Everything you need to know about this Saturday’s junior welterweight title fight between Terence Crawford and Hank Lundy at Madison Square Garden.
Everything you need to know about this Saturday’s junior welterweight title fight between Terence Crawford and Hank Lundy at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In one of the most entertaining matchups of the year so far, Terence Crawford is set to defend his title against longtime contender Hank Lundy at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. Crawford enters this fight at No. 7 on SI.com’s pound-for-pound rankings and is considered one of the best fighters in the sport. Although Crawford’s opponent this weekend is a career contender, who may never rise enough in the ranks to be favored in a title fight like this, the bout should give the Omaha native the perfect chance to showcase his top-tier skills on one of the biggest stages in boxing.
When it was announced that Lundy would indeed get the nod to face Crawford in the HBO showcase, there’s no question that there was some disappointment for fans and Crawford himself. The undefeated fighter with 19 knockouts was hoping for a bigger name when he laced up the gloves for the first time in 2016, a year in which he’s looking to fight at least three times, as long as he remains healthy.
If Crawford can dispense of Lundy in entertaining fashion, there will be no doubt that his next fight should garner a much bigger name. And if Lundy can pull off the epic upset, it’ll shake the foundation of boxing’s future and give the veteran a win to brag about for the rest of his career.
Tale of the Tape
|140 lbs.*||Weight||140 lbs.*|
*Official weights are announced at the weigh-in (Friday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m. EST). All statistics and information obtained via BoxRec.com.
The case for... Terence Crawford
Extremely versatile and entertaining, Crawford truly has the total package when it comes to the sweet science. With an undefeated record of 27-0, an equally impressive knockout percentage (.703) and his recent performances there’s no reason at all to think that Lundy will be walking away from Saturday night’s fight with a new title belt draped over his shoulder.
In Crawford’s last five fights alone, he’s ended the night with a TKO three times, including dominating wins against Dierry Jean, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Thomas Dulorme, who beat Lundy in a 10-round split-decision in December 2014. As is obvious with Crawford’s undefeated record, he’s never lost a title fight. What’s not always obvious by the existence of the “O” is that he’s also never looked like he was in danger of losing any fight in recent memory.
The case for... Hank Lundy
Hailing from Philadelphia, Hank Lundy, also known as “The Hammer,” encompasses all of the traits you might expect from a solid fighter coming from the City of Brotherly Love: strong, hard-nosed and can turn any bout into a slugfest. Lundy has proven that he can take a beating, but is equally capable of handing one out when he can get himself situated on the inside. With good movement in the ring, Lundy has the ability to make his opponents miss their marks while delivering some devastating counterpunches.
If he can control the tempo of the fight and is able to sneak in selective shots upstairs and to the body, the Hammer can get himself into position to steal a win against Crawford. Even though it’s a long shot, to put it lightly, Lundy has all of the tools necessary to win on any given night against a fighter like Crawford. The only problem is that Lundy’s upset is mostly reliant on Crawford being off his game and leaving himself open. And realistically, those opportunities may not even exist come Saturday night.
Last Five Fights
|D. Jean W||C. Velasquez W|
|T. Dulorme W||M. Herrera L|
|R. Beltran W||T. Dulorme L|
|Y. Gamboa W||G. Cuevas W|
|R. Burns W||A. Santana W|
5: The total number of world title fights that Crawford has fought in—and won.
224: The number of days since Lundy was last defeated (5th round technical decision loss to Mauricio Herrera).
70: The percentage of fights that Crawford has won by knockout. In five total losses, Lundy has only been KO'd once.
Terence Crawford’s greatest performances on HBO:
Hank Lundy knocks out Gerardo Cuevas:
“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 at the promotional press conference at Madison Square Garden
“I’m not willing to die in the ring. I’ve got four kids to feed. That’s what I’m all about. He can die in the ring.” —Terence Crawford in response to Lundy’s willingness to die in the ring
In the next step in deciding who the next superstar in boxing will be following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr., look for Terence Crawford to make quick work of career contender Hank Lundy. With the ability to pick apart opponents from either stance, we can expect Crawford will strategically work his way through this fight to get the knockout. Lundy may get a few good hits if he can respond quick enough to land some counterpunches, but Crawford’s toughness and ability to read and react should negate any real impact they’ll have on the 140-pound king’s demeanor. It’ll be a great show on one of the brightest stages in sports—which is exactly what Crawford needs at this point in his career.
Prediction: Crawford wins by knockout.
As the undercard to Crawford-Lundy, the 22-year-old up-and-comer Felix Verdejo (19-0, 14 KOs) will look to defend his WBO Latino lightweight title against William Silva (22-0, 13 KO). The story with Verdejo-Silva is somewhat similar to that of the main event fight of the night, an up-and-comer looking to cement his place as a star of the future facing off against a mediocre opponent that will offer a mediocre challenge. For Verdejo to truly break out in the sport, he needs to fight bigger names, however this may just be the opportunity that opens people’s eyes to the Puerto Rico native’s talents.
The show will begin at 10 p.m. ET on HBO, with Verdejo taking on Silva in the opening fight at Madison Square Garden. Following the undercard, Crawford will face off with Lundy in the main event. The fight will not be broadcast on HBO GO or HBO NOW.