NEW YORK CITY — Before a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden’s Theater, Terence Crawford got the last word on Hank Lundy via two knockdowns and a fifth round stoppage. What was billed as a grudge match was just that as Crawford weathered an early storm, adjusted, and closed the show in vicious fashion.
In the co-feature, rising Puerto Rican sensation Felix Verdejo remained undefeated with a lopsided but pedestrian win over Willian Silva (which may start rumblings of Verdejo’s deficiencies).
LUNDY HERE TO WIN, BUT OUTCLASSED: Lundy came out guns blazing in the first and rocked Crawford repeatedly with counter hooks and haymakers. Crawford, who seemed surprised by Crawford’s speed and accuracy, struggled to return fire and find his footing.
But as we’ve seen against the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Crawford’s discipline and physical advantages began making their presence known as the fight progressed. The champion’s switch-hitting and longer arms forced Lundy into dangerous situations where he had to lunge recklessly just to get close.
But instead of the downfall beginning with an uppercut ala Gamboa, Lundy’s ruin began with a southpaw straight left. The Philly native was badly buzzed and quickly was planted on the canvas with a left cross.
Lundy made a last stand in the corner, but couldn’t handle the firepower and had to be saved by the referee.
CRAWFORD’S NEXT OPPONENT: Crawford’s promoter Top Rank has already stated they will be pursuing Ruslan Provodnikov as the next title challenger. It’s another mismatch, but a TV friendly bout with a strong likelihood of Provodnikov suffering his first stoppage defeat. It appears no one at HBO nor Top Rank is in a hurry to make the unification bout with their other titlist, Viktor Postol.
VERDEJO AND TEMPERED EXPECTATIONS: Felix Verdejo remains undefeated (20-0, 14 KOs), but now questions of his ceiling are coming after he failed to impress against Willian Silva. On my card, Verdejo won every round. His speed and athleticism had Silva a step behind and reluctant to take any chances. However, the problem for most is that Silva was clearly brought is a showcase opponent. And Verdejo seemed perplexed on how to crack Silva’s defense and looked very sloppy in how he set up his offense (off balance haymakers).
Granted, you’re not going to knock everyone out coming up. But when you’ve been picked to carry the mantle for Puerto Rico that’s previously been held by Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad, then guys like Silva should not be hanging around for 10 rounds and relatively unscathed.