I like Hank Lundy. As a fight fan, I can be assured, by and large, that when I tune in to one of his fights, someone's going down to the mat. Might be his foe, might be Hank, but someone is going to have their gloves dusted off by the ref. So he has that going for him. Add to that, the kid is a solid smack talker. Now, I don't always go for this. There's a fine line in trash talking that often, to me, gets stepped over. And too often in this day and age, I hear ferocious yapping pre-fight, and then on fight night, I see a bewildering timidity from the man who a month prior was threatening severe mayhem infliction upon his foe. That leaves me feeling screwed over as a consumer. (I know, I guess I am a bit gullible, naive, too susceptible to "marketing.") Then factor in that boxing saved Hank's life, that he freely admits he would have been dead, or in jail for the duration if he followed the sure path laid out for him, by fate, and geography, and his role models...Yeah, I like Lundy.
The Philadelphian Lundy (21-1-1 with 11 KOs) gloves up tonight in Atlantic City, on ESPN's Friday Night Fights (10 PM ET start), and it looked iffy yesterday, when he stepped on the weigh-in scale and was over, that his scrap against Ray Beltran (25-6 with 17 KOs; age 31; from Mexico, lives in Arizona) was in peril. On his fourth attempt, Lundy, who last scrapped in March (UD10 win over Dannie Williams on FNF), made the lightweight limit, so his NABF 135 pound title defense will proceed. It is a fight Lundy should win; the challenger comes in off a loss (UD10) to Luis Ramos in January, and he's 3-3 in his last six.
Lundy, skillfully promoted by the earnest and diligent Jimmy Burchfield, one of the game's unsung lifers, talked some of his usual top grade smack leading in to this bout. He and his crew want a crack against Adrien Broner, so he made sure to stir the Broner pot following Broner's weight woes last week.
“I’m a professional,” he said. He continued, “I worked to lose the weight," before calling Broner “unprofessional” and questioning the legitimacy of his 24-0 record. “I run this weight class. If you think you can just move up and jump over me, it ain’t happening. Don’t run. You could’ve mentioned my name on HBO. Instead, you took the easy way out. Just go on and keep fighting who you’re fighting. If he fought half the competition I’ve faced, he’d be dead in his tracks. Until I unify these titles, I rule this division, and I’m going to be here for a long time.”
Now, Lundy had a little hiccup at the Thursday weigh in. He was about a pound over the 135 pound limit, at 5:30 PM. He used the sauna, was 135.8, and it was decided he had til 7:30 to make the weight. He went on the treadmill, and was 135.2. Near the cutoff time, he made 134.8.
Promoter Burchfield told TSS he was surprised, as he recalls Lundy having a weight issue just once before, and certainly never after goofing on another pug for missing his mark. (Though, let's make clear, we aren't lumping Lundy in with Broner, who wasn't just over, he was OVER, and he didn't make an attempt to sweat it off after his weigh-in. Still, you do have to chuckle at the irony, don't you Alanis?)
Now, presuming Lundy wins, would it not make sense for Hank to take on fellow scale-buster Broner? These are two cats with fast hands, no end of confidence and it will be Fight of the Year, in the trash-talking department, I can nearly guarantee. I asked Burchfield if he has reached out to Team Broner about a showdown. "Lundy deserves a megafight, the whole team deserves a mega fight," he said. "Maybe we can get the networks to understand Hank is one of the most exciting young fighters out there. I don't want to hear that he doesn't belong at that level. I sent Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer a letter yesterday, he's traveling, he answered me back that he's out of the country. But he said he's going to send it to Eric his matchmaker. We're hoping with Bernard Hopkins knowing Hank, Hank giving him that award at the Boxing Writers Dinner, maybe we can get Bernard to lobby a bit." Of course, the promoter said, no one is looking past Beltran, who can crack. The promoter also said he asked people from HBO and Showtime to tune in to FNF, and see what Lundy brings to the table, and as evidence of Lundy's skills and star quality, said that ratings for Lundy fights always spike.
I think he brings a good deal to the table, and yes, I think a Broner-Lundy fight makes a ton of sense. Readers, do you agree?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV