New York City—It was obvious that Terence Crawford and Hank Lundy had some personal “beef” with each other that went unresolved for whatever length of time. In the days leading up to their championship showdown, the bad blood toppled over, when the typically cool and collected Crawford pushed Lundy during the final pre-fight press conference.
Crawford’s assault on Lundy resumed 3 days later on fight night. Crawford punished Lundy prior to stopping him in the 5th round, before a sold-out crowd of 5,092 at the Theater in Madison Square Garden. With the victory, Crawford retained his WBO junior welterweight championship, while improving to 28-0, (20). The win also marks Crawford second title defense.
“He and I had gone back and forth on Twitter for like a year,” The 28-year-old Crawford said. “I just wanted to shut him up for good.”
Crawford, a native of Omaha, Nebraska couldn’t have asked for better New York debut. He warmed up, eventually found a rhythm, and expedited the inevitable ending. The undersized and outclassed native of Philadelphia appeared confused when Crawford turned to southpaw early on in the contest. Lundy failed to neutralize Crawford’s stiff right jab that landed at will. Once Crawford found a permanent home for all of his shots on Lundy’s head and face, you could sense that the finish line was in sight.
In the fifth frame, Crawford hurt Lundy with a right hand that put him against the ropes, ultimately staggering him, and then dropping him to the canvas. But to Crawford’s 32-year-old counterpart, now 26-6-1, (13) who managed to beat the count, but was fighting on pure heart. Crawford then opened up unleashing a bevy of punches that was snapping the head of Lundy. This prompted referee Steve Willis to call a halt to the bout at the 2:09 of the same round.
“Lundy came out with a good rhythm and came out strong, so it took me a little time to get my rhythm down before I could catch him and get rid of him,” Crawford said.
Lundy would give Crawford his props afterwards, despite their differences in the past.
“Much love, good fight,” Lundy told Crawford.
“He got me with a good shot. What can I say?” Lundy said while addressing the media. “It is what it is. He hit me on top of the head and knocked my equilibrium off, and I couldn’t recover. He’s okay, but at the end of the day, I’ve been hit harder. We can do it again if he wants.”
“He gave me my respect and I gave him his respect,” Crawford said. “I respect him for taking the fight and being a person willing to take any fight anywhere against anyone.”
Crawford, who is currently signed to a promotional deal with Top Rank, has a lot of options moving forward. A fight with either Lucas Matthysse or Ruslan Provodnikov could materialize in the not too distant future. A fight between any of the two could prove to be a financial success, not to mention exciting. A unification bout with his promotional stablemate, Viktor Postal, is a realistic possibility as well.” How about Adrien Broner? A Crawford-Broner fight would be huge. Bob Arum and Al Haymon have done business before, however, the pending lawsuit Top Rank has against Haymon would prevent the bout from coming to fruition.
“I don’t pick the fights. I just fight them,” Crawford said regarding the future. “I’m really satisfied and happy with my performance, but now, I go back to the gym and sharpen up these tools a little more and see what’s next. I always can get better. We go back to work.”
2012 Puerto Rican Olympian Felix Verdejo improved to 20-0, (14) after defeating Willian Silva of Brazil via a 10 round unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 (twice), and 99-91. Verdejo would constantly beat Silva to the punch all while controlling the tempo of the fight in which it was fought. Silva, who with the loss drops to 23-1, (14) was content to stay out of harm’s way and go the distance.
“I would have loved to get a win by knockout, but the guy moved around a lot and I wasn’t able to get him,” Verdejo, 22, said. “You have to learn that you can’t win every fight by a knockout. I’ll be back in the gym in a couple of days to get ready.”
To Verdejo’s credit, fully knowing that he was comfortably ahead on the scorecards, he was still looking to stop his opponent.