With both fighters coming off losses in their most recent meaningful fights, this was a true crossroads matchup headlining ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, and it’s Hank Lundy who is moving on.
Lundy easily outpointed Olusegun Ajose (scores of 100-90, 98-92, 98-92 ) over 10 rounds at Rockingham Park in Salem, N.H., the biggest win of Lundy’s career.
“Everybody counted me out, but I’m a southpaw killer,” Lundy said. “I showed the world I’m a player at 140 pounds.”
It was considered a toss-up fight, with Lundy coming off back-to-back decision losses, but Lundy never let Ajose in the fight.
Lundy, an orthodox fighter, started the junior welterweight fight in a southpaw stance and was sharp from the onset. He walked Ajose down in the first round, popping his southpaw jab and hooking off it. When Ajose, 33, moved forward, Lundy picked off Ajose’s power shots with his left shoulder and countered.
Ajose (31-2, 14 knockouts) came out aggressively in fourth round, but was unable to sustain the pressure. Lundy showed great poise throughout the bout. Lundy effectively connected with uppercuts on the inside, set up by the shoulder roll, and stunned Ajose with that punch in the fourth.
Lundy (23-3-1, 11 KOs) landed whipping overhand lefts in the fifth round that hurt Ajose. The 29-year-old Philadelphian bullied Ajose into the corner and connected on some more overhand lefts, forcing Ajose to clinch. Ajose reset and boxed Lundy on the outside, but Lundy again connected on overhand lefts, this time wobbling Ajose.
In the seventh round, Lundy snapped Ajose’s head back with a counter left, then had Ajose reeling, staggering around the ring. Ajose’s nose was bleeding and his left eye about swollen shut. From seventh round on, Ajose was a defeated man and seemed content to see the finish line.
Lundy finished the bout strong, and cruised to the final bell.
At opening bell, the temperature inside the arena was in the mid 90s, putting a premium on the conditioning of the combatants.
Ajose crashed the boxing scene with a win over Ali Cheebah in 2011 onShoBox: The New Generation. He parlayed the win into a Showtime Championship Boxing bout against Lucas Matthysse, and while Ajose was game, Matthysse stopped him in the 10th. It was the first defeat of Ajose’s career. He won a tune-up bout earlier this year, but now a loser of two-of-three bouts, Ajose is clearly an opponent.
Lundy was a rising contender after reeling off four impressive wins on Friday Night Fights from 2010 to 2012, wins over David Diaz, Patrick Lopez, Dannie Williams and Omri Lowther. But he came into Friday’s bout a loser of two consecutive fights, setbacks to Raymundo Beltran and Viktor Postol. With the impressive showing, Lundy is now in a prime position in the loaded junior welterweight division.
Follow Mike Coppinger on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger