PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 27, 2016  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. -


South Philly's Hammerin' Hank Lundy's hopes of winning a world title and proving everyone wrong came crashing down in round five of his WBO junior welterweight championship fight against Terence Crawford of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford defended his crown Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, by impressive fifth round TKO and gave further proof that he is one of the world's very best fighters of the day.  Up to the time of the stoppage, Lundy was putting up a solid effort, but in the end, Lundy could not match Crawford's ability.  

Lundy started fast and held his own against the champion over the first four rounds. However once Crawford, Omaha, warmed up, he began landing lethal shots. Midway through the fifth, Crawford nailed Lundy with a left hook that had him wobbly. Lundy fought back but Crawford jumped right on him and scored a knockdown with a vicious barrage. Lundy beat the count, but Crawford was waiting.

When the action resumed, the champion stepped right in and hurt Lundy with another combination. The flurry trapped Lundy in his own corner. With Hank reeling from the blows, referee Steve Willis intervened to save Lundy from further punishment.  The time was 2:09 of round five.

At the time of the stoppage, judge Kevin Morgan had the fight even (38-38) after four rounds. The other two judges, Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld favored Crawford 4-0 in rounds (40-36). 

"He came out really strong," Crawford said. "He had good timing, good rhythm. It surprised me how strong he came out. It took me a while to figure him out. I had to get his timing and rhythm down before I could get to work. It took me three or four rounds to figure him out. He was tough early, but once I got him I got him." 

The testy build up to the fight helped to produce a feisty grudge match. Both fighters did a lot of talking and each was looking for the last laugh. 

"Lundy and I have been going back and forth on Twitter for about a year," Crawford, 28-0, 20 KOs, said. "A lot of personal stuff. I just wanted to shut him up at last. He said I wasn't that good and that I was scared of him. He said he was going to knock me out. Then he talked (bad) about Omaha. Boxing is a sport where great fighters come from all parts of the world, even Omaha." 

This was Hank's third loss in four fights. However, the other two defeats were squeakers, and despite adding another loss, Lundy remains an exciting fighter (especially on TV) that always brings a good fight.

"His height didn't really bother me much," Lundy said. "I've been used to fighting guys 5' 11". I felt I was starting to close the distance better. He caught me with a shot on the top of my head. It threw my equilibrium off and I couldn't recover. It was a good shot. It is what it is, but I didn't think the fight should have been stopped. I wanted to go out on my shield." 

Lundy must now get back in line and may opt to move back down to lightweight. Crawford move on and appears to have many important potential fights before him.


In the nationally televised (HBO) co-feature, rising star Felix Verdejo, 20-0, 14 KOs, remained undefeated and defended his WBO Latino lightweight title with a landslide ten round decision over Brazilian William Sivva, 23-1, 14 KOs. The fight was a snoozer, but Verdejo performed well and kept the excitement surrounding him rising. He's getting close to a significant match.

In the final off-TV bout of the evening, junior welterweight Julian Rodriguez, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, 12-0, 9 KOs, was extended to the full eight round limit by King Daluz of Spain, 12-3-2, 2 KOs. Rodriguez dominated the action and scored a knockdown in round seven. However Daluz took everything that came his way and Rodriguez had to settle for a one-sided decision. Official scores were 79-72 and 80-71 twice.

In a scheduled 4-round junior lightweight swing bout, undefeated Puerto Rican prospect Jean Carlos Torres, 4-0, 3 KOs, pounced on Albuquerque's Miguel Gloria, 1-2, dropping him once in the first round and twice in round two. Finally after a few more punches and just 20 seconds into round three, referee Alan Huggins stepped in to save Gloria from further punishment.

Featherweight Christopher Diaz, 15-0, 20 KOs, remained undefeated with a brutal fourth round stoppage of Dominican Angel Luna, 11-2-1, 7 KOs. The fight was an action packed battle, although Diaz won every round leading up to the TKO.  In round four, Diaz, Barranquitas, PR, hurt Luna with a left hook before landing a three punch combo in a neutral corner that had Luna out on his feet. Referee David Fields jumped in to stop it at 2:42 of the fourth. 

Light heavyweight Sean Monaghan, 27-0, 17 KOs, battered Finland's Janne Forsman, 21-4, 13 KOs, and stopped him with a relentless body attack at 1:34 of round five. Monaghan pounded Forsman to the canvas with body blows at the end of round four. Monaghan, Long Beach, NY, continued to dish the punishment in the fifth and referee Alan Huggins stepped in when Forsman stopped punching back.

In the show-opener at Madison Square Garden Theater, Baltimore junior welterweight Emanuel Taylor, 19-4, 13 KOs, looked sharp in scoring a sixth round KO over free-swinging, Nicaraguan southpaw Wilfredo Acuna, 16-19, 11 KOs.  Taylor softened his rugged foe with a trio of left hooks early in round six. Then as the round wound down, Taylor unleashed a two-fisted flurry that dropped Acuna. Referee David Fields reached the count of ten just before the bell sounded to end the round. The time was 2:59 of the sixth.

The official attendance for the Top rank promoted show was 5,092.




John DiSanto - New York City - February 27, 2016