PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- If none of the world champions with the coveted hardware are willing to bring the fight to top-ranked challenger Hank Lundy,then the flashy Philadelphia slugger will continue to force the issue.
No one in the 135- or 140-pound division has answered the call yet, but Lundy (24-3-1, 11 KOs) remains one of the busiest fighters in boxing. The 5-foot-7 lightweight, more commonly known as "Hammerin'" Hank, will return to the ring Saturday, May 31st, 2014 when he battles Mexican veteran Pipino Cuevas Jr. in the main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports' star-studded pro-am boxing event at Mohegan Sun.
"The whole idea is to stay busy, and stay sharp," said Lundy, who is only three months removed from a huge win over Angelo Santana in front of a worldwide audience on Showtime's ShoBox: The Next Generation. "That way, when I get the call to fight for a world title, I'll be ready to fight right then and there."
Lundy's 10-round fight against Cuevas Jr. headlines a dynamic card that also features the return of female bantamweight sensation Shelito Vincent and light heavyweight slugger Kevin Cobbs, plus the addition of an exciting amateur undercard replete with the region's most sought-after talent, including Gary Balletto Jr. and Ray Oliveira Jr., sons of two well-respected sluggers who dominated the regional circuit at the turn of the 21st century.
Tickets for the event are priced at $40, $65 and $125 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
"We are excited to be hosting a fight card that has a future world champion in the house," Mohegan Sun's Senior Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Tom Cantone said.
A win on May 31st against the dangerous Cuevas Jr. will move Lundy one step closer to his dream of fighting for a world title. With back-to-back wins over Olusegun Ajose and Santana, the former two-time regional champion is ranked No. 9 among lightweights in 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.
The son of former welterweight world champion Pipino Cuevas, who defended his WBA title 11 times in a four-year span from the mid-1970s to early '80s, Cuevas Jr. has scored knockouts in 15 of his 17 professional wins and is a veteran of 28 fights, the same number of fights as Lundy. The 34-year-old has fought for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Latino lightweight title and the WBC Youth lightweight championship.
"I'm dying to fight for a world title," Lundy said. "I hope my time comes soon."
The May 31st undercard is stacked with the biggest names in the region, including Vincent (10-0, 1 KO), the unbeaten New London, Conn., star who scored her first career knockout win in November, and Cobbs (7-1, 2 KOs), a veteran from Willimantic, Conn., who will face Willis Lockett (13-13-5, 5 KOs) of Maryland in a four-round bout in Cobbs' first fight in more than a year.
Also on the undercard, New Haven, Conn., junior middleweights Jimmy Williams (5-0-1, 2 KOs) and Christian Lao (5-2-1, 2 KOs) will battle for state bragging rights in a six-round bout; and female welterweight Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (10-2-1, 1 KO), a former world-title challenger, will face Althea Saunders (3-0-1) of Atlantic City in a six-round bout. In other regional action, Hartford, Conn., light middleweight Joe Wilson Jr. (1-1) faces Ethan Pena (2-1, 1 KO) of Providence, R.I., in a four-round bout.
The amateur portion of the show features Balletto Jr. of Cranston, R.I., battling middleweight Franklin Gonzalez of Lawrence, Mass. Oliveira Jr., also a 165-pounder who trains out of On Point Boxing in New Bedford, Mass., will face Adam Paolino of Warwick, R.I. New Haven, Conn., middleweight Godfrey Campbell faces Miguel Teo of Marlboro, Mass.; and Smithfield, R.I., light welterweight Anthony Marsella Jr. battles New Bedford's Scott Sullivan. All amateur bouts are three rounds, unless otherwise noted.
Pretoria, South Africa: Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu (16-1, 11 KOs), the southpaw from South Africa, will fight for the vacant IBF International Cruiserweight Title against Julio "Gaspar" Cesar Dos Santos (26-2, 23 KOs), the veteran from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 6th at Rembrandt Hall at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa. The fight is scheduled for ten rounds.
The young Mchunu, 26, of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, made his US debut Aug. 3, 2013 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT with a stunning unanimous decision upset of former heavyweight contender "Fast" Eddie Chambers. He then went on to defeat Olanrewaju "God's Power" Durodola on Jan. 24, 2014 on NBCSN Fight Night in Atlantic City, NJ. This will be his first fight back in his home country since signing with Main Events last year.
Dos Santos, 36, will make his South African debut against Mchunu. "Gaspar" has won his last four fights in a row, all in his hometown of Sao Paulo. Julio has an impressive 88% (23 of 26) knockout-to-win ratio and has never been stopped.
A confident Mchunu said, "I am going to traumatize my Brazilian opponent, Julio Cesar Dos Santos, from beginning to end. He'll take up soccer when I'm finished with him." To which his trainer, Sean Smith, replied, "It's a bold statement but I think Thabiso can give the world another superstar, this time in a 200 pound frame."
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, "Our plan for Thabiso is to keep him active to build a following for him here in the United States and continue to build on the following he has in South Africa with our partner, Showpony Promotions. Dos Santos is a tough opponent who will present a good test for Mchunu and the bout is sure to entertain his fans in South Africa. A win will also move him up in the ratings, which brings us all closer to the goal of capturing a world cruiserweight title." Tags: Hank Lundy , Thabiso Mchunu