Crawford’s League – This Saturday night on HBO at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, WBO junior-welterweight title holder Terence Crawford 27-0 (19) will make the second defense of his title against Philadelphian Hank Lundy 26-5-1 (13). Crawford, 28, is one of the more high profile boxers who fights on HBO, and for good reason; he’s an outstanding fighter and maybe even a once-in-a-generation talent. Three of his four previous bouts were in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Now he’s going to showcase his skills at one of boxing’s most historic venues with the hopes of increasing his profile and stature.
If by chance you’ve never seen Terence Crawford fight, he’s the genuine article and looks to continue his ascent among the top pound-for-pound fighters in professional boxing. Crawford is a rare blend of speed, power and skill. He can fight inside and outside and he’s versatile enough to the point to where he can box a banger or rough up a boxer and impose his strength and will. And if that’s not enough to make him a tall order for his opponents, for a quiet guy, he’s got a mean streak in him and isn’t the type fighter who has shown that he’s willing to show mercy or let a beaten opponent off the hook.
In Hank Lundy, Crawford will be confronting a fighter in which he owns every conceivable advantage, and most believe the bout will amount to nothing more than a vigorous sparring session in the gym. As a fighter, Lundy’s best qualities are his work-rate and he’s not easily discouraged, but neither of those things equips him to hang with Crawford. As a technician, Lundy tends to load up on left hooks and the wide arc in which they arrive telegraph them…..and if that weren’t bad enough, Hank often drops his right hand when he hooks to the body or head. Basically, Lundy is pretty vanilla offensively and no better than par defensively. The only imaginative thing he does is, he’ll revert to fighting as a southpaw from his orthodox stance from time-to-time. Lundy, 32, is a serious tough guy and always brings it, however he’s just not exceptionally gifted.
Lundy is a grinder and has landed big fights before and has often come up short. However, in fairness he’s lost some close fights. This is no doubt the biggest opportunity of his career and he knows it. According to ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael, Ruslan Provodnikov, Viktor Postol, Lucas Matthysse and Mauricio Herrera all turned down proposed bouts against Crawford and Lundy jumped at the chance to take on one of the elite pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Lundy prides himself in being a guy willing to fight the best of the best and in his mind is still undefeated and can explain away all five of his career setbacks.
Lundy is Better Than His Record, but He’s Not in Crawford’s League
In fact if you go a step further you can sense that Hank believes he’s been mismanaged and sees his bout versus Terence Crawford as his last shot to prove himself to his fans and critics, as he told John DiSanto of Phillyboxinghistory.com/fightnews.com below.
Do you see this as your last chance to finally prove yourself to everyone?
“Most definitely,” Lundy said. “A lot of these champs, or so called champs, are champs because of their promoter. At the end of the day, I came up the hard way. I’ll put it like this, if any of these fighters took the road I took, they wouldn’t be champ today. They wouldn’t face the adversity that I have been through in my career. Most of these guys who are A-Side fighters, haven’t had to go to Russia to fight somebody in their back yard. I fought a guy, Viktor Postal. I beat him, but they gave him the decision. And ya’ll can look at that on YouTube.”
As you can see by his words, Lundy believes that because of his willingness to fight anyone at any time, he’s been taken advantage of. Lundy is 1-2 in his last three bouts and 4-4 in his last eight. On paper he is overmatched against the smooth and stylish Crawford and everybody knows it. That said, Lundy is fully cognizant this is his last shot and he’s a little better than his record indicates. I’m certain he’ll bring his A-game and it won’t be enough. But he’s cocky and confident enough to not embarrass himself and that’s what I expect.
So basically there’s no intrigue as to what the outcome will be. However, Crawford would serve himself well if he does what supposedly great fighters do when they meet limited opposition….and that’s win convincingly and in a memorable fashion. We know Lundy doesn’t believe he’s just the opponent and B-side of the match-up. It’s on Crawford to prove him wrong; so let’s see if he can.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
Check out The Boxing Channel‘s video with results and highlights.