|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY July 26, 2012||
LUNDY RISKS #1 RANKING
By John DiSanto
The stakes keep rising for lightweight Hammerin Hank Lundy. Recently he was named the #1 WBC lightweight contender, putting him in line to fight champion Antonio DeMarco later this year. That is if Lundy can just keep winning. On Friday night, Lundy fights the no-nonsense Raymundo Beltran in the main event at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Lundy's NABF 135-pound title will be on the line in the 10-rounder, but the real prize that victory will bring is that long-awaited title shot Lundy has been longing for.
"I feel great because now all the hard work and dedication is paying off," Lundy said while training at the Upper Darby Boxing Club. "Now these lightweights out there, they can't run from me no more."
Lundy has been on a tough schedule, fighting the top boxers in and around the lightweight division over the past few years. He's built his record to 22-1 (11 KO), and won both the NABO and NABF regional titles during the stretch.
"That's what's been going on," Lundy said. "Everybody's been running from me because they know I'm a problem. I'm the real problem in the game, and they can't run no more."
For his chance to prove what he says, Lundy must dispose of Beltran this weekend. Raymundo, 31, is best known as the long-time sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao but also possesses a 25-6 (17 KO) record, and a reputation as a straight forward pressure fighter with the ability to punch. His last nine wins have come by KO.
"Well Raymundo Beltran I know is a come-forward guy, a pressure guy," Lundy said. "He comes forward, you know, try to apply that pressure. And he will not take "NO" for an answer."
Sloan Harrison, Lundy's trainer agrees, "He comes to fight, I know that," he said about Beltran. "He comes to fight, and it should be and exciting fight."
When has a Hammerin Hank fight not been exciting? Time and again, he's come off the floor to score both thrilling comeback knockouts, as well as controlled boxing clinics.
When Lundy does meet the canvas, his corner takes it in stride.
"When it happens, all I know is that he's gonna get up," said Harrison. "And then you don't see the mistakes no more."
That ability to come back from a shot is an important part of being a top fighter.
"What he's got is the whole package," Harrison, a boxing trainer for 30 years, said. "Hank's got the whole package. Now I got some fighters that fight just as well as him, but they don't have the whole package. Hank fight's well. He listens. He's got the whole package. He goes home and goes to bed. He don't hang out. He's got the whole package."
The fight with Beltran will be Lundy's ninth fight on ESPN2. He's grown from a supporting player to headliner with his thrill-ride victories and that one equally exciting defeat.
In 2010, Lundy was ahead on the cards before running into a heavy shot from John Molina. His critics said that Lundy blew a fight he was winning by clowning and getting careless. The bout was stopped in the 11th round, and Lundy lost his NABO belt. It was a setback that slowed his rise up the ratings, but it was a lesson well learned.
"I was controlling the fight, (but it's) a tough sport. You slack up in there and you gonna pay for it. The thing that happened with me in my first loss, it will never happen again, because that was because of ME. You know, me playing around. I just want to show the world that you can always overcome. You can come back strong. And I showed people."
Lundy bounced back well after the loss, going 4-0 since that fight against top-flight competition. In his last seven fights, the combined record of his opponents was 141-10-3 with 86 KOs.
"What's Hammerin Hank doing," Lundy asked. "I'm taking the toughest guys they got out there and making them look like they don't even belong in my league. Most of these guys (other contenders and champions) want to just sit back and fight guys that aren't skillful just to make themselves look good. Not Hammerin Hank."
Lundy is, and always has been a guy with something to prove.
"Half these fights I been in, I ain't supposed to be winning them. But we showed everybody that we a key fighter, and a talented fighter, and a fighter that when you put a camera on me, I'm always gonna do something that even I don't know that I'm gonna do. I'm gonna put on a show."
The latest Hammerin Hank show is Friday night at Resorts. Lundy has an opponent that has the style to make things interesting. It figures that Beltran will go right at Lundy, and Hammerin Hank will respond with his usual combination of high level skill and crowd-pleasing flair.
"The key to this game is to stay busy and work on your craft, and that's what I do," Lundy said. "Everybody wanted me to sit out and wait for the title shot, but that's not what Hammerin Hank is all about. You can't sleep in this game. When you sleep, you get put to sleep, and Hammerin Hank ain't having that."
So Lundy took this fight - his first close to home since 2009 - as a way to stay busy, hone his skills, and perform for his fans.
"Most of these guys out here in the boxing world forget about their fans. Your fans make you who you are. That's one thing I'd like to do, give a special shout out to all the Hank Lundy fans. Ain't nothing gonna change. You still going to see Hammerin Hank go in there, be hungry, work hard, and show my love to my fans."
The love that Lundy shows usually comes in the form of breath-taking action. It's the kind of two-way excitement that has made Lundy the most exciting TV fighter from Philly these days. That is saying a lot, considering that Lundy is in a thick pack of outstanding Philly fighters like Danny Garcia, Gabriel Rosado, Bryant Jennings and Garrett Wilson. All of them are great to watch, but none bring the spills and thrills like Lundy does.
"You know what? I'm living a dream right now," Lundy said. "(I'm just) a kid that played football, a kid that came from the hood, and I showed everybody, mostly the young kids out there, that there's a different way. But you know, I still have to come home and win that world title, and bring that gold home."
One more win, and Lundy will get that chance.
Lundy and Beltran headline the Resorts card promoted by CES Boxing that also features a 10-round super middleweight co-feature for the vacant WBC FECARBOX title between Philly's Farah Ennis and Richard Pierson of Patterson, NJ. North Philly bantamweight Miguel Cartagena leads the full undercard with a 6-round bout against Jose Rivera. The first bell rings at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at the door.