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Crawford Wipes Sneer Off Lundy’s Face

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By Vladimir Lik

Terence Crawford has a little bit of nasty in him. They call the young scrapper from Omaha, Nebraska “Bud” but a more fitting nickname could be “The Punisher” because if you even think about getting under his skin Crawford will whup you like stole money from his beloved grandma….and proclaimed Oklahoma their eternal superior in football.

Crawford (28-0, 19 KOs) gave that business to “Hammerin” and yappin’ Hank Lundy (26-6-1, 13 KOs) by 5th round TKO. The official time of the stoppage was 2:09 at the MSG Theater on Saturday night.

The 28 year-old Crawford closed the show like a budding superstar is supposed to do and in his NYC debut made clear, yes, he can make it here and by extension, anywhere.

Earlier this week the two combatants had a little brouhaha during the final press conference when Lundy damn near challenged Crawford to throw down right there in front of the flashing lights of the media. The usually quiet Crawford lost his cool and gave the feisty Lundy the reaction he was looking for by shoving Lundy back about 5 feet. Crawford promised to close Lundy’s mouth during the fight and while he was at it he may have also removed Lundy’s signature sneer.

Lundy for his credit did try to back up his trash talk but he is a level below the ultra-talented Crawford.

“Bud” followed a double jab with a devastating straight left hand which sent Lundy staggering backwards. Crawford then took a step forward and landed another big left hand which hurt Lundy bad. Lundy covered up but another left hand sent the Philadelphia fighter into the ropes and down on his back. Lundy, being the veteran he is, stayed down on one knee to give himself a chance to recover. Referee Steve Willis asked Lundy 3 times if he is okay. Lundy nodded yes and stepped forward. Crawford meanwhile was waiting with blood in his eyes. Willis looked over his shoulder and allowed Crawford the chance to pounce on Lundy and finish the job. Crawford hurt Lundy again as all the brash fighter could do was just cover up for dear life while the pride of the Cornhusker state wailed away until Willis jumped in and saved Lundy by wrapping his arms over him and protecting him from the “bad man” who was looking to take the fighting life out of Lundy.

Once the fight was officially waived off, Crawford leaned over Willis’ shoulder and stuck his tongue out at Lundy.

Lundy did have some moments in the bout including the first round when he came out swingin for the fences and connecting.

Lundy, perhaps got too confident, switched to southpaw against the natural lefty Crawford and started getting cracked. By the fourth round a cut appeared over Lundy’s right eye. While Crawford did lose his cool at the presser, he maintained his composure and weathered the early storm to dissect Lundy with the beautiful jab. The crisp jab allowed Crawford to land more than half of his power shots.

Crawford had a good number of folks from Omaha make the trip for his NYC debut. Although Warren Buffet didn’t make the trip, Crawford was able to still showcase his talents for another billionaire. Cablevision boss James Dolan was ringside along with Bob Arum.

In the evening’s co-feature, rising Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo (20-0, 14 KOs) easily handed Willian Silva (23-1, 14 KOs) his first pro defeat in front of Verdjo’s adoring fans from his native Island of Enchantment. The official scores at ringside were 100-90 x2 & 99-91.

The young lion with the 1,000 watt smile and blazing fast hands wanted to get rounds under his belt since missing a large part of 2015 after having surgery on his left hand to remove bone spurs. He suffered the injury here at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in his 10 round rout of Ivan Najera.

The Nuyorican boxing fans in attendance wanted their man to shine and cheered him on through the salsa songs but all they saw was a sparring session. There was even a man walking around on stilts wearing pair of boxing gloves trying to get the crowd hyped up.

Verdejo did try to engage more as the fight moved into the later rounds but the Brazilian did his best to elude contact and was committed to end the fight on his feet.

Top Rank already has Verdejo slated to fight on Univision in April and back to the theater at MSG on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade.

New Jersey’s Julian Rodriguez (12-0, 9 KOs) bruised and battered King Daluz (12-3-2, 2 KOs) in front of a blood thirsty crowd to win a unanimous 8 round decision. The junior welterweight prospect, who goes by the nickname “Hammer Hands”, pounced on Daluz and busted his right eye, dropping Daluz with a vicious body shot to end the seventh round. The official scores at ringside were 80-71 X2 and 79-72. Rodriguez, who is managed by Pat Lynch, sold over 650 tickets for this bout himself and his cheering section made their presence felt, calling on their man with each liver shot and right hook upstairs. The Hasbrouck Heights native was the 2013 National Golden Gloves champion and lost a tight decision to Jamel Herring in the finals of the Olympic trials.

Instead of waiting for Rio to qualify again, Rodriguez turned pro and got himself into good hands. Not only will he be guided by the same man who once guided the career of Arturo Gatti but the young gun has already sparred with the likes of Top Rank stablemates Ruslan Provodnikov and Manny Pacquiao.

Lightweight prospect Jean Carlos Torres (4-0, 3 KOs) annihilated Miguel Gloria (1-2) by 3rd round TKO. The official time of the stoppage came at 20 seconds of the round. The Puerto Rican Torres came out swinging what looked like a Louisville Slugger bat when he conked Gloria in the face to start the bout and caused the first of four knockdowns. Gloria was hurt bad in the second round and a mouse started forming around his right eye. He would survive the round, but Torres tagged him hard to start round three. Referee Allen Huggins saw enough to stop the bout and prevent another knockdown as Gloria started stumbling backwards.
Heavy hitting featherweight Christopher Diaz (15-0, 10 KOs) wiped out Dominican Angel Luna (12-2-1, 7 KOs) with a dramatic 4th round technical knockout. The official time came at 2:42. It was the only the red, white and blue ropes of the Top Rank ring which held Luna and propped him up for a right hook delivered with harsh intent. Diaz hits hard for a featherweight and much to the delight of the Puerto Rican fans in the audience cracked Luna from pillar to post until a counter right hook had the Dominican fighter out on his feet. Luna looked like he needed to take seat but the only place of refuge he could find was the middle rope and then he got roped again by Diaz straight on the left ear and then again on the chin which made everyone inside the arena cringe. That’s when referee David Fields jumped in and had to hold Luna up from falling out of the ring. A team of ringside personnel swarmed Luna to make sure he was responsive and fortunately he was able to walk back to his corner under his own strength while Diaz bathed in the adulation of the folk from Puerto Rico who came to see their man Verdejo.

Irish Seanie Monaghan (26-0, 17 KOs) delivered a Long Beach-style beatdown of Janne Forsman (21-4. 13 KOs) stopping him with a TKO in round 5. The official time of the stoppage was 1:34.

Monaghan brings out a throng of fans and well-wishers whenever he fights in the tri-state area and they cheered loudly when Seanie put the Finnish fighter down on his rump in the fourth round. Forsman had never fought in the US before and had no answer for the diet of liver shots that plain and simple knocked the wind out of him. Seanie unloaded 7 unanswered bombs and referee Allen Huggins jumped in to have mercy on Forsman. While Seanie thrust his hands in victory the DJ inside the Theatre played a mix of Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour over a Dr. Dre beat.

In the first bout of the evening Emanuel Taylor (19-4, 13 KOs) knocked out the overmatched Wilfredo Acuna (15-19, 11 KOs) in a sixth round knockout right before the bell was to end the round. The official time of the knockout was 2:59. Taylor gets back in the winner’s column after suffering back to back unanimous decision losses to Adrien Broner and Antonio Orozco.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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