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ERIC HUNTER: "I HAD TO LET EVERYBODY KNOW...I PROVED THEM WRONG"

By Percy Crawford | December 21, 2012
ERIC HUNTER:

"I was a little wild against Belmontes, but I just wanted to let these guys know they can't beat me at my best. I wasn't even at my best, but I was in great shape to beat him...I had to let everybody know I was on that type of level. It was a crazy feeling. They thought that the guy was gonna beat me. They thought that I would be sitting around and not training and I proved them wrong," stated featherweight contender Eric Hunter, who talked about his future plans after his recent victory of previously undefeated Jerry Belmontes. Check it out!

PC: Congratulations on your win over Jerry Belmontes. How do you feel about your performance?

EH: I feel good about it, but there is more to come than that. That was just to open the door back up.

PC: It's always good to take a fighter's 0 away from him. What was the game plan going into that fight?

EH: The game plan was to just break him down mentally; start off with the jab and then mix it up a little bit and then dominate from there on.

PC: Just two fights ago, you were disqualified for low blows. How did you put that behind you and overcome that situation to bounce back with some nice wins?

EH: I just had to get away from the sport of boxing a little bit. I wasn't all the way there when I fought Luis Franco. It just wasn't there for me. Now, I appreciate the fight game and in my fights now, I just want to be smart. I was a little wild against Belmontes, but I just wanted to let these guys know they can't beat me at my best. I wasn't even at my best, but I was in great shape to beat him.

PC: When you knocked him down in the 2nd round, did you think you could finish him off then?

EH: I thought I could finish him, but he wasn't letting nobody finish him. He was too scared to let me finish him. He was in survival mode. He was a good fighter, but he was a survivor. He wasn't gonna let me knock him out. He didn't mind taking a loss, but he wasn't gonna let me knock him out.

PC: What can we expect from you in 2013? 

EH: I hope I get a belt. I'm hoping that I can get a chance to get a belt. I think I cracked the world rankings with my last win, but now I hope I can get a shot at a belt.

PC: How often do you want to fight next year?

EH: To be honest with you, I would like to fight 4 or 5 times next year, but they gotta be meaningful fights. If it's these itty bitty fights, then I will fight like 6 times or so, but if it's meaningful fights, I will fight at least 4 times. I ain't going back to the 8-round fights. It's gotta be at least 10-round fights.

PC: What was it like to showcase your talents and have the eyes of NBC Sports be able to see you fight? 

EH: Ah man, I had to let everybody know I was on that type of level. It was a crazy feeling. They thought that the guy was gonna beat me. They thought that I would be sitting around and not training and I proved them wrong.

PC: Naazim Richardson was in your corner. What are you learning from him?

EH: Oh yeah, I learned a lot from Naazim. He is a great guy and a great mentor. He is a guy who watched me train and watched me grow up as a little kid. He had all of the top guys fighting, so I used to be able to watch them fight and train as a kid because Naazim had all of the best fighters in the city. He had all of 'em.

PC: Do you wait until after the holidays to go back to the gym or will you be back in there soon?

EH: We don't do holidays around here. We are Muslims, so we don't do holidays (laughing), but I ain't gonna lie, I will take a long time off from the gym because I wasn't active. But now, since I'm back in the mix, I will be in the gym this week. Plus, my trainer ain't letting me be away from the gym too long right now. I'm the guy again now, so I gotta stay in there.

PC: That was a great performance you put on. I wish you the best and we will be talking soon.

EH: Sounds good to me; no problem!

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