By Rick Scharmberg
Photos: John DiSanto – Philly Boxing History (.com)
NABF champion and #1 WBC lightweight contender “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy (22-1-1, 11 KOs) exudes a quiet confidence as he prepares for his upcoming bout with Raymundo “Sugar” Beltran (25-6, 17 KOs) this Friday, July 27 at Resorts Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The fight will be the main event on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. Beltran is a tough customer, who is a former USBA lightweight champion and a longtime sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao. “Beltran is a come-forward fighter, and he does that every round. He comes to fight,” stated Lundy, who also owns a top-ten ranking in the IBF and WBO.
Hank Lundy hails from Philadelphia, PA, and came up the hard way, as most Philly fighters do. Encouraged to go to the boxing gym by an uncle after leveling a schoolyard bully, Hank ran up a 65-5 record as an amateur. He was the 2003 Pennsylvania Golden Gloves champion, and won the silver medal at the 2005 Nation Golden Gloves.
Turning pro in 2006, Lundy compiled a 10-0 record fighting in New England, and in the gritty fight clubs of Philadelphia. He was undefeated in four fights at the famed Blue Horizon.
Hank drew national attention after fighting to a draw against tough Darnell “Good News” Jiles, then 10-0, in what was his first appearance on ESPN2. His next fight, a unanimous decision over another unbeaten Esteban Almaraz, was also televised on the network.
Lundy fights with an unorthodox style that he has perfected since his amateur days. “My style is a fighting style that everyone tries, but can’t do it like me. My style is hard to deal with. I had the same style in the amateurs, but got better with it,” explained Lundy.
Lundy had his first scheduled eight-round bout on April 24, 2009. He took on fellow unbeaten prospect Jason Cintron, the younger brother of former world champion Kermit Cintron. The bout soon turned into a grudge match.
“I hold no punches in the ring,” stated Lundy before the bout. “When you look at my resume, I’m fighting people who can fight. Who has he fought? He’s not on my level.” Lundy backed up his words by disposing of Cintron in five rounds.
Lundy proved he is a big time fighter after he defeated future interim lightweight titlist Richard Abril by split decision on January 22, 2010. Abril recently dropped a highly controversial split decision to Brandon Rios for the world title.
In his very next fight, Lundy defeated another unbeaten fighter, Tyrese Hendrix, in another ESPN2-televised fight. Lundy won the vacant NABO title with his dominating, three-knockdown performance.
Once again, ESPN2 wanted the exciting Hank Lundy back on its show. For the first defense of his NABO title, Lundy faced streaking contender John Molina Jr., who stopped Lundy in the eleventh round of the crossroads bout.
Molina is currently in line for a September 8 title shot against WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, and Hank is following that situation very closely. “I hope Molina wins his fight with DeMarco in September, so I can beat him and win the world title,” he said. “After this fight and their fight in September, the champion has to fight me. It’s mandatory.”
Lundy provides excitement, and ESPN2 invited him back just five weeks after his loss to Molina to face Omri Lowther in a bout he took on just three days’ notice. Hank got back on track with a ten round unanimous decision win.
If there is a common theme throughout Lundy’s career, it is that he has always sought to fight the best fighters available. That could be the secret to his continued improvement and overall success. The combined record of his last seven opponents dating back to the Richard Abril fight is an astounding 141-10.
“I am aware of that,” responded Lundy when advised of the records. “I fight the best, and don’t take the easy way out like some other fighters.”
True to form, Lundy won the vacant NABF lightweight title against the extremely tough former Venezuelan Olympian Patrick “El Elegante” Lopez, knocking Lopez down on his way to winning a ten round unanimous decision on April 1, 2011.
In the first defense of his NABF title, Lundy got off the floor and explosively stopped former world champion David Diaz in six rounds. After getting dropped by a Diaz left hook in the fourth round, Lundy cut Diaz over the eye in the fifth, and then knocked him out with a left hook in the sixth.
Lundy’s stock rose even further in most recent fight against power-punching Dannie Williams, of St. Louis, MO. Months before the fight, Williams initiated a war of words after he promised to “hurt” Lundy when they met in the ring. Williams did just that when he dropped Lundy in the opening round. But once again, Lundy showed his mettle by getting up to dominate the rest of the way, and win a unanimous decision in what he considers to be his best fight to date.
“I will say the Dannie Williams fight was my best fight because people really had him knocking me out, and I showed the world I’m a bad man,” joked Lundy.
Lundy trains at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philadelphia. “My trainer’s name is Sloan Harrison, and he is the former trainer of Bernard Hopkins,” said Lundy. “Training camp is going well, and Team Hammer is ready!”
Lundy closed with, “Thank you for your love and support and for believing in me. Hammer loves you all, and he will be coming to a city and town near you. It’s Hammer Time!”
Lundy will be making his seventh consecutive appearance on ESPN2 and his ninth overall when he makes the second defense of his NABF title this Friday night in Atlantic City.