This week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights comes live from Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hampshire and features a matchup between two prospects yet veterans of the squared circle looking to make an impact and earn a big fight within the junior welterweight division.
WBC #3 rated junior welterweight Olusegun Ajose (31-1, 14 KO) will face former lightweight contender “Hammerin” Hank Lundy (22-3-1, 11 KO) in a 10-round contest.
Fighting within one of the most talent stacked divisions in all of boxing, the fighter who is able to emerge from the ring victoriously will set himself up grandly for an upcoming title bout, with the loser drastically dropping into a seemingly endless pit of up-and-coming junior welterweights.
The only loss of Ajose’s career came at the hands of devastating puncher Juan Lucas Matthysse last September, a fight which he lasted 10 rounds before being stopped, a distance that few of Matthysse’s victims make it to. Despite not having fought many known names outside of Matthysse, Ajose has consistently performed between the ropes, winning the fights he has needed to in order to continue to move up the rankings.
“This fight means a lot to me and is very important for my career,” said Ajose. “I want my name to be amongst the elite of the 140lb. division. “I know that Lundy is a good and skillful boxer and he is very tough. He always comes to fight and I do not expect an easy fight. That being said though, I know that I will come out victorious on Friday night. If I need to go to war to win this fight then I will do just that. If I need to box, then I can do that too. Whatever I have to do to win this fight I will do. I want to prove to everyone that I am a better fighter than what people saw against Matthysse.”
Lundy’s name has always been discussed when talking about some of the most talented lightweights, but he has been unable to break through in big fights. In his two most recent outings he lost two consecutive decisions, and will be in for a marathon fight Friday night against Ajose. Lundy needs to be able to bring power into the fight, especially as a junior welterweight where he will be facing bigger and more powerful punchers than he has faced in the past.
“This fight means a lot. I just came off two recent losses that I thought I won-especially the one in Ukraine,” said Lundy. “I really beat that guy [Viktor Postol], but I didn’t get a fair shake. For this fight, I’m going to go in there and show the world that this isn’t the last of Hammerin’ Hank. I’m a force at 140 now.”
Lundy continued, “I’m looking to prove that Hammerin’ Hank is one of the elite fighters in the world. Everyone knows [Olusegun] from taking a beating against Matthysse. I’ve already been in the top 10 in the world and this will be the second time once I beat this guy. I’m a world-class fighter and a soon-to-be world-class champion. I’m going in there to give it my all.”
For both pugilists it is a do-or-die, make ‘em or break ‘em type fight as it will be indicative as to what lies ahead in not only the 2013 calendar year, but their future going forward. Ajose will look to show that his performance against Matthysse wasn’t a fluke, and that he can once again show that kind of intensity and drive, while Lundy will be all about moving one step closer to the big show and showing he is a legitimate contender.
The action gets live on ESPN2 Friday night at 10:30 p.m.