“I’m rambunctious! I’m amped up. I’m ready to go! It’s ‘Hammer Time’! He ain’t never been hit till he been hit by ‘The Hammer’!”
Hank Lundy, delivering 200 mph words of fire in the direction of super lightweight champion Terence Crawford
WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford wants a big fight in 2016, and would like nothing more than to nail shut the mouth of a loquacious ‘Hammerin’ Hank Lundy to get it done. Displaying little patience and a lot of irritation over the mosquito-like Lundy, Crawford sounded like a man ready to hear the voice of Michael Buffer. The two will engage in what is likely to be the equivalent of a street fight on February 27 at The Theater in Madison Square Garden on HBO presented by Top Rank.
Philadelphia’s Lundy (26-5-1, 13KOs) has dropped enormous amounts of verbal filth all over ‘Bud’ Crawford (27-0, 19KOs) in the lead up to this tilt and the Omaha, Nebraska product can’t wait to make him pay. “Lundy runs his mouth too much—too much,” spilled Crawford, as he contained laughter while reflecting on some of Lundy’s hilarious disses designed for promotional purposes. “He wanna talk about hammering somebody, but he’s the one that’s gonna get hammered.”
Much is riding on this fight for Crawford, as an impressive victory could get land him a date with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, someone he had hoped to face before settling on Lundy. “Everyone turned me down- everyone. No one wanted to fight me,” revealed Crawford. “We went to [Lucas] Matthysse, Viktor Postol, Mauricio Hererra… None of them wanted it. Even Pacquiao don’t want it with me.”
That wouldn’t seem to be entirely true, as the ring legend and fighting pride of the Philippines told this writer at the New York presser for his third bout with Timothy Bradley that he had selected Crawford after failing to secure a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. When pressed about this, Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum admitted as much. Well. sort of.
“We brought his name up to HBO and to the satellite providers and I was surprised by how cold they were to him (Crawford),” said Arum, while dialing up visions of Pinocchio. “The bottom line is if Crawford gets by Lundy and Manny beats Bradley, then that’s the perfect fight to make this fall on a big pay-per-view.”
The reality is, Arum doesn’t think that a senatorial seat – or any other political seat – will keep Pacquiao out of the ring beyond Bradley, and wanted safe routes for ‘Pac’ and ‘Bud’ to collide with one another. The promoter in him just won’t admit it. And despite Crawford’s assertion that he thinks his close friend Bradley will win (“Tim gonna get him again- and everybody gonna be mad again”), he can’t honestly believe that and has to hope ‘Pac-Man’ decides to stick around for a showdown.
Freddie Roach loves that fight, but really wants to see Pacquiao return to the KO machine that made him famous. “We wanted Crawford really badly, we just kept that quiet. He’s a good fighter and has a lot of talent- but he’s not ready for Manny,” sprayed Roach. “Hopefully Manny gets what he wants and knocks out Bradley. He never talks that way so I’m excited about this camp. I hear he’s looking sharp over there.
Roach is scheduled to land in Manila on February 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The Crawford/Lundy card will also feature a big stage for 2012 Olympian and rising Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo (19-0, 14KOs), who will take on the tough and undefeated Brazilian scrapper William Silva (23-0, 14KOs). That fight may prove to be the evening’s best. As for the main event, Crawford will most likely remind Lundy that he isn’t anything like the man he borrowed his ‘Hammerin’ nickname from (all-time great Henry Armstrong) and will turn the Al Bundy-like comedy from Lundy into a serious beatdown.
Bundy logged a lot of fight miles in 2015 and lost a questionable fight with Hererra after an accidental clash of heads in round 5, resulting in a technical decision loss that could’ve gone either way. He was also on the wrong end of a decision to Thomas Dulorme – who was absolutely starched by Crawford last year. Expect the same to happen to Lundy, who will be combative all the way up to the end before being saved by funnyman referee Steve Willis (we hope, the face-making Willis is a really entertaining ref) somewhere around the 8th round.
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