we have some work to do. Like, I want to get him to pull the trigger quicker because there were moments in the fight where he just waited too long. So I want to get him to pull the trigger quicker. But I believe that he’s got three or four good fights left in him after we give him some adequate time off. But I know that this was a fight that we can build on.”
TEEN-AGED DEVAR FERHADI LOOKS TO INSPIRE A NATION
Junior middleweight Devar Ferhadi (3-0, 2 KOs) is an 18-year-old from Frederick, Md., who stands 6-foot-1. Born in Northern Iraq, Ferhadi aspires to be a leader in the sport of boxing for those of Kurdish descent, much like English fighter Amir Khan is for those from Pakistan.
“My parents came to America as refugees from Saddam Hussein’s regime, so I was really raised with the mentality that they had. …I’d like to give the Kurdish people someone in boxing to recognize, because they have no one,” said Ferhadi.
“Not only the Kurdish people, but the Iraqi people and the Middle Eastern people as well. I know that with Amir Khan, the people of Pakistan, and with a lot of Pakistani’s living in England, he really has been able to represent them and to become an icon to them. I would like to be able to do the same thing for Kurds and those in the Middle East in general, because they have no one that they can raise their flag up to in boxing.”
“I’d like to be that person on the world stage, and with a fight against Demetrius Ballard,” said Ferhadi. “I think that sort of publicity would really be good for me and my people.”
If not boxing, a career in science might beckon Ferhadi, who maintained a perfect A-average before graduating from Tuscarora High in Frederick, and carried a 3.5 over his past year at Frederick’s Hood College.
“I’ve kind of been offered a full ride to medical school over in Kurdistan, and their school year starts in October. So unless I can really make an impact, or have someone like De La Hoya see me box and be impressed, there is really no choice for me other than to go to school back there,” said Ferhadi, who has been accepted to the University of Maryland at College Park, where he could major in biochemistry.
“But someone like Demetrius, he’s obviously, at the top spot where I would like to be at. I’d like to try to take that spot from him. It’s kill or be killed in the boxing game, and I’d like to challenge him. I’d like for him to step up to the plate. But if he thinks that it’s too risky, I would understand that. I feel like we would both be taking a big risk, but I also feel like we both would have a good amount to gain out of it. We’re both undefeated professional boxers. If he can get me on his record as a win, or I could get him on mine as a win, then there’s a big risk, but also a big reward.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Juan Marshall
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com