By Keith Idec
Hank Lundy knows his career cannot withstand a third straight defeat Friday night.
The prideful fighter from Philadelphia must beat Ajose Olusegun in their ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event in Salem, N.H., if he is to have any shot at rejuvenating his career and fighting for a junior welterweight world title.
“It’s a do-or-die fight and I’m letting everything hang out on Friday,” Lundy said. “I’m going to come in there and put on a show and get a win against a guy ranked [No. 3] in the WBC. It’ll be real big to come in there and handle business. That puts me in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot and gives me a chance to fight for a title.”
The 29-year-old Lundy lost to unbeaten Ukrainian contender Viktor Postol (23-0, 10 KOs) in his last fight, though Lundy (22-3-1, 11 KOs) felt he would’ve won that 12-round bout March 21 if it hadn’t taken place in Postol’s native Kiev. In his previous fight, contested at lightweight, Lundy dropped a 10-round majority decision to Mexican Raymundo Beltran (28-6, 17 KOs) last July 27 in Atlantic City.
“This fight means a lot,” Lundy said. “I just came off two recent losses that I thought I won, especially the one in Ukraine. I really beat that guy, but I didn’t get a fair shake. For this fight, I’m going to go in there and show the world that this isn’t the last of Hammerin’ Hank. I’m a force at 140 now.”
The 33-year-old Olusegun also needs to produce an impressive victory to re-establish himself following a one-sided technical knockout loss to Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs, 1 NC). Nigeria’s Olusegun (31-1, 14 KOs) won his only fight since Argentina’s Matthysse stopped him in the 10th round Sept. 8 in Las Vegas, but that eight-round, unanimous-decision win came against overmatched New Orleans native Rynell Griffin (7-16-2, 2 KOs) on April 20 in Hammond, Ind.
“I know that Lundy is a good and skillful boxer and he is very tough,” Olusegun said. “He always comes to fight and I do not expect an easy fight. That being said, though, I know that I will come out victorious on Friday night.
“If I need to go to war to win this fight, then I will do just that. If I need to box, then I can do that, too. Whatever I have to do to win this fight I will do. I want to prove to everyone that I am a better fighter than what people saw against Matthysse.”
The Olusegun-Lundy fight will headline ESPN2’s doubleheader from Rockingham Park. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. ET with an eight-rounder that’ll match a pair of unbeaten super featherweight prospects, Ryan Kielczweski (16-0, 3 KOs), of Quincy, Mass., and Puerto Rico’s Miguel Soto (11-0, 11 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.