Team USA box clever at Bolton One
Posted on Wednesday 18th July 2012
Stephan Shaw and Michael Hunter
America’s Olympic heavyweight hopefuls have been using the University of Bolton’s sporting and clinical treatment facilities at Bolton One.
USA Heavyweight boxing, gold medal prospect Michael Hunter received clinical support at the University’s Sports and Spinal Injuries Clinic (SSIC) housed in the £31 million Bolton One complex.
Michael, who is also known as ‘The Bounty Hunter’ after his late father who was also a talented fighter, follows such exalted compatriots as the late Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
Both those legendary boxers won Olympic gold before going on to be Heavyweight Champion of the world. And The Bounty Hunter is aiming to follow their golden example. He said: ‘I’m thinking of nothing but gold! I don’t want to think about anything else, I can’t!’
He added: ‘But I’ll be taking it one fight at a time. It will be a great experience and I’m also here to have fun. I mean this is the Olympics, right? So it’s not going to be easy at all…but I really do want the gold medal.’
Michael was joined at the Clinic by his sparring and training partner for the games, Stephan Shaw. Stephan is only 19 years old and is already touted as America’s Super Heavyweight contender for the Rio de Janeiro games in 2016.
He said: ‘I’m a student of the fight game. It’s in my blood and my family, I remember going to the gym for the first time when I was three years old – I’ve been boxing since I was eight years old!’
And while Stephan is enjoying the London 2012 experience as a sparring partner and spectator, he can’t wait for his own chance to shine in four years.
Stephan added: ‘I can’t wait for my time in Rio, I’m 19 years of age now, by then I’ll be 23 or 24 – a fully grown man. I’ll be ready to take on all comers and then become the heavyweight champion of the world!’
As well as using the SSIC in Bolton One – which is also home to the University’s Athlete Development Centre, Clinical Simulation Suite, Sports Hall and 50ft Climbing wall - Team USA has also been working out at Amir Khan’s gym.
Michael said: ‘Everyone is so friendly up here in Bolton. We have been looked after real good by all the volunteers and people at Khan’s gym, letting us do private sessions and other gym work.’
The London 2012 games opening ceremony is on Friday 27 July. The boxing tournament will take place at the Excel Arena and starts on Saturday 28 July with the Flyweights. Michael and the Heavyweights touch gloves on the Wednesday 1 August.