By Cliff Rold
Desperate to stop a two-fight losing streak, 29-year old Jr. Welterweight Hank Lundy (23-3-1, 11 KO) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, came up with perhaps the best performance of his career in scoring a unanimous decision over ten rounds against 33-year old Nigerian Ajose Olusegun (31-2, 14 KO) on Friday night at the Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hampshire.
Lundy came into the bout just under the division limit at 139 ¾ while Olusegun tipped the scales at the 140 lb. limit. The referee was Steve Smoger.
In the first couple of rounds, it was the quicker and busier hands of Lundy telling the tale. Able to find the Nigerian southpaw with the jab, Lundy was set to multiply contact while Olusegun sought a big shot to get into the bout. A big shot drove Olusegun towards the ropes late in the third to further Lundy’s early momentum, though Olusegun didn’t seem hurt.
In the fourth, Olusegun appeared to be trying to lure Lundy into leading hopes of countering. It worked a little better, the chance to land some hard body shots developed as Lundy came forward. It didn’t work out as well in the fifth. Lundy rocked Olusegun with a left near the ropes, and again before the bell.
It was the final minute of both round six and seven that made those rounds, Lundy finding holes and busting Olusegun up. The eighth and ninth lacked similar drama, Lundy steady about his business on a night that seemed almost all his way.
Early in the final round, his head being snapped back by the jab of Lundy, Olusegun went down from a slip falling away from yet another Lundy left. As had been the case most of the night, Olusegun could do almost nothing to penetrate the guard of Lundy and wasn’t producing the volume of blows he needed to force a mistake. There was no go for broke attempt to culminate the night. There was just a final bell. The scoring was academic, Lundy receiving a shutout nod at 100-90 and twin scores of 98-92.
Olusegun suffers a second tough loss in his last three fights. After rising to find a title shot almost in reach, Olusegun was stopped last year against interim WBC 140 lb. titlist Lucas Matthysse.
Prior to the main event, 24-year old Jr. Lightweight Ryan Kielczweski (17-0, 4 KO), 128 ½, of Quincy, Massachusetts, scored what for him has been a rare knockout in a battle of unbeatens, stopping 25-year old Miguel Soto (11-1, 11 KO), 129 ¼, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, in five rounds.
After a measured first round, Soto attempted to rush Kielczweski at the start of the second. Kielczweski landed a right off the ropes to back him off. Soto appeared a bit stunned there; he would be a lot a stunned at the end of the third, a left and right from Kielczweski wobbling the legs of Soto.
Soto managed his way through the fourth okay, but only enough to survive until the inevitable. Three lefts wobbled Soto early in round five and Kielczweski continued to pick his spots, letting the aggressive Soto come to him. A left to the head and two vicious body shots had the southpaw Soto bending in pain. An ugly swelling developed over the right eye of Soto just moments before Kielczweski ended matters with a single, smashing left hook. Soto went forward into the floor and referee Dave Greenwood waved it off almost immediately at 2:59 of round five.
In the televised opener, 27-year old Heavyweight hopeful Charles Martin (9-0-1, 8 KO), 239 ½, of St. Louis, Missouri, scored a knockdown in the third and landed heavy leather in round four to earn a stoppage victory over 33-year old Aaron Kinch (5-2-1, 1 KO), 264 ¼, of Newark, New Jersey. It was the first stoppage loss in the career of Kinch.
Martin was efficient, if at times awkward, as he attempted to find the right distance to control his less schooled foe. He found what he was looking for in the third. A left uppercut blasted Kinch late in round, sending him shooting towards the floor. Kinch beat the count and made it to the fourth, but his fortunes didn’t improve. A left uppercut again got Kinch in trouble, the ropes holding the weary man up. Martin pounded away with a series of heavy, methodical shots until referee Mark Ryan stepped in to halt the bout at 2:45 of round four.
The contest was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Gary Shaw Productions, CES, and Rumble Time.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]