Lundy on lightweight title mission
July, 26, 2012
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Lightweight contender Hammerin' Hank Lundy is knocking on the door of a world title opportunity and is anxious to get his chance.
Lundy (22-1-1, 11 KOs) hasn't been able to land a shot yet -- even though he deserves it -- but he can continue to make his case against Raymundo Beltran (25-6, 17 KOs) in the scheduled 10-round main event on this week's "Friday Night Fights" (10 ET, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes) at Resorts Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
"I know what I'm fighting for," Lundy said. "I've got this fire burning inside me. I'm going to be great. I'm destined to be great. No one is going to put that fire out. I'm ready to win this fight."
Lundy, a 28-year-old from Philadelphia, has rebounded very well from his lone loss, which came in July 2010. It was an 11th-round knockout to John Molina, who is fighting for a world title against Antonio DeMarco on Sept. 8. Since the loss, Lundy has won four fights in a row as a staple on FNF. That includes impressive showings in his previous two bouts -- a sixth-round knockout that sent former lightweight titlist David Diaz into retirement and a clear unanimous decision against dangerous Dannie Williams in March.
Next up is Beltran.
"I think Hank Lundy is a real good fighter," Beltran said. "I think it's going to be the biggest fight of my career. I've seen him; he gets knocked down, the guy comes back to win. He's a true fighter. I believe I have to win by knockout if I'm going to win. For a guy like me, there's no decision."
Lundy is ranked high in the alphabet rankings and might have been able to sit by and wait for a title opportunity, but that's not him.
"Once again, I'm going to show everybody that I don't run or duck from anybody," Lundy said. "The guy I'm fighting is solid. He's coming to fight and he's coming to win. He's got a family to feed just like I have a family to feed. The difference between me and these other guys is -- a lot of other guys say it, but I'm a true throwback because I'll fight anybody. I'm No. 1 right now, but you could sit on that lead and fall asleep, and then when you get your shot at a world title, you might not be ready. I want to stay busy and keep working.
Most of his recent work has come on "Friday Night Fights."
"I've got a lot of love for ESPN," said Lundy, who has been on FNF six times since 2010 and seven times overall. "After this fight, they should rename it the 'Hammerin' Hank network.'"
Wherever Lundy fights, he's keeping an eye on the rest of the lightweight division.
He had some choice words for former junior lightweight titlist Adrien Broner, who was stripped of his title after he failed to make weight for a defense against Vicente Escobedo last week, and who is now moving up to 135 pounds.
Lundy called Broner "unprofessional" and added, "I run this weight class. If you think you can just move up and jump over me, it ain't happening. Don't run. You could've mentioned my name on HBO [in the postfight interview]. Instead, you took the easy way out. Just go on and keep fighting who you're fighting. If he fought half the competition I've faced, he'd be dead in his tracks."
Lundy also has an interest in Molina's title fight with DeMarco, which will take place on the Andre Ward-Chad Dawson HBO undercard.
"[DeMarco's team feels] as though since John beat me, they'll fight [Molina] to get ready for Hammerin' Hank," Lundy said. "But like I tell everybody, John was taking a beating in that fight. That's why he's scared to fight me. John is old news. They know he's done. Everybody talks about Molina in a rematch with me. I'd love to avenge that loss, but at the end of the day, he wouldn't get back in the ring with me. [DeMarco] knows John is shot, so that ain't going to happen."