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.

  • wayne reid

    Woah Jacob’s camp looking good on paper…..might get an upset come fight night

    • The Black Mamba

      Even though a fighter profits from good coaches, teammates and physicians (they habe incredible value), he has to step into the ring in his own. Against Gennady Golovkin, who has a tremendous circle behind him as well, you need to bring everything you got into the ring and you might end up coming short nonetheless.
      It’s just a hard affair to fight this guy.

      I remember Conor McGregor changing his training complete after his loss to Nate Diaz. In his case, it helped focusing on only one guy. He already had all the tools to beat Diaz, though, and John Kavanagh is a hell of a trainer.

      • Barley mcgrew

        Good point. And was ever that importance of a world-class trainer better exemplified than when Steward trained the far inferior McCall to exploit the lack of polish in the earlier, less refined Lewis – then switched sides to train Lewis to become one of the finest heavyweights in history ?

        • The Black Mamba

          I agree, Lennox Lewis had all the physical and mental attributes to become world champion and Emanuel Steward was able to bring them to the surface. It’s sad that McCall did this weird stuff in their rematch and Lewis wasn’t able to show all of his improvements.

          Kavanagh was so calm in the corner after the third round of the rematch, he said the right things and McGregor managed to overcome this adversity (John McCarthy was about to step in at the end of the round).

          • Barley mcgrew

            So agree on that point about McCall’s weird antics in the rematch denying Lennox Lewis the opportunity of a more conclusive victory. Ditto again on the excellent Kavanagh.

          • The Black Mamba

            After the second round I thought that McGregor was going to shut Diaz out on the scorecards as he wasn’t going for the kill like he did in their first bout. He gassed out really fast during the third round though and I can’t tell exactly why.
            His fast, precise movements and balance seem to tire him out pretty fast. Dominick Cruz stated he isn’t sure if Conor has the style to go 5 rounds, and I agree.
            Somehow, he cought a second wind during the fourth round and Diaz slowed down appreciatively as well.
            I believe that Diaz is a serious threat to him if they meet a third time. Nurmagomedov is no joke either, but I haven’t seen much of him so I don’t want to make a statement on that.
            He definitely should not fight Tyron Woodley as Joey Diaz predicted on Joe Rogans podcast.

          • Barley mcgrew

            Good points. I would favour Conor again over Diaz (although he has to be careful not to gas). I also think the excellent Nurmagomedov loses to McGregor – tough as he would likely be. But Woodley would be a REAL steep hill for McGregor to climb. Agreed.

  • Gary Schneider

    I hope Virgil Hunter is a better cornerman than a commenter. His comments are dumb sometimes.

  • Mark Schoeman

    So he’ll play the same role he does for Ward: Chief Grandstander. Let us know if Jacobs calls on Teddy Atlas as well, then we’ll be assured of at least one good fight as those two will come to blows over who offers no technical advice just platitudes and cliches.

    At least Atlas was never in position to curtail a great fighter though, since he never latched on to young star, rather fighters already developed. Hunter on the other hand has a thoroughbred he’s taught to be a Clydesdale…

  • Robert Archambault

    So all of Danny’s buddies will be there and it will be a lot of fun. Great. In the meantime, Golovkin will taking this fight very seriously and not playing around with anyone during his training camp. Jacobs better have fun in camp because I don’t think he will be having any fun in the ring on fight night.

    • Barley mcgrew

      Lol. So true. I figure Hunter is going to have precisely the same effect on influencing GGG-Jacobs as he did in influencing the outcome of Canelo-Khan. In other words – NONE.

    • disqus_EewaFe3EB6

      Golovkin always seems to have a shit ton of fun in camp, judging by the footage I’ve seen, which makes him even scarier-
      I like Hunter in Jacobs’ corner (will he be there), the man is really good in keeping his fighters in the zone, which will hopefully make the fight a little more competitive.
      (The outcome is so written though, that Danny might as well not train)

      • Robert Archambault

        Actually there is very little footage of GGG when training for a fight other than public training sessions. That is why he trains in Big Bear, it is distraction free. He has no ‘entourage’, no gang of people hanging on to him. You see this when he enters the ring, he is alone with his trainers. There are no rappers holding his belts aloft, no half assed rapper with a microphone doing some shitty rap as he walks to the ring. There are no ‘fluffers’ telling him how great he is to boost his ego. It is serious business only .

        • disqus_EewaFe3EB6

          What I meant is that he has fun training

  • IanF69

    A good move I think as this is the guy who taught Khan how to land flat on his face without breaking his nose…..wise decision.

    • disqus_EewaFe3EB6

      Khan landed on his back but hey

    • disqus_EewaFe3EB6

      Khan landed on his back but hey

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