Beltran swipes NABF crown from top-ranked Lundy by majority decision on ESPN
Upset-minded Raymundo Beltran won the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight title Friday night at Resorts Casino Hotel, beating top-ranked Hank Lundy by majority decision, 95-95, 96-94, 96-94, in the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
The aggressor throughout the night, Beltran (26-6) gave Lundy (21-2-1) problems along the ropes, limiting Lundy’s ability to utilize his jab by constantly applying pressure. Though Lundy’s stiff, left jab helped keep the Mexican challenger at bay, Beltran refused to back down, consistently catching Lundy with hard rights and lefts while Lundy had his back against the ropes.
Lundy, ranked No. 1 among lightweights in the World Boxing Council (WBC) entering the fight, had his sights set on WBC title-holder Antonio DeMarco, who will defend his title against challenger John Molina in September, but the loss will likely cost Lundy his No. 1 ranking in the upcoming polls.
Friday’s main event picked up in the third round when the two exchanged blows in the closing seconds. Lundy got in the last shot, staggering Beltran with a hard left hook. The two smiled at one another, tapped gloves and then retreated to their respective corners at the end of the round. Lundy kept working his jab in the latter half of the fight, arguably putting together his best round in the seventh, but Beltran never quit and escaped with the upset win.
One has to wonder if Lundy’s mind was completely in this fight. All week long, he had been trash-talking Adrien Broner, and calling him out for an upcoming clash. However, he had a sturdy, gritty, dedicated guy in front of him, the type of guy you can’t just look past and win against by default. On talent alone, Lundy should have been able to get past Beltran without too much difficulty, but you can’t take nights off in this business. It costs Lundy a title shot and a major opportunity.
The first half of ESPN’s doubleheader featured a super middleweight showdown between Philadelphia’s Farah Ennis (20-1) and Richard Pierson (11-3) of Paterson, N.J. Working primarily on the outside, Ennis out-boxed Pierson for 10 rounds, landing effectively to the body to score a 99-91, 98-92, 98-92 unanimous decision win.
Millville, N.J., middleweight Ismael Garcia (4-0, 1 KO) started the night with a bang, stopping Virginia Beach, Va., native Kenneth Moody (2-4-2) at the 1:09 mark of the opening round. Garcia caught Moody with a solid right hook, sending Moody retreating to the corner holding his right eye. With his opponent’s back turned, Garcia landed two more hooks to the body before the referee stopped the bout. Light welterweight Josh Mercado (6-1) of Cape May, N.J., put on a show in the second undercard bout, exchanging blows with Philadelphia’s Korey Sloane (2-5-1) over the course of four rounds to earn a 39-36, 39-37, 39-37 unanimous decision win.