SPORTS AWARDS: Hartlepool boxer Michael Hunter bids for top honour

Michael Hunter with his Lonsdale belt. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN
Michael Hunter with his Lonsdale belt. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN

A BOXING great has become the latest addition to the contenders in the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.

Michael Hunter, 35, is hoping to add one more trophy to his cabinet.

He’s been nominated for the sports awards’ Inspire category by a fan who said: “With a great tradition of good boxers coming out of Hartlepool, and the pool of talent that are just starting, who else to look up to than Michael Hunter.”

Michael, a family man now working as a builder, said: “It is nice that people still remember me. It would be another achievement to win this.”

He retired with a record of 33 fights, 30 wins, one draw and two defeats.

He won the Junior ABAs and National Association of Boys Clubs championships and two senior ABA titles in 1997 and 1999.

He turned professional in 2000, won the Northern Area super-bantamweight title in 2001, and the World Boxing Federation’s super-bantamweight belt crown a year later.

Perhaps his greatest triumph was his win over Esham Pickering after being knocked down twice. He lifted the British, Commonwealth and European belts.

In 2006, he faced Canadian Steve Molitor for the vacant IBF title, but lost in five rounds.

Reflecting on his success, Michael admitted: “I wish I could go back and have one more year, but it is a young man’s sport.”

Michael now becomes a worthy contender for a Hartlepool Mail Sports Award.

There are 13 categories in this year’s competition:

Team of the Year;

Sportsperson Special Achievement Award;

Disabled Sports Person Award;

Disabled Team of the Year;

Contribution to Disability Sports Award;

Sports Official/Referee Award;

Coach of the Year Award;

Unsung Hero Award or Volunteer/Young Leader Award;

Club of the Year Award;

Lifetime Achievement Award;

Sports Personality of the Year Award;

Young Sports Personality of the Year Award;

Inspire Award.

To nominate a person or group, fill in the form HERE