Thomas Gonzalez

Photos Mikey Williams (TopRank)

With the shouts of “Crawford”, and “Omaha” in the background, Omaha product Terrance Crawford came out against Philadelphia’s Hammerin Hank Lundy utilizing his jab, moving it up and down Lundy’s frame to throw him off.

Lundy had some success early on, tagging Crawford with a good one two combination. Crawford, who has a proven chin seemed unfazed and switched into his southpaw stance early on in the fight.

Crawford used his reach advantage to establish the jab and fire combinations. Lundy would return fire and pop off his wild shots as a response with little success though he landed a nice shot at the end of the round to remind Crawford that he was still in the fight.

Switching into Southpaw so early was somewhat of a shocker as Crawford, a notorious slow starter is known to make adjustments as fights play out. The second round was contested more at Crawford’s pace early on, Lundy’s jab occasionally slipping in but, Crawford being the fighter landing with more precision. 

 The third had Crawford showing his technical ability, jabbing low, coming up high with the right hand then slipping out of harm’s way from Lundy’s ‘hammering hands.’ After throwing Lundy off balance in the fourth, Lundy switched to southpaw in an attempt to throw off Crawford’s jab, that was repeatedly picking at him whilst Lundy was fighting orthodox.

Lundy showcased some good movement, slipping some of Crawford’s jabs at times but Crawford still managed to find his mark- then it happened.

Crawford caught Lundy in the fifth and after a systematic barrage, dropped him. Hammerin Hank was able to beat the count, albeit on shaky legs- Crawford pounced on Lundy again, throwing precise shots to the body and head, Lundy’s legs obviously failing him then gave the referee all he needed as he slipped between Crawford and Lundy, waving his arms and halting the contest. 

The chanting of ‘Puerto Rico’, ‘Boricua’, and ‘Veredjo’ resonated throughout the arena as the Puerto Rican phenom prospect Felix “Diamante” Verdejo 20-0 14KO’s looked to put a stamp on his arrival in Madison Square Garden as he faced undefeated and untested Brazilian William Silva 23-1 14KO’s.

Verdejo showed good movement, showcasing an excellent jab. Silva attempted to work his way on the inside, finding success when he jabbed to the body. Verdejo’s star oower in the heavy Puerto Rican crowd was shown as the arena got almost biblically silent while Verdejo showcased his skills, only to be changed to a roar of Puerto Ricans singing the songs of their island between rounds.

As the rounds progressed, it was more or less the same- Silva would slip in, land a shot or two only to be answered by Verdejo who was able to physically push him back and land the more hurtful combinations against the slower Silva. Verdejo continued to find success as he loaded up his punches on Silva. Throughout the fight Verdejo had Silva on a bicycle, back-peddling as Veredjo began to stalk and come in more, landing hard combinations through the third and fourth round. Silva continues to press unsuccessfully in the later rounds.

Silva was able to make Verdejo miss some of his shots as the fight progressed, although Verdejo was able to find his rhythm and clip Silva with a right hand. Verdejo managed to find his way inside, although Silva clinched most of the time to avoid getting clipped by a big left hook that could very well end the night like it had for so many of Diamante’s past opponents. As the 10th round approached Verdejo at times swung wildly, but had a high enough activity through the round to keep Silva at bay. Silva maintained a tight guard, trying to keep himself out of position to avoid getting knocked out. The fight ended on scores of 100-90 (twice) and 99-91 for Verdejo.