Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Virgil Hunter to play undefined role in Danny Jacobs’ camp


Danny Jacobs will leave the snow-swept streets of New York City to train in Oakland, California at Virgil Hunter’s King’s Boxing Gym to get ready for Gennady Golovkin, Jacobs trainer Andre Rozier told on Friday. Hunter will play an undefined role in Jacobs’ camp, offering advice when he sees fit, according to Rozier.

“Virgil has given us the opportunity to work out of his gym,” Rozier said in a phone interview. “And Virgil and I are like family. He’s like my big brother. I call him that, and of course, we’ll be in the gym together. So I know every once in a while he’ll whisper something in my ear. It’s going to be fantastic. I’ve been on the big stage. He’s been on the big stage a few times. He knows the experiences and just the ambiances of those moments.”

Hunter will be around for the full duration of camp and will be used as a resource as Jacobs prepares to take on Golovkin for his WBC/IBF/WBA middleweight titles on March 18 at Madison Square Garden on HBO PPV. Rozier and Hunter are close and go back decades to when Andre Ward once fought Curtis Stevens as 10 and 11-year-olds in the Silver Gloves, Rozier said.

Rozier played down Hunter’s role but Hunter is regarded as one of the top cornerman in the sport and will be on hand as Jacobs (32-1, 29 knockouts) prepares for the biggest fight of his career against Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs). Hunter is best known for guiding Ward to championships at super middleweight and most recently at light heavyweight with his win over Sergey Kovalev on Nov. 19. He’s also worked with Amir Khan and Alfredo Angulo and is known as a shrewd motivator.

“There’s going to be a bunch of fighters there — Andre Ward is there, (Andre) Berto is there,” said Rozier, who has guided Jacobs since the amateurs and also trains Sadam Ali, among others. “And those are all Danny’s buddies. So, it’s going to be real exciting and fun. I’ve known him for 24 years now.” He added, “We’re not going to Madison Square Garden and coming up short. We’re winning this fight. We’re going all the way.”

In addition to Hunter, Chris Algieri, a former titleholder, will be in Jacobs’ camp as a nutritionist to prepare his meals; Anthony Irons, a one-time talented amateur who fought briefly as a pro, is there as an assistant trainer. Rozier also said that Gary Stark Sr. will be lending a hand after his own fighter, Marcus Browne faces Thomas Williams Jr. on Feb. 18.