HAMMOND, Ind. – After catching a glimpse of David Diaz in person for the first time, “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy left Thursday’s weigh-in deathly afraid – not for his own well-being, but for that of his opponent.
“He’s small!” Lundy said after weighing in at 134.6 pounds in advance of his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight title defense against Diaz Friday, Aug. 19th, 2011 in the 10-round co-feature of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” season finale at the at The Venue At Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., presented by Hitz Entertainment in association with Banner Promotions.
“I’m generally used to fighting bigger guys and this guy is small. I’m scared of what might happen because I’m used to fighting bigger guys. I was thinking before what I’ve got to do. Now, it’s a no-brainer. I’m scared for him!”
Diaz (36-3-1, 17 KOs), 35, a former world champion from Chicago who held the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title from 2006 to 2008 before losing it to Manny Pacquiao, weighed in at 134.4 pounds Thursday at the Horseshoe Casino. He’s in the midst of his second comeback following a 10-month layoff and has an extensive resume that includes wins over former five-time world champion Erik Morales and former World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion Ener Julio.
Asked if his experience will be the deciding factor in Friday’s fight against Lundy (20-1-1, 10 KOs), Diaz said, “I hope it is! I feel real good. I did the workouts and did the rounds with the young bucks. We’re ready. We feel good. [Friday] will take care of itself.”
Diaz is coming off a win against Robert Frankel in January while Lundy is in search of his third consecutive victory since losing his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title to John Molina Jr. in July of 2009. He rebounded from that loss with a win over Omri Lowther two months later on ESPN and then captured the vacant NABF title with a hard-fought win over Patrick Lopez, a two-time Olympian (2000 and 2004) for the Venezuelan national team.
“The only fight I saw of him that I thought was good was the Patrick Lopez one,” Diaz said. “He looked awesome in that fight. It’s going to be a tough fight and that’s what I want. I want a tough fight because I want to see for myself where I’m at and whether or not I belong with the best in the world.”
While Diaz might have doubts, Lundy is as confident as ever, especially after standing toe-to-toe with his 5-foot-6 opponent at Thursday’s weigh-in. As always, the ultimate goal for the Philadelphia native is to win a world championship, and a convincing win over Diaz on boxing’s biggest stage would move him one step closer.
“I’m ready to fight and do what I do – put on a good show and take my title back to Philly,” Lundy said. “Whoever wants to step up and fight me for my belt, let’s do it. Whoever gets in that ring in front of me is in for trouble, because you’re standing in my way.
“Watch out. ‘Hammerin’’ Hank ain’t playing. I’m on a mission and, like I said, ‘Hammerin’’ Hank is coming to a city and town near you. You never know where I’m going to pop up. I’m always on the road. Poppa is a rolling stone!”
“Hopefully, my experience will help me in this fight,” Diaz said. “You have to draw back on your old arsenal to see what happens.”