Hank Lundy Thrives In His Latest Dance With Danger

(Hank Lundy drops Angelo Santana; photo credit: Tom Casino, Showtime)

Bless Hank Lundy's arrogant, stubborn soul. He doesn't need to trade punches like he does and really ought not to, based on that knockout loss to John Molina, yet he does it anyhow. Far from perfect, he's just good enough to hang with superior fighters and take care of lesser ones, usually with a hefty dose of peril, win or lose. Friday night on ShoBox, Lundy kept the peril to a manageable level and was good enough to beat busted prospect Angelo Santana by a wide unanimous decision.

Moving back down to lightweight, Lundy had to endure a few competitive rounds early from Santana, who made his name as a puncher on ShoBox with a big knockout win in 2012 then lost it in his next appearance on ShoBox in 2013 with a knockout loss. But Santana clearly can punch, name or no, it's only how long he can retain that power as the fight goes on that matters — he had weight problems in his last fight and the once-a-year pace courtesy of Don King surely can't help with his fighting shape. Lundy, for all his showiness, does not suffer from any apparent lack of devotion these days, coming off a rebound win against Olusegun Ajose after two straight losses. So with his speed, movement and guts, he eventually took over against the slowing Santana.

It was harrowing in places, of course, or else it wouldn't have been a Lundy fight. His corner exhorted him late to step up the pace, something he didn't really need to do, based on the 98-91 scorecards across the board. That meant he traded, naturally, and this time he came out ahead in the bargain: With a roundhouse right that connected on an off-balance Santana, he scored a knockdown. Afterward, he crowed loudly about his power. Makes sense. But he also said he wanted Lucas Matthysse, a fight once booked that fell through when Lundy dealt with some promotional problems. At the time, it was viewed as a brutal mismatch. It makes even more sense now than then, with Matthysse rebounding from his own loss and Lundy showing more these days than ever.

On the ShoBox undercard, Amir Imam scored a violent knockout that sent Jared Robinson tumbling out of the ring and onto the floor head first. Imam, a junior welterweight prospect, has a record that says "big puncher" with 12 knockouts now in 13 fights, but it has been against unknown competition. Robinson offered more of the same, although he was undefeated and put up a good scrap through three rounds, bloodying Imam and withstanding his power. That changed in the 4th with a couple jabs and a big right hand that put Robinson on the concrete. As impressive as Imam's power was, Robinson's ability to get up and climb the stairs under the circumstances was even more dumbfounding. He wasn't ready to continue, so the referee waived it off correctly, but the big punching was excellent and the recovery was excellent because of it. If Imam can do this against even better fighters, we might have something, and we'll remember this fight as a helpful one that got him to that level.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.