PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                         March 30, 2012


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South Philly's Hammerin' Hank Lundy retained his NABF lightweight title Friday night with a unanimous 10-round decision over Danny Williams at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT. The fight was nationally televised by ESPN2. As the fight approached, the two boxers did a lot of talking about each other, prompting boxing fans to wonder if their fists could match stats with their mouths. When the bell rang, they showed everyone that they could.

Lundy opened the fight as a southpaw, and marched right into the action, seemingly unconcerned about Williams' reputation as a knockout artist, or his reportedly dangerous right hand. Lundy was faster and a bit more intense than the St. Louis native, but Williams surprised Hank near the round's end with a clubbing left hook to the head. The punch landed clumsily, but wobbled and dropped the Philadelphian. Lundy bounced right up and the bell prevented any further development.

Lundy and Williams clashed in round two, Williams trying to repeat his big punch from the first, while Lundy tried to regain control. It was an excellent battle. The third round exploded with both fighters landing well. Each took turns rocking the other, and a knockout seemed a certainty. In fact, at this point in the fight, it was tempting to just throw my scorecard down and deem it pointless.

Although Lundy was landing, it was Williams' who seemed to be getting more bang for his buck. Anyone familiar with Hammerin' Hank, knows that in the past, the drama of his wild and exciting fights usually centers around his habit of letting his opponent into a fight that he already seems to have sewn up. So the constant two-way artillery of this war, made Lundy fans squirm, even though it was balls-out boxing. The two went at it for another round or so, but something surprising  happened  along the way.

Instead of being beautifully reckless, Hank Lundy started fighting smartly. He used his jab and kept his hands up. He did not charge in  to prove he was better and tougher than Williams. Instead Lundy kept his head and used his speed and skill to pile up points and rounds.

The fight continued to be exciting, although nothing came close to topping round three. By the mid-point of the fight, Lundy had gained complete control and merely had to be careful and continue his work of breaking Williams down.

Lundy strung together several straight rounds, and as the fight came to a close, seemed to have Williams hurt, and perhaps close to going down. But Williams survived and Lundy went on to take the decision by comfortable scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 97-92. I had it 97-92.

The win upped Lundy's record to 22-1-1 with 11 KOs, and also raised his stake in the lightweight division. He showed maturity and ring intelligence against Williams and still managed to provide his usual thrills and spills. All in all, a very good night for Lundy.

Williams fell to 21-2 with 17 KOs, but by dropping Lundy, by far his best opponent to date, he proved that his punching power was for real.

On the undercard, Philly's Eric Mitchell stepped in at the last minute to face Elvin Ayala in the 8-round middleweight semi-windup. The 42-year old Mitchell didn't offer too much  opposition, opting instead to play it safe and seemed satisfied with lasting the distance on just three-days notice. Ayala won the unanimous decision by scores of 79-73, 79-73 and 78-74.




John DiSanto - News & Notes - March 30, 2012