“Herrera, I’m really gonna hurt this guy”- Hank Lundy
By Robert Earle Stanton 2015 Allen Hoey Award Winner/Author, Selling The Pain.
I dialed Hank Lundy’s number after I sent him a few pages of questions and he said, “Rather do it over the phone?”
I hear him answer and I thought he sounded tired. “Hello, Hank, its Bob, tired?”
“No,” he said, “Just got done working out.”
It started out something like that.
“No one ever gave me nothing. I earned everything I got,” said Jr Welterweight boxing star “Hammerin'” Hank Lundy of Philadelphia, who has appeared on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, and will be boxing Mauricio Herrera on July 11th on HBO Latino.
I told him things he already knew about Herrera – how he beat undefeated Ruslan Provdkinov, and I remember Hank prior telling me he considered Herrera the real Jr welterweight Champion, because of the Danny Garica fight.
Lundy and Herrera (who will be fighting at 140 pounds) have both been at the short end of the stick. And it seems they both have mutual respect for each other. Herrera could have been “Fighter Of the year” winning the Jr Welterweight title from Garcia and defending it successfully against 21-0 Benitez but instead came out with two losses. Lundy beat Beltran, in most eyes, and easily beat Viktor Postol, and says he beat Dulorme on HBO but came out with 3 losses – a Majority Decision, a Unanimous Decision, and a Split Decision.
At the same time he was on TV fighting Ray Beltran Lundy said he was battling, “Politics in boxing,” and this is was the only part in the conversation where he wasn’t his enthusiastic self. The fight was broadcast on ESPN. “End of the day, Teddy wasn’t there, Zab [Judah] had me winning, and Joe [Tessitore] had me winning. Politics in boxing,” he repeated. “I schooled Beltran and beat him”
Lundy was also having a different fight outside the ring with an Ex Manager. “He was shady, he was doing lots of lying, and stealing money. I got a lawyer and won the case.” He brought up the Tyrell Hendrix fight (undefeated Lundy went to 18-0-1 Hendrix’s hometown and beat him up bad on ESPN. He spoke of this ex Manager, “I caught him,” Lundy said, then “The promoter says, ‘I gave him (manager) the bonus and he said he put it in your account’ – end of story, ‘I did not get paid’
Back to Beltran. “I knew I won that fight, and he told me that afterwards, says Lundy. Beltran came to his locker room, says Hank, and said, “I respect you, you’re a warrior like me, you won it.” The Ray Beltran fight has been taken off of Youtube but not the Viktor Postol fight.
Let’s go back prior to 2012. Coming off the Molina Jr fight, which we’ll go back to, Lundy started off beating 21-1 Dannie Williams. Then it was Ray Beltran. Zab Judah commentated and had great stuff to say about Lundy and he showed off his technical prowess. His defense, impeccable, and we saw a different side again, a different side than the Diaz fight. Yet when the verdict was read Lundy came out with a shocking, upset, Majority Decision Loss.
After the Beltran fight Hank Lundy was moving up to Jr Welterweight and was scheduled for the biggest fight of his career vs Lucas Matthysse on Showtime. There was a trailer for the fight. But then “The Ex Manager” came back in the picture “serving up papers trying to stop the fight” Lundy says. “The judge said, ‘you’re (the manager) trying to stop this guy from making a living'” — Lundy won a settlement of $250,000. Going in the fight and dealing with all that vs Lucas Matthysse, Hank doing his own management now, still in contract vs Matthysse, Golden Boy got word “if you all let this happen (Lundy vs Matthysse) I’ll sue you all. So they go to court, the paperwork for this to go through, Golden boy gave fight to [19-2-1] Mike Dollar Jr. Dallas Jr. didn’t last a round vs Matthysee.
Lundy keeps it real. He was at 140 pounds now (he can make both lighweight, 135, and Jr Welterweight, always in shape. He looks up to Hopkins, in many ways, as a Philly fighter would. In fact he just got done training before talking to me to go back to train)
So I had to ask something that bothered me for a while. “After the Beltran loss why would you go to the Ukraine to fight undefeated Ukrainian Viktor Postol? The answer was the simple, ugly side of boxing.
“The phone wasn’t ringing,” he said, “So I took it and beat the guy, its okay,” he said, after I told him it was odd looking, the audience, in the Ukrained. He cut me off and said “They were cool,” but added, “I’m never going back” and as for after the fight, “I clearly won, Postol had his head down.”
I told him that I know, “I saw it.”
We talked about other things as I asked him to describe the standard, ideological Philly fighter. The definition is always training. Warriors, Philly fighters, the rough streets of philly, die hard. Harcore fightin style.
This isn’t actually how the phone call started. I called and I read a bunch of questions inside of other questions I wrote him and Hank sat there silent as I read him his biopic.
Looking at your resume’,” I said, “You started at Lightweight – no padding on your record. You turned pro in ’06, and by ’08 at 11-0, you fought 8-0 Darnell Jiles Jr to a Draw. You then beat 7-0 Esteban Almaraz. The next year you were 12-0-1 fighting 10-0 Jason Cintron (younger brother of Kermit) which seemed personal. It made a lot of noise in the area. You knocked him out in the 5th round.
Hank said, “Philly fight, me and Cintron, Kathy Duva set it up. I KO’d him like I said I would. That was the end of him. He don’t fight no more.”
I went back to my sheet and read:
In 2010 you had three big fights, in January, at 16-0-1 you won a SD over 12-1-1 Richar Abril (who holds a lightweight title now)
“Yup,” he added.
April that year is when you beat up on 18-0-1 Tyrese Hendrix. (I don’t know if he remembers I met him prior to that fight at a gym in South Philly. I came out of the gym and everyone was standing in front of one of the rings. I was told it was Hank Lundy sparring with an Olympic Alternate. After the sparring, where Hank looked great, he stood in the ring ranting about how he was Philly’s Best. I loved it. I liked the attitude he exuded. A day or two later I’m in the locker room and I hear, “Hey” and its Hank Lundy. He was the most personable guy. I told him that I was a writer, and he gave his number. I watched him beat Hendrix that night and called him and left a message “Contrats, Champ. They should have stopped it, you beat him up pretty bad.”
You gotta understand, there’s Hammerin’ Hank, and Hank Lundy. And what separates him from others is that he knows the difference. He’s a funny, intelligent, nice, family man but there’s the other side.
“August 2010, same year, 3rd fight, you’re 18-0-1 on TV vs a 20-1 John Molina Jr. It was a 12 round fight, in the 11th round you were up on the scorecards 98-91 twice, and 97-92, even though you went down in the 8th you were winning easy. The end of the 10th you started to exchange, and continued to in the 11th. You did not have to, but you did,” and he cut me off with, “as I always would.” I continued with, “and all of a sudden the ref comes in and stops the fight? I never understood, what was your take on that?”
“Molina Jr? Molina again,” he says, as I can feel his head shaking back and forth – you can feel that this bothers him. “I schooled him, I did a good job, shut him out, they took the fight away from me standing on my feet, If I got my hands on Molina Jr today I’d destroy him. After that fight? I wanted to get back into the ring right away to show everyone that was not the end.”
I told him how I enjoyed watching that fight and how I loved him holding the ropes with his left arm, throwing a spinning punch and he told me he grew up. “That was a younger guy, he told me, speaking of himself. I’m more mature.”
“The next month you beat 14-1 Omri Lowther and in April 2011, you beat 20-3 Patrick Lopez, and then you get the opportunity to fight 36-3-1 former Lightweight Champion David Diaz. This guy stopped Santa Cruz, retired Erik Morales, got KO’d by Manny Pacquiao and beat Jesus Chavez. What was your mind frame going into the, as it’s called, ‘Lundy vs Diaz War’ – we got to see a different side of you that night.”
“It was his home town. I had to go and stop him. I was going for the Knockout. He was set up to fight Marquez for 250 K, I had to knock him out. I retired him.”
Then Lundy would beat a 21-1 Dannie Williams and box Ray Beltran, coming out with a MD Loss. Right after he moved up to Jr Welterweight and even though he cleary beats Viktor Postal he comes out with a Unanimous Decision Loss. He would stay at 140 and in July 2013 shut out 31-1 Ajose Olusegun (who Lucas Matthysse beat, that was AJose’s only loss prior)
“You beat him easy at Jr welter.”
“They went to war, him and Matthysse, Ajose told ESPN I’m a better fighter, I got in that ring and displayed how you can’t beat Hammerin Hank.”
“Then you go back down to Lightweight.”
For those unaware, Angelo Santana was once the second coming at lightweight but he lost a fight. Hank Lundy was part of his comeback trail, which I told Hank, even Steve Farhood said was a bad idea. He was the second coming, I this to Hank, as he remembered the 14-1 Angelo Santana.
“You schooled him and dropped him, even. He never fought again. Do you feel bad?”
“No” he said, laughing for a second but then getting very serious, “When you call my number you better be ready. I’m coming”
“I was looking forward to getting back in the ring and showing what Hank can do.”
I read off some names on his resume’ – “Jason Cintron, Richar Abril, Molina Jr, David Diaz, Ray Beltran, Viktor Postol, Ajose, Angelo Santana, and then…”
“HBO called me about Dulorme. I signed with Jay Prince. I can make both weights easy and was ready for Dulorme. I was strong, that’s where I belong.” He pauses, then, “Dulorme is a Frontrunner, comes out strong and fades. I won that fight. If it was a 12 round fight he woulda been KO’d. HBO had me winning. One more round he woulda been KO’d.”
“It was like watching two different fights. The first half and I forget what round it was exactly, but your trainer said….”
“Barry said,” he cuts me off with, “You want me to stop the fight?” and I said, “What? Why?” and he said, “Listen, this man ain’t gangsta like us. This if for your daughter.” There’s some silence.
You went out there and physically broke him. He was intimidated, gassed, he could hardly stand up…”
“Mention my daughter,” he says, “I thrive off my kids,” then, “So I took it to another level.”
That fight came down to a Split Decision, one judge having it right for Lundy. Other two for Dulomre who HBO was promoting which set up Crawford recently knocking Dulomre out.
Since I had some time, I asked Hank some questions.
“So you been training with Porter….”
“And you trained with Broner prior to the Maidana fight.”
“If Shawn go in there and impose his will and listen to his corner, Shawn. If Shawn loses focus, it may go other way, I do see shawn winning, Shawn, you gotta live the life, you can’t be partying, drinking, Live the boxing life.”
“What do you make of Garcia saying he wasn’t stripped of his title and he’s fighting Pauli now?”
“I want the winner of Matthysse vs Postol. And as for Pauli? Don’t sleep on Pauli. He’s a hard guy to fight.”
“What was up with you and Mayfield?”
“I dunno, I’m not fighting him now. When I win a title I’ll beat him up.”
“What did ya think of the Molina Jr rap song he made dissing you, and I think, Broner? Remember that?”
“What? No. Was it good?”
“No, it’s was horrible. I don’t think he did it, someone else did it for him. It was funny, ‘The Gladiator.’ Who would win in battle rap? Not a boxing match, a battle rap – Garcia vs Broner.”
“Goddammit. Will you beat up Mickey Bey for me?”
“I been calling Bey out for years, he don’t want none. He didn’t win that title. I’m a jr welter now. Unless it’s for a title I’d go to lightweight.”
“Moments? Regrets? Goals? Predictions? Advice on life?”
This fight, you’ll all see explosive Lundy, I’m coming in there. Remember,” he says, “it was Broner, Crawford,” Pause. “And Hank on ESPN.” The volume of his voice picks up. “You’ll remember why I’m still the man. I’ll show it. I don’t blame nobody, it was supposed to go this way, it’s not some gift, Overlook me? I roll with the punches, I got no bad stuff to say about nobody. They lookin at me now and…” Pause. “Man.”
I never understood why Hank would (even going from 135 to 140 and having the Matthysse fight fell through, go to the Ukraine to fight a guy who lives there and is undefeated? You couldn’t win if you won, which he did) So after Hank said, “The phone wasn’t ringing,” was after he told me he was managing himself because his ex-manager was not just stealing but screwing with his fights outside of the ring.
I did tell him about how after listening to Herrera he seemed like a good guy, and had nothing bad to say, wasn’t bitter, and was down to earth. After a few moments he said,
“No promotion,” and then a pause, “But,” he said, voice rising up, “When it came to Herrera.” Pause. “Herrera,” he said again, “signed to Golden Boy.” During another pause I realized how personal this is. “I ain’t going there to lose. Knock him out or win on the Cards.”
I asked of Mauricio’s punching power and I heard genuine laughter, “whose punching power?” He laughed. Then he got serious, “Listen, I’m gonna keep it real. I’ve been in there with it all. Herrera says he’s a teacher? How you gonna school a guy whose seen it all? Herrera,” he said, as if talking to Mauricio, “You can’t show me nothing,” then, raising his voice a bit, with an almost like moment of clarity, “Herrera,” he said. “I’m really gonna hurt this guy.”
I think of a quote by Bret Easton Ellis.
“… a bridge strung across a path through the mountain will take you to any point beyond that you need to arrive at, because behind that mountain is a highway and along that highway are billboards with answers on them – who, what, where, when, why – and I’m falling forward but also moving up toward the mountain, my shadow looming against its jagged peaks, and I’m surging forward, ascending, sailing through dark clouds, rising up, a fiery wind propelling me, and soon it’s night and stars hang in the sky above the mountain revolving as they burn. The stars are real. The future is that mountain.”
“My pleasure,” I tell him.
“My pleasure,” he says.
I tell him something after I say, “off the record.”
“I will,” he tells me.
From A Phone Conversation with Hammmerin’ Hank Lundy 6/17/15 TUNE INTO HAMMERIN’ HANK LUNDY VS MAURICIO HERRERA 7/11/15 HBO Latino