Two days away from another huge, nationally-televised fight, “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy is as relaxed as ever, feeling no pressure whatsoever as he prepares to defend his title and world No. 1 ranking Friday, July 27th, 2012 against Raymundo Beltran at Resorts Hotel Casino.
“I’m feeling excellent,” said Lundy, the reigning NABF lightweight champion and top-ranked lightweight in the WBC.
“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.”
Friday’s show, promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports and appropriately named “Title Wave,” features the 10-round main event between Lundy (22-1-1, 11 KOs) and Beltran (25-6, 17 KOs) in addition to a 10-round super middleweight co-feature between fellow Philadelphia native Farah Ennis (19-1, 12 KOs) and New Jersey’s Richard Patterson (11-2, 8 KOs). Beginning at 10 p.m. (EST), the show will air on ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes as part of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
After reaching the No. 1 spot in the WBC, Lundy could’ve held out for a shot at the world title, currently held by Antonio DeMarco, but instead chose to return to ESPN for the seventh time since 2010 and face the dangerous Beltran, a hard-hitting Mexican and former sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao who’s looking to rewrite the script on his own tumultuous career.
Standing toe-to-toe with Beltran is a risk, one that most fighters in Lundy’s shoes wouldn’t take, but so, too, was facing unknown challenger Dannie Williams in March, a fight Lundy won handedly despite getting knocked down in the first round.
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 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.”
The undercard also features a six-round light middleweight bout between Thomas Lamanna (8-0, 5 KOs) of Millville, N.J., and William Brown (5-3) of Akron, Ohio, in addition to a four-round welterweight bout between Anthony Young (4-0, 2 KOs) of Atlantic City and Richie Andrews (3-1-3, 1 KO) of Stuarts Draft, Va. Josh Mercado (5-1, 2 KOs) of Cape May, N.J., will battle Korey Sloane (2-4-1) of Philadelphia in a four-round bout and Atlantic City’s Antowyan Aikens (5-0, 1 KO) will face Jimmy Ellis (3-5-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round super middleweight bout.
Also on the undercard, Kenneth Moody (2-3-2, 1 KO) of Virginia Beach, Va., will face Ismael Garcia (3-0) of Millville, N.J., in a four-round middleweight bout and super middleweight Isaiah Seldon of Somers Point, N.J., will face Steven Tyner (3-5-2, 2 KOs) of Akron in a four-round bout. All fights and fighters subject to change. Bantamweight Miguel Cartagena (5-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia will put his unbeaten record on the line against Jose Rivera in a six-round bout.
Tickets for “Title Wave” are on sale now at $40, $65, $75 and $125 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Resorts Casino Hotel Box Office.