“Hey Hank, you got that gameface on! How you doing?” I said to Hank Lundy, “Hammering Hank,” a Philly fighter with that particular brand of Philly 'tude, who will glove up Saturday night at Barclays in Brooklyn, and on HBO.
He fights Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme, and this one is seen by many experts as a coin flip fight.
“Ya'll see it, it ain't no gameface,” the 30-year-old Lundy, with a 25-3-1 (12 Kos) mark, told me on Wednesday. “It's real for me, I'm ready for war. Saturday, I'm bringing all hurt. I'm showing the world where Hammering Hank shoulda been from the get go. I feel kinda disrespected that Dulorme took the fight knowin' my stats. This is what I come to do, spoil it. I know I'm not picked to win, but I'm about to win in a big way.”
Ah, the way…
That method is up for debate in his camp, in his trainers' head, and in his own, perhaps. Mike Stafford, Adrien Broners' trainer, and Barry Hunter, who helms the Peterson Brothers, work together with Lundy, who is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield out of Rhode Island.
Stafford and Hunter both told me they want Lundy to work smarter, not harder, on Saturday. Use the jab, use his stamina, use his speed…don't trade. Don't hear the crowd, don't get into Philly-fury mode. “He's a good boxer, and he got power,” Stafford told me. But yes, his bottom line is, Lundy shouldn't get caught up in trading.
What about that, Hank? You gonna win a cerebral contest…or you going all Philly on the kid?
“Listen, at the end of the day, I'm Hank Lundy! So whatever work at the time, that's what I'm gonna do. It ain't no b——g around in there, it's war! I'm going in there to hurt, hurt and destroy!”
Dulorme will be entering the ring meaning for that not to happen. The 24-year-old with a 21-1 mark (14 Kos) has been stopped out in his only loss, against Luis Carlos Abregu (TKO7) in October 2012. He's won five straight since. He beat Karim Mayfield in March (UD10) in his last outing.
Stafford and me talked about fighters who have that intent to destroy, who see blood and get more frenzied…and those who don't. The closers have the “mean gene,” I told him. He chuckled. Yep, Lundy has that, he said. Broner had it from the get go, he said. He's hoping that “mean gene” is overridden by the cerebral gene on Saturday…thought I think fans would prefer we see evidence that the mean gene is the louder presence in Hank's head.
Barry Hunter feels as Stafford does. “Lundy has to be smart,” he said. “The key is to be more cerebral than physical.”
Hank's fighting spirit, that drive that us regulars don't comprehend, often wins out. “At the end of the day, I'm not one of these fighters who say, 'Oh, whatever my manager say, I wanna fight this guy or that guy. Everything that I say, I mean, and I do.”
Yep, it ain't a gameface for this guy…it ain't a GAME, after all. “I talk but I also back it up. And these guys know, I'm one of the realest fighters in the game, and you can say something to me, and I might punch you in the mouth before the fight.”
Ohhh-kayy…You might want to pay closer attention to today's press conference at Barclays, friends, with an extra eye on Lundy.
“I hope you're not gonna punch me!” I cracked, and chuckled, slightly nervously.
“No, no, you good,” he answered.
I've heard Lundy talk about being willing to die in the ring, and I told him that speaks to a certain mindset that most folks can't comprehend. “Where I come from, the tough streets of Philadelphia, everything I had, I had to fight for. But Hank Lundy is on HBO now. And I got the spotlight, and I'm going to show the world that I belong here.”
“I'm a boxer first, but if I gotta slug it out, and go to my Philly roots, then so be it…but I tell you like this, after this fight, Dulorme will never be the same after fighting Hank Lundy!”
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