PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Boxer Hank Lundy and his promoter, Classic Entertainment & Sports (CES Boxing), scored a knockout victory in legal action against Lundy’s former manager, Ivan Cohen, when Cohen’s contract was found null and void, thus absolving Lundy of any financial obligation toward Cohen and allowing the fighter to continue his march toward a world championship undeterred.
“Ivan Cohen came into my life and ruined it,” Lundy said. “I’m glad we won the case and the world knows I’m innocent.”
“We have been Hank’s promoter since the day he turned pro. That’s the kind of relationship we have with him,” added CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. “That just doesn’t happen in boxing. We never want to go to court, but we will if we have to. We’re not going to get run over.”
The ruling ends a venomous, five-year feud between Lundy and Cohen, which culminated in 2012 with Cohen filing a lawsuit against Lundy and CES, claiming Burchfield Sr. “tortuously interfered with [Cohen’s] contractual rights with Lundy” while guiding the Philadelphia fighter to a No. 1 ranking.
Anchored by Philadelphia attorney Melody Forrester, legal counsel for Lundy and CES, and CES in-house counsel Jimmy Burchfield Jr., Lundy’s litigation team established a theory of recovery for both compensatory and punitive damages. The parties submitted the disputes to binding arbitration pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Arbitration Act.
Following hearing, the arbitrator dismissed Cohen’s claims and awarded Lundy and CES damages of $250,000. The findings indicated “Cohen became more concerned with the financial returns from Lundy’s bouts while CES continued to schedule bouts that Lundy won as his career advanced” and determined Cohen’s flagrant violations of his fiduciary duty to Lundy constituted material breaches of Cohen’s contract with Lundy.
Witness testimonies “supported the likelihood that Lundy would continue to win his matches on the way to a world championship,” were it not for “the activities of Cohen.” Through the years, Cohen filed injunctions in an attempt to stop several of Lundy’s scheduled bouts, including Lundy’s potential televised bout against former world champion Lucas Matthysse in January of 2013.
“Dealing with all of this caused a lot of drama,” Lundy said. “[Cohen] ruined the fight against Matthysse, which I believe I would’ve won. Then I would’ve fought [light welterweight world champion] Danny Garcia for the title and I would’ve beaten him, too. I was awarded for pain and suffering, but, at the end of the day, it still messed me up.
“Worrying about someone trying to stop a fight and getting court papers sent to you at the fight is very frustrating.”
A former North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight champion, Lundy is 25-3-1 with 12 KOs following wins in each of his last three fights and is now ranked No. 5 in his weight class by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
The combined record of Lundy's last 11 opponents dating back to 2010 is a staggering 232-18-3, including a win over current World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Richar Abril. Know as one of boxing's most prolific road warriors, Lundy has fought everywhere from the Ukraine to Montreal, beating hometown favorites, unbeaten prospects and former world champions on their own turf.
“Hank is one of the most, if not the most, colorful, entertaining fighters in boxing,” Burchfield Sr. said. “He deserves a big money fight for a world championship. Now that we’ve got everything else out of the way, we’re ready to go. We’re going to stay on this 24 hours a day, seven days a week until ‘Hammerin’’ Hank gets the fight he deserves.
“Look at his resume. Look at who he’s fought. We don’t run from anybody. People are ducking us. We’re ready to fight any of the 135-pound champions, whether it’s Omar Figueroa, Miguel Vazquez, Terrence Crawford or Richar Abril. Danny Garcia.Chris Algieri. Ruslan Provodnikov. Hank is ready for anybody. He deserves a shot at a world title.”