By: William Holmes
The Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City has long been a venue that featured high level boxers that are on the cusp of superstardom, and Saturday night will be no different. WBO Junior Welterweight title holder and former BWAA Fighter of the Year Terence Crawford will make his New York City debut against Philadelphia contender Hammering Hank Lundy.
The co-feature of the night will feature Puerto Rico’s best prospect, Felix Verdejo, test himself against an undefeated Brazilian William Silva. Long Island’s Seanie Monaghan will also be competing on Saturday night, but his bout will likely not be televised.
The following is a preview of both the televised fights.
Felix Verdejo (19-0) vs. William Silva (23-0); Lightweights
The opening bout on HBO will be between budding Puerto Rican superstar Felix Verdejo and undefeated Brazilian William Silva.
Verdejo will come into this fight with a significant edge in amateur experience. Veredjo competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics and lost to eventual champion Vasyl Lomachenko while Silva has no notable amateur success on the international stage.
Silva will have about a three inch height advantage over Verdejo, but they have the same reach. Verdejo is six years younger than Silva at twenty two years old and has been very active. He fought seven times in 2014 and three times in 2015. In contrast, Silva only fought once in 2013 and 2014 and fought twice in 2015.
Neither boxer has beaten anyone of note as a professional. Verdejo has beaten Josenilson Dos Santos, Ivan Najera, Marco Antonio Lopez, and Karim El Ouazghari. Silva has beaten the likes of Bayan Jargal, Pablo Barboza, and Hector Santana.
They both have similar knockout power. Verdejo has stopped fourteen of his opponents and so has Silva.
It should be noted that most of Silva’s fights have been in Brazil, while Verdejo has shown a willingness to travel.
Verdejo’s amateur experience will be too much for Silva to handle. This should be a quick fight for the Puerto Rican sensation.
Terence Crawford (27-0) vs. Hank Lundy (26-5-1); WBO Junior Welterweight Title
Terence “Bud” Crawford was rumored to be the next, and last, opponent for Manny Pacquiao, but Pacquiao instead chose to fight Timothy Bradley for the third time and Crawford was left looking for an opponent.
On Saturday night he will get to face a man that has lost to two opponents that Crawford beat easily, Hank Lundy.
Crawford will be four years younger than Lundy and will also have a two inch height advantage. They have about the same reach, but Crawford has considerable more power in his hands and has a huge speed advantage. Crawford has stopped nineteen of his opponents, while Lundy has only stopped thirteen.
Crawford and Lundy have similar amateur backgrounds and dominated the national scene. Crawford won the gold medal in the National Police Athletic League Championships and Lundy was a Silver Medalist in the National Golden Gloves.
Both boxers have been fairly active in recent years. Crawford fought three times in 2013 and 2014, and twice in 2015. Lundy fought twice in 2015 and three times in 2014.
Crawford has the better professional resume and has faced the better competition. He has beaten the likes of Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, Andrey Klimov, and Breidis Prescott. He has never tasted defeat and never been close to losing.
Lundy’s biggest victories have come against Carlos Winson Velasquez, Ajose Olusegun, Dannie Williams, and David Diaz. He has lost to Mauricio Herrera, Thomas Dulorme, Viktor Postol, Raymundo Beltran, John Molina Jr.
Lundy is a good boxer with a strong ability to sell a fight with his trash talking, but he has failed every time he’s been given an opportunity to face a good opponent. Two of his losses, Thomas Dulorme and Raymundo Beltran, were boxers Crawford dispatched of rather easily.
Lundy also doesn’t have the power to pull off an upset.
Lundy may make the fight dirty and will have to fight that way if he wants to pull off the upset, but he doesn’t have the power to score a stunning knockout victory and Crawford is too good of a boxer to get drawn into unnecessary wild exchanges.
This is a bout that Crawford should finish within twelve rounds.