MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (April 1, 2011) – For the second time in a year, “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy captured a championship on national television. Now he’s ready to take on the best in the world in the lightweight division.
“Anybody at 135 [pounds] – WBA, WBC, IBF – bring ‘em on,” Lundy said Friday after beating Patrick Lopez, 99-91, 97-92, 95-94, for the vacant NABF lightweight title in the main event of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater.
“‘Hammerin’ Hank don’t fight bums. I don’t run from anybody. As you saw tonight, I fight the best fighters in the world. These guys with the belts don’t want to fight anybody. What more do I have to do? I’m willing to fight anybody in the world, and I think the guys with the belts should do the same.”
Lundy’s victory highlighted Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Coming Attractions” show, which featured the best and brightest stars in professional boxing. Providence, R.I., super middleweight Vladine Biosse (11-0, 6 KOs) scored his second win on national television with a fifth-round knockout victory over St. Louis’ Tim Connors (10-3, 7 KOs) in ESPN’s co-feature (Biosse also won on “Friday Night Fights” against Joey McCreedy in July of 2010), and hometown hero Elvin Ayala (22-5-1, 10 KOs) stopped Joey Gardner (7-2-1, 1 KO) after four rounds in a super middleweight special attraction.
As for Lundy (20-1-1, 10 KOs), Friday marked his 10th win in his last 11 fights with the last four coming on national television. Almost a year ago to the date, Lundy outlasted Tyrese Hendrix in Memphis, Tenn., for the vacant NABO lightweight title. Now he’s the reigning NABF lightweight champion with an eye on an even bigger prize.
“The champions need to fight me,” Lundy said. “Bring them to me and we’ll rumble.”
On Friday night, Lundy utilized his jab and fought a patient fight against Lopez, a former two-time Venezuelan Olympian noted for his ability to land hard shots to the body. Lundy dropped Lopez (20-4, 12 KOs) with a short right hook in the second round and dominated the middle rounds before Lopez fought back toward the end.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Lundy said of Lopez. “One hundred and thirty-five pounds? They need to put that sucker at welterweight! I knew he’d come to fight. My plan was to utilize my jab and hit him with angle punches. When I knocked him down, I hit him with an angle punch. I’m all business. Anyone who watches ‘Hammerin’’ Hank knows I’m focused and everyone knows you can’t handle a focused ‘Hammerin’’ Hank. The world will soon see.”
The co-feature starred Biosse, a former college football player at the University of Rhode Island who kept his perfect record intact with his second knockout victory in a month.
After setting the pace in the opening round, Biosse battered Connors in the second, first scoring a knockdown on a sweeping overhand right that nearly sent Connors through the ropes, and then continuing the onslaught with four big left hands that kept Connors leery of utilizing his jab. Connors survived the third and fourth rounds, but Biosse continued to out-jab and out-work his opponent before unloading in the fifth. Biosse cracked Connors with a left hook to the head 37 seconds into in the round, sending Connors to his knees for the final time.
“You have to learn how to pick your battles,” Biosse said. “You have to be smart and be patient. I caught him in the early rounds and you could see he looked hurt. In my previous fights, you would have seen me go nuts and jump all over him.
“That can sometimes be bad, and sometimes you can put yourself in a bad position. This time, the strategy was to be smart and be patient, and pick my spots.”
Ayala was equally impressive in his win over Gardner, overwhelming his opponent with body blows until Gardner succumbed to a hard left hook to the ribcage in the fourth. Ayala dropped Gardner (7-2-1, 1 KO) twice in that round, forcing Gardner to quit on the stool before the bell sounded for the fifth. A former world-title challenger who fought 12 hard rounds against IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in 2008, Ayala used his experience to his advantage and controlled the ring throughout the fight.
Christian Lao (1-0, 1 KO) of New Haven, Conn., opened the show with a thrilling knockout in his professional debut, dropping lightweight Theo Desjardin (0-1) of North Attleboro, Mass., with a vicious right hook to the body 1:22 into the opening round. The referee stopped the bout before Desjardin made it to his feet.
Also on the undercard, middleweight Rick Dawson (3-0, 1 KO) of New Haven returned to the ring for the first time in nearly 10 months and scored a 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 unanimous decision win over gritty veteran J.C. Peterson (1-10) of Fort Myers. Coming off his first professional victory on Feb. 4 against Ledyard, Conn., native Brian Macy, Peterson gave Dawson all he could handle, but Dawson remaining patient, doing most of his damage to the body.
In arguably the most exciting – and most difficult to judge – bout of the undercard, middleweight Greg McCoy (2-3-1, 1 KO) of New Haven and Tafari Lawton (2-1-1) of Orlando staged an epic back-and-forth battle that ended with Lawton taking home a 40-35, 39-36, 38-37 unanimous decision win. The tide turned in Lawton’s favor when he dropped McCoy midway through the third round. Bloodied and bruised, McCoy fought back, but Lawton survived the final round for his first win since his professional debut in 2008.
The night ended with an upset as Bryan Abraham (3-5-2, 3 KOs) of Schenectady, N.Y., shocked previously-unbeaten prospect Dominic DeSanto (5-1-1, 5 KOs) with a technical knockout 2:21 into the opening round of a scheduled four-round lightweight bout.
For more information on “Coming Attractions,” or any of CES’ upcoming shows, visit www.cesboxing.com.