The most dangerous puncher in the lightweight division, WBC Continental Americas champion Dannie Williams, sooner rather than later, plans to add the NABF belt to his growing collection.
The NABF crown is presently worn by flashy Philadelphia boxer "Hammerin" Hank Lundy (21-1-1, 11 KOs). The NABF ruled that Lundy make his mandatory title defense against the top contender, No. 2 rated Williams (No. 1 is unrated), but Williams' co-promoters, Rumble Time Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, were unable to successfully negotiate a deal with Lundy's promoter, Classic Entertainment and Sports.
The NABF has ordered a purse bid to be held January 4 with a 60-40 split in favor of the reigning champion (Lundy). Lundy vs. Williams has been tentatively scheduled for March, pending the outcome of the purse bid and, of course, Lundy accepting the challenge.
The 27-year-old Williams (20-1, 16 KOs), fighting out of St. Louis, has been dominant in his last four fights, respectively defeating Manuel Leyva (KO1), Oscar Cuero (DEC10), Antonio Cervantes (KO4) and John Willoughby (KO2).
What separates the multi-talented Williams from other lightweight contenders is his pure knockout power. Fans watching his fight last August against Cervantes on ESPN Friday Night Fights saw Williams' unbridled punching power, resulting in a devastating knockout that was the No. 1 highlight on the ESPN Sportscenter countdown.
"I'm looking forward to this fight," WBC #11rated Williams said. "It's a great opportunity for me. Lundy's a good fighter who comes to fight. I like him as a fighter, I really do, but he's been knocked out and dropped a few times.
"I'm a knockout puncher with 16 KOs in my 20 wins. I'm not talking about TKOs when the ref stops the fight. (Half of Dannie's stoppages have been pure KOs, including his last three.) The refs don't even start counting because they know my opponent is hurt. I know Lundy's going to try and use his speed, but I can box with him, and I hit extra hard. I hurt guys I fight. Lundy can talk all he wants but that's going to happen to him, too."
Williams is scheduled to fight January 6 in Key West, Florida in an eight-round bout against Mexican veteran Fernando "The Thief" Trejo (33-17-6, 19 KOs), who has only been stopped once, by Bobby Pacquiao, in his pro career.
"Dannie wants to fight the best lightweights in the world," Rumble Star Promotions president Steve Smith commented. "He won't dodge anyone. This is a fight fans will love to see -- two guys who fight, not dance. Sometimes, I think, people forget we're in the entertainment business and that fans make our business.
"The winner of this fight should be fighting for a world title by the end of 2012. I know the hardest puncher in the 135-pound division is 'Dangerous Dannie.' If Lundy thought (John) Molina could punch, just wait until he feels the power in both of Williams' hands. He won't be able to get up like he did against Molina. They'll have to quickly get the paramedics and doctor into the ring. With a chin like Lundy's, well, let's say I'm frightened for him."
Rated among the top 11 in three of the major governing bodies, as high as No. 4 in the WBC, Lundy is the former NABO lightweight champion who lost that crown 14 months ago, when he was stopped by Molina on ESPN Friday Night Fights in the 11th round.
Two fights later, Lundy defeated Patrick Lopez by 10-round decision for the vacant NABF title. In his first title defense this past August, Lundy got off the mat in the fourth to knockout David Diaz in the sixth.
"I can't wait for this fight," Williams' trainer Jack Loew remarked. "It's a great opportunity for Dannie. I think Hank Lundy is totally overrated. He's been matched very carefully; they've done a great job with him.
"He's a good fighter with some skills, but, if you fight somebody like Dannie Williams, you better not have a weak chin like Lundy's. Everybody saw what happened when he stepped-up against Molina. Diaz hurt him and he's not even much of a puncher.
"We're ready to fight Lundy and I hope he takes on Dannie. He will not take a chin-check from Dannie Williams and for that the reason, unfortunately, I can't see them taking this fight. I honestly believe we're going to end-up fighting for the vacant NABF title."