Local heavyweight still seeks foothold

He thought at this point of his career he would be busier, but Michael Hunter understands the business of boxing.

And in business, things rarely go according to plan. The Las Vegas heavyweight, who turned pro after the 2012 London Olympics, has fought just twice, both knockout wins. But he was last seen in the ring Aug. 30, and for a young fighter, the lack of activity can hinder his development.

Hunter, who recently hired Al Haymon as his manager, is scheduled to return to action Jan. 24 in Shelton, Wash., as part of a Goossen Tudor Promotions card at the Little Creek Casino Resort. He will meet Gary Tauosa (2-0-1, one knockout) of Independence, Mo., in a four-round bout.

“You just try and get in the gym and work and stay focused and stay active,” Hunter said. “I’m really excited about this opportunity. (Trainer) Kenny Croom has been working on the fundamentals with me, keeping things simple. I know this is an important fight, because if I do well, it can lead to bigger and better things.”

Could this be the start of a partnership? Not so fast, said Dan Goossen, the card’s promoter.

“We’re using him on this particular show,” Goossen said. “I promoted Michael’s father in the 1980s, and I know his mother, Gwen, very well. I have a history with the family. But I don’t have any idea about his future with us beyond this fight.”

Goossen said Hunter, 25, could become a prized commodity in time.

“I think Michael will be one of those kids who grows in the ring as he matures physically,” he said.

Hunter said being with Haymon, who is Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s co-manager, should open some doors that were closed.

“Mr. Haymon knows everybody in boxing, and I see myself being far more active this year,” Hunter said.

■ JESSIE’S NEXT FIGHT — Unbeaten super bantamweight Jessie Magdaleno is training in California for his Feb. 1 fight in Laredo, Texas. Magdaleno (17-0, 13 KOs) will face veteran Roberto Castaneda (20-5-1, 15 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

In his last fight, Magdaleno stopped Raul Hidalgo in the third round on Oct. 11 at the Thomas &Mack Center.

■ RENO RESULTS — Eight of 11 Southern Nevada amateurs won medals in USA Boxing’s National Junior and Youth Championships in Reno, a weeklong competition that ended Saturday.

Leading the way was Las Vegan Devin Haney, who won the gold medal in the Junior Male 125-pound division, defeating Ryan Garcia of Adelanto, Calif., 3-0. It was the second straight national title for Haney.

Winning silver medals were Andres Cordes, Sharif Rahman, Nysja Barrientes, Yarisel Ramirez and Samantha Torres. Izaiah Bautista and Isaac Lujan won bronze medals.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at 702-387-2913 or Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.

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