On Friday night in Atlantic City, NJ “Hammerin” Hank Lundy will step into the ring for his tenth time on ESPN2. He is the main event this week on the networks weekly fight series. Lundy will be defending his NABF lightweight title for the second time against a former lightweight champion himself, Raymundo Beltran. Beltran, who has been a longtime sparring partner of Manny Pacquaio, is known for his come forward style and knockout ratio, with a record of 25-6 and 17 of those wins coming by knockout.
Lundy says that the style of his opponent doesn’t faze him. With an unorthodox style he developed in the amateurs, Lundy has been quoted as saying he is prepared for anything and that he remains confident that he is the only one who can fight the way he fights and that not only can no one imitate it, not many can deal with it.
“I know what I have to go in there and do. I know what my job is. I’ve just got to go out there and be ‘Hammerin’’ Hank. I appreciate Beltran giving me this opportunity, but I’ve got to handle my business at the end of the day.”
As a fighter who never backed down from an opponent, building his record on the new England fight circuit amassing ten victories and no defeats, as well as fighting numerous times in the famed Blue Horizon located in his home town of Philadelphia, there is a certain hunger that Lundy brings to each fight. It’s the same hunger he showed when he stopped Jason Cintron in five rounds, and when he went ten rounds for the first time with fellow lightweight contender Richard Abril.
As anyone knows, to be a champion that same kind of hunger that Lundy exudes must be omnipresent. It one was in Raymundo Beltran, who is a former champ himself. However, Beltran has lost three of his last six. I am not saying that he is lacking the hunger to win, but perhaps Lundy is just a little bit more eager. That’s the impression I get. Coming off of a ten round unanimous decision loss against Jose Luis Ramos Jr., Beltran has been quoted as saying he is looking to be known as more than just Manny’s sparring partner and this might just be the opportunity he needs.
While Lundy has the advantage of a hometown crowd, hailing from Philadelphia, a mere 45-minute drive from Atlantic City; Beltran certainly has the advantage of ring experience. With 31 fights as opposed to Lundy’s 24, Beltran has also gone the distance more often than Hammerin Hank. But I do not think that will be too much of a factor in this fight. Personally, the diva is picking a late round TKO by Hammerin Hank Lundy, to keep his title and the marks in his loss column to a lonely one.
As he prepares for Friday’s fight, Lundy is also keeping a close eye on the rest of the 135-pound division, particularly DeMarco, who will defend his title against John Molina in September, with, perhaps, the winner facing Lundy next. Molina is still the only fighter who’s beaten Lundy, so, deep down, Lundy is rooting for Molina in hopes of facing him a in a rematch for the world title.
Lundy also has another potential challenger on his radar, former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight champion Adrien Broner, who was forced to vacate his title prior to last weekend’s fight against Vicente Escobedo because he failed to make weight. The undefeated Broner won the fight regardless, and afterward promised more world titles in his future as he plans to move up to 135 pounds, irking the outspoken Lundy, who called Broner “unprofessional” for failing to make weight.
“I run this weight class,” Lundy said. “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.”
Watch out for the Mad Boxer.