Hank Lundy went into tonight's ESPN Friday Night Fights main event dreaming of an October 6 matchup on HBO with Adrien Broner. He left with his second loss, as Raymundo Beltran scored a majority decision upset win on scores of 96-94, 96-94, and 95-95. Bad Left Hook had it 95-95.
Beltran (26-6, 17 KO) has been known as a hard luck fighter, who arguably deserved wins in close losses to Sharif Bogere and Luis Ramos Jr in a pair of recent notable fights. Tonight, he was able to convince two of the three judges that he'd done enough to get the duke, and a likeable, double tough journeyman fighter, best-known as Manny Pacquiao's longest-tenured sparring partner, comes out with the biggest win of his 13-year pro career.
For Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KO), this is a devastating setback in the short term. Personally, I thought it looked like his Thursday struggle to make weight for the fight hampered him a bit, as he was good in spurts but kept being walked down, got caught on the ropes and in corners, and allowed Beltran to dictate the fight too often.
The two had a great exchange at the end of the third round, with both landing hard shots at the bell, and it was at that point that we definitely had a fight on our hands. From there, it was close, and back-and-forth -- right when it looked like Lundy had gained the upper hand, Beltran forced his way back into things. In all, there were probably four toss-up rounds in the ten round fight. Either man could have won this one, but it simply went to Beltran this evening.
Long term, Hank Lundy will be back. I do wonder about his ability to move up in weight, though -- he looked very small next to Beltran tonight. But if he gets himself righted, he's going to be at worst a Friday Night Fights headliner for years to come. He's a reliable guy who doesn't give you boring fights, and he's an attractive personality to boot. "FNF Headliner" probably isn't the tag that he wants, but it might be what best fits. He's a lot of fun, but he's also a vulnerable fighter who can be beaten by non-elite fighters.
In tonight's dull co-feature, Philadelphia's Farah Ennis defeated Richard Pierson on scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 98-92. Pierson had arguments in two rounds, I thought, but I had Ennis itching a shutout, 100-90. Perfectly good chance I just missed at least one round, and I know one of the two rounds I considered for Pierson had CompuBox stats of 8-3 for Pierson, but, well, 8-3. Woopty doo.
As for that Adrien Broner date on October 6, the other name that has been tossed around is Jorge Linares. Make of that what you will.