by David P. Greisman
Dannie Williams had the power, but Hank Lundy had control.
Lundy weathered Williams’ early aggression, then took that aggression away from him, taking what turned out to be an easy unanimous decision over 10 rounds that didn’t look so easy after the first.
Williams floored his lightweight foe with about 30 seconds to go in that opening stanza, landing a left hook over the southpaw Lundy’s right hook. The punch hit high on Lundy’s head, putting Lundy down on one knee.
It was a flash knockdown, but it gave Williams even more confidence. He came forward again in the second, trading fast punches with Lundy, believing his would do more damage. Lundy, meanwhile, opted for a switch in strategy, boxing with more patience, putting together three-punch combinations of jabs followed by right hands and left hooks, no longer trying to trade speed for speed or power for power.
Williams was able to land a left hook in the third, but now it was Lundy using his opponent’s aggression against him, his more accurate lefts and rights getting there first before Williams’ wider shots. They went to war in the third and traded shots, Lundy often on the ropes but getting the better of their exchanges. The danger remained, however, Williams catching Lundy with a single left hook toward the end of the round.
CompuBox credited Lundy with landing 29 of 52 power punches in the third, compared with 25 of 77 for Williams. Though Williams continued to be aggressive, he failed to be effective. Lundy would block or dodge Williams’ combinations, then time a left hook toward the end of when Williams was finishing throwing.
Williams was missing and being countered, and so he began to box more in the fifth. That only played into Lundy’s skill set. Lundy worked behind jabs or left hooks, keeping Williams at a safe distance. Though both had quick hands, it was Lundy whose technique was better and whose legs were quicker. He could land first, then get away.
Williams couldn’t win against the ropes. Nor could he win in the center of the ring. He began to slow down, his lessened recklessness meaning less activity, which only served to allow Lundy to maintain control. The jab, in particular, was snapping Williams’ head back. Lundy, who had been switching between southpaw and orthodox, landed 51 of 118 jabs through five, and occasionally paired those with right hands that also hit their target.
Williams occasionally came forward, but often he did not throw. Lundy remained in command, jabbing, throwing one-two combinations, or countering Williams’ sporadic combinations with left hooks.
Clearly behind in the 10th and final round, Williams didn’t really go for the come-from-behind victory — he couldn’t. A right hand and left hook from Williams both missed badly. Lundy, meanwhile, landed with a left hook, then a right hand, then another left hook. A one-two from Lundy hurt Williams in the final 10 seconds of the round.
It was a clear victory for Lundy. The scorecards reflected that reality, reading 97-92 (twice) and 98-91 for the 28-year-old from Philadelphia.
Lundy is now 22-1-1 with 11 knockouts. Williams, 27, originally from St. Louis but now fighting out of Youngstown, Ohio, is now 21-2 with 17 knockouts.
In the televised co-feature, Elvin Ayala took a unanimous decision over Eric Mitchell in a frustrating eight-round middleweight bout.
It was frustrating because Mitchell, a late replacement who came in on three days’ notice for Hector Camacho Jr., largely sought to stymie Ayala rather than score points.
Ayala, meanwhile, sometimes searched for openings against the defensive veteran, and at other times chased after him with awkward, reaching punches.
Mitchell did more work in the first two rounds, leaping with leads or attempting counter shots. Ayala began by working behind his jab, turning that into combinations, but soon opted to wait for moments when he would try to catch Mitchell with leads when he was least expecting them.
Mitchell come out for the third dancing and moving, giving Ayala a different look, blocking Ayala’s punches. Ayala kept throwing, even if he wasn’t landing. That changed in the fourth, when Mitchell smothered Ayala, who now neither threw nor landed.
Ayala had his best round in the fifth, landing a one-two on Mitchell as he moved away, then left hooks later, then a right hand toward the end of the round, his cleanest punches of the fight.
Mitchell returned to survival mode in the sixth, opting to use his experience to last the distance, avoiding or blocking punches before jumping in to go to Ayala’s body. Barring some brief trading in the eighth, the fight was more reminiscent of a lackluster sparring session in which one guy wanted to frustrate the other, while the other didn’t know how to stop him from doing so.
Ugly or no, Ayala got the win. The scorecards were 79-73 (twice) and 78-74.
Ayala, 31, of New Haven, Conn., improves to 25-5-1 (11 KOs). Mitchell, 42, of Philadelphia, falls to 23-9-1 (11).
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]