Is Hank Lundy Ivan Cohen’s next champ?
By Ken Hissner (July 7, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
It was 1986 when Gary Hinton, 29-5-2 (11), won the IBF vacant light welterweight title defeating Reyes Antonio Cruz in Italy. It was the same year that Ivan Cohen’s pride and joy IBF light middleweight champion Buster Drayton, 40-15-1 (28), became champion in June defeating Carlos Santos at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford. For Hinton it was one and done. For Drayton he would spend the next two years fighting in France defending his title twice and having two non-title bouts. The French people adopted him. The French people in Canada where not so receptive as they cheered their new champion Matthew Hilton, who took away Drayton’s title. After Hinton lost the title Cohen became his manager.

Cohen also managed NABF champion Tyrone “Butterfly” Crawley, 22-2 (7) after his title bout. That was in February of 1986 when he got a shot at WBA lightweight champion Livingston Bramble losing in the thirteenth round. Cohen managed Anthony Witherspoon, 19-7 (13), the brother of heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim. Witherspoon won the Pennsylvania state cruiserweight title in 1986 and the WBA Americas title in 1989 but failed in fights with Charles Williams and Jerry Martin.

In 2008 Cohen’s son Brian returned to the ring and won seven fights on the road. In January and May of 2009 with some help from his father he would fight in his old High School in South Philadelphia. It was also the year that a young light welterweight came into the picture named “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, 18-0-1 (10). For Ivan and Hank it was a natural connection. Jimmy Burchfield of CES had been promoting Lundy and instead of putting Lundy on his Philadelphia show on July tenth he put him in with another one of his fighters Josh Beeman in Rhode Island on July seventeenth. The trash talking Beeman paid the price in July when Lundy stopped him in the fifth round. Cohen had brought in new trainer Sloan Harrison and Brian Cohen became his strength and conditioning coach along with seconding Harrison in the corner. Top Philly cut man Joey Eye just waits for the call to be the third man in the ring. Now the team was set. In September his wife Donna put on their third show in south Philly with Lundy headlining and taking out Justo Sanchez in six rounds.

The following month Cohen put Lundy on another CES show in the Mohegan Sun Casino, in CT. Aldo Valtierra, 25-11, was brought in from Mexico and had only been stopped once in his career. After 2:41 of the first round he had been stopped twice in his career. At Dave Wilkes “Salute to Philly Boxer’s Awards” Cohen received the “Manager of the Year” award for 2009.

In January Lundy was in with hot prospect Richard Abril, 12-1-1, of Cuba at the Roxy, in Boston. Abril’s only loss was to Breidis Prescott who knockout out current light welter champ Amir Kahn. Lundy found himself on the canvas in the sixth round. It was questionable whether it was a slip of flash knockdown but it counted as a knockdown in the scoring. Lundy took a split decision win.

In April Lundy made the lightweight limit for the first time since 2006 and defeated previously unbeaten Tyrese Hendrix, 18-1-1, from Georgia over ESPN2 in Memphis. It gained Lundy the vacant WBO NABO lightweight title and has moved him into the seventh spot in the WBO ratings. Prior to the fight Cohen stated, “Hendrix will be sleeping on That Midnight Train to Georgia after Hank takes care of him”. On July ninth Lundy will defend his newly won title against John Molina, 20-1 (16), at the Twin River Event Center, in Lincoln, RI, over ESPN2. One cannot say Lundy is being put in easy in meeting boxers with a similar record to his own. “I’m trying to get Latif Mundy, 9-2 (1), who I recently signed on the show in Lincoln. I have Lundy and Mundy and I’m happy with just the two of them. Mundy has been fighting as a middleweight and should be a light middleweight,” said Cohen. He was ahead of Gabe Rosado when he lost in the seventh of an eight rounder after coming off his first loss.

“When I became managed by Ivan Cohen it took a lot of worries off my mind. He is good to his fighters. I have his son Brian in my corner and Sloan Harrison. Ivan is always right by the corner. That’s my team,” said Lundy. Last Friday Lundy was sparring with light middleweight Gabe “King” Rosado at the Upper Darby PAL. Rosado fights July thirtieth in Philly against Derek “Pooh” Ennis at the Arena. Lundy and Rosado help one another. Lundy is fighting a taller opponent and Rosado is fighting a faster opponent. This week as of Wednesday Lundy is in a “fighter’s mood” focusing on Molina and Molina alone. The wait is on until the bell rings Friday night over ESPN2. Until the contenders agree to fight Lundy is taking on all the top prospects willing to fight him.

“Hank is number nine in the CAM ratings and number eighteen in the Box Rec World ratings. Defeating Molina will only move him up in the WBO ratings,” said Cohen. Lundy is currently training in the Upper Darby PAL gym just outside of Philadelphia. “We tried to get John Murray from the UK to fight us. He’s sixth in the WBO, but they didn’t want any parts of that fight. Anthony Peterson wanted to spar with him and he said make the fight,” added Cohen. Peterson is the WBO’s number one contender and fighting Brandon Rios in July for the interim WBA title. The WBC has Molina number twenty-two and Lundy number twenty-seven so this fight means something to Lundy in those ratings.

I did a story on Lundy last year and mentioned when he isn’t beating on his sparring partners or opponents he is in church on Sunday beating on the drums. He’s a very talented young man at twenty-six with a strong amateur background. The lightweight division is wide open with Humberto Soto holding the WBC, Juan Manuel Marquez the WBO and WBA Super title while Paulus Moses holds the WBA title and the IBF is vacant. Next year will be twenty-five years since Buster Drayton won his title and the year Cohen is shooting for his next champ “Hammerin” Hank Lundy!

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