Of late, I've been mildly consumed with a theme as I cover the sport. The theme is: boxing saves lives.
Boxing, which gets so much flak, so many critiques from all us know-it-alls and TwitNitWits, takes hundreds of young men off the street every year, gives them something to focus on, helps them learn discipline and craft goals which don't include self-destructive acts and behavior which negatively impacts their communities.
I talked to one young man on Wednesday night at the 87th annual Boxing Writers Association of America dinner at the Copacabana in NYC, Hank Lundy, who has no problem telling one and all that boxing probably saved his life.
The Philly-born fighter, who won the NABF lightweight title when he beat Dannie Williams on March 30 (UD10) at Foxwoods, was heading towards an early, violent demise, or prolonged incarceration, but then found the ring. He liked the structure boxing gave him, stuck with it, as he stated when he introduced Bernard Hopkins, who received a recognition award from the BWAA at the Copa, and today is on the cusp of a career-defining fight.
Check out this video I shot of Lundy, a likable personality for sure who is promoted by the Rhode Island stalwart Jimmy Burchfield, an unheralded fixture in the game who has helped kept the sport afloat on the East Coast for three decades.
Lundy maintains that WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco would rather take on a softer touch, in Daniel Estrada (28-2-1, from Mexico), who is No. 6 versus No. 2 for Lundy in the WBC rankings, than step up and meet him.