Philadelphia boxer Hank Lundy doesn’t see colors when it comes to targeting a potential opponent for a world-title bout, except, perhaps, green, which he could make a whole of in his next big fight.
To paraphrase the self-proclaimed “Can Man” himself, Adrien Broner — another possibility for Lundy — “Anybody can get it!”
“If my mom wants to rumble, we’ll rumble if the money’s right!” Lundy said with a laugh.
Coming off a big win over Angelo Santana four months ago on Showtime’s ShoBox: The Next Generation, Lundy (24-3-1, 11 KOs) is within earshot of his first world-title bout. He’s ranked No. 9 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) among lightweights and has won back-to-back fights since losing to Viktor Postol in March of 2013.
The time is now, and a win next weekend against tough, Mexican challenger Pipino Cuevas Jr. at Mohegan Sun could set the stage for Lundy’s most important, and most lucrative, fight against any of the current title-holders.
“I hope it’s real soon,” said Lundy, whose 10-round bout against Cuevas Jr. is the main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports’ pro-am boxing card Saturday, May 31st, 2014.
“I’ve been dying to fight for a world title. I’ve paid my just dues. I’ve fought undefeated fighters. Everyone they’ve put in front of me, I’ve fought. I never ran from nobody. When my time comes, it better come soon.”
Tickets for the event are priced at $40, $65 and $125 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Cuevas Jr., the son of former welterweight world champion Pipino Cuevas with 28 fights under his belt and 15 wins by knockout, might be considered a small obstacle on Lundy’s path to championship glory, but Lundy knows better than to look too for ahead.
In July of 2012, Lundy stepped into the ring against little-known journeyman Raymundo Beltran on ESPN2, putting his 22-1 record and No. 1 world ranking on the line. Lundy lost the bout by majority decision, costing him a shot at Antonio DeMarco’s WBC title. DeMarco eventually lost it four months later to Broner while Lundy instead traveled to the Ukraine to face Postol, who beat him by unanimous decision to push him further out of the rankings.
Lundy’s worked hard to get back into the championship picture at 135 pounds, beating former world-title challenger Olusegun Ajose and Santana in back-to-back fights, so Lundy is taking nothing for granted next Saturday against the heavy-handed Cuevas Jr.
“With the Santana win and the win over Ajose, everyone started taking notice again,” Lundy said. “This is a different ‘Hammerin” Hank you’re seeing. I’m back on top.
“I feel better than ever. I’m ready to fight for a world championship tomorrow.”
No one with a world title at 135 pounds has taken the bait yet, forcing Lundy to stay busy and press the issue with the sanctioning bodies by continuing to win and win decisively — no risk, no reward, regardless of what’s at stake with each fight.
“There are a lot of guys who think they can beat me, but won’t fight me, so I have to keep taking fights like this against guys with records like mine where I can go in there and show them I’m a force to be reckoned with and I’m not going to be beat,” Lundy said.
The list of names on his radar hasn’t changed much, whether it’s fighters he was supposed to face once before (Lucas Matthysse), fighters he’s already beaten who now have world titles (World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Richar Abril), or those who’ve flown under the radar, until now, such as unbeaten World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Terence Crawford or interim WBA lightweight champ Yuriorkis Gamboa. The winner of the Gamboa-Crawford showdown scheduled for June 28th could decide Lundy’s next opponent, pending the outcome of next weekend’s fight.
Lundy wouldn’t even mind taking a swing at Broner, a former sparring and training partner who recently came under fire for what the WBC deemed racially-insensitive remarks following his decisive win over Carlos Molina on May 3rd, a post-fight outburst Lundy felt sent the wrong message to boxing fans.
“I respect everybody,” Lundy said. “When we get in that ring, it’s war, but at the end of the day, I try to treat everybody as a human being in this world. We have so much negativity going on with race. Growing up, we got along with every color and race. I see no color. We’re all people at the end of the day.
“The question isn’t whether or not I’d fight him,” he continued. “The question is whether or not he’d fight ‘Hammerin” Hank. Everyone knows what I’m about. I just finished camp with him, but at the end of the day it’s about making money and getting to that next level.”
With Broner now fighting at 140, and sometimes higher depending on the opponent, and Lundy trying to reestablish himself in the 135-pound division, a showdown between the two might never happen, but as long as Lundy continues winning in dominant fashion like the way he did against Santana, his time will come. The brash, outspoken Philadelphia slugger hopes it’s sooner rather than later.
“I want that shot at a world title. You might even catch me at 147!” Lundy said. “At the end of the day, I’m a veteran in this game. I’m crafty. I’m ready to take these guys to a dimension different than anything they’ve ever seen before.”
Lundy’s 10-round fight against Cuevas Jr. headlines a dynamic card that also features the return of female bantamweight sensation Shelito Vincent and light heavyweight slugger Kevin Cobbs, plus the addition of an exciting amateur undercard replete with the region’s most sought-after talent, including Gary Balletto Jr. and Ray Oliveira Jr., sons of two well-respected fighters who dominated the regional circuit at the turn of the 21st century.
Cobbs (7-1, 2 KOs), a veteran from Willimantic, Conn., will face Willis Lockett (13-13-5, 5 KOs) of Maryland in a four-round bout in Cobbs’ first fight in more than a year. Also on the undercard, New Haven, Conn., junior middleweights Jimmy Williams (5-0-1, 2 KOs) and Christian Lao (5-2-1, 2 KOs) will battle for state bragging rights in a six-round bout; and female welterweight Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (10-2-1, 1 KO), a former world-title challenger, will face Althea Saunders (3-0-1) of Atlantic City in a six-round bout. In other regional action, Hartford, Conn., light middleweight Joe Wilson Jr. (1-1) faces Ethan Pena (2-1, 1 KO) of Providence, R.I., in a four-round bout.
On the amateur portion of the show, Oliveira Jr., a 165-pounder who trains out of On Point Boxing in New Bedford, Mass., will face Adam Paolino of Warwick, R.I. New Haven, Conn., middleweight Godfrey Campbell faces Miguel Teo of Marlboro, Mass.; and Smithfield, R.I., light welterweight Anthony Marsella Jr. battles New Bedford’s Scott Sullivan. All amateur bouts are three rounds, unless otherwise noted.