Terence “Bud” Crawford and Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will make their 2016 debuts Saturday, February 27, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Crawford, the two-division world champion and 2014 Fighter of the Year will be defending his WBO junior welterweight title against “Hammerin'” Hank Lundy. Verdejo, the boxing gem of Puerto Rico, will be risking his march to a title shot when he rumbles with undefeated Brazilian William “Baby Face” Silva. Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET.
These four warriors boast a combined record of 95-5-1 (60 KOs) — a winning percentage of 94% with close to 2/3 of their victories coming by way of knockout.
“I will show the world I am the best fighter at 140 pounds,” said Crawford
“We can’t wait to shut up this dude, once and for all,” said Brian McIntyre, Crawford’s chief trainer and co-manager.
“This is an excellent matchup,” said Cameron Dunkin, Crawford’s co-manager. “Terence, the best in the world, against Lundy, a world-class fighter. Fans at The Garden and at home watching on HBO will be on their feet for as long as it lasts.”
“This is the type of fight I have been waiting for,” said Lundy. “The last couple of fights I have beaten guys but didn’t get the fair shake. If you’re a true fan of boxing, you know I belong in the ring with the best fighters in the world. I’m the type of guy that no one wants to fight, because I am the real deal. On February 27th, I am coming to Madison Square Garden to fight Terence Crawford, and on the 28th I’ll be leaving with his belt.”
“I feel happy to be going back to New York where last time I didn’t have one of my best performances because of the injury I suffered on my left hand, but I hope that this time I can give all my fans in ‘The Big Apple’ the spectacle that they deserve,” said Verdejo. “I’m coming ready to demonstrate to the world that in Puerto Rico there is a hungry fighter that wants to continue the tradition of champions that our Island has a rich history of producing.”
“We are going to New York to face William Silva, who on paper looks like the toughest fighter Felix has ever faced, but we are confident we will do the right preparation to pass this test,” said Ricky Marquez, Verdejo’s trainer and manager. “We know that we can count on the support of all the boricuas and we dedicate this fight to them, because they inspire us to wake up every morning at dawn to keep working harder and harder.”
“This is the fight I’ve wanted for a long time. At last, we get Verdejo in the ring,” said Silva.
“All of us at Top Rank are thrilled to return to the Theater at Madison Square Garden,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “We are particularly delighted that America superstar Terence Crawford will defend his world junior welterweight title against an ever dangerous Hank Lundy. The big boxing program will also showcase rising superstar prospect and the pride of Puerto Rico Felix Verdejo who will take on undefeated contender William Silva of Brazil.”
“It is great to be working with Top Rank and HBO Boxing on this event. This is the type of fight that is great for the sport of boxing, said Jimmy Burchfield, Sr., president of CES, Lundy’s promoter. “Fans will see two true warriors who will leave it all in the center of the ring, and it should go down as one of the best fights of the year. Hank Lundy has been waiting for a well-deserved opportunity like this his whole life, and he is hungry and ready for this bout. “Hammerin'” Hank has never turned down an opportunity, and in his past 17 bouts he has fought in 13 different states against opponents with a combined record of 276-44-4. On February 28th the world will see the best Hank Lundy yet.”
“Making his Manhattan debut, Terence Crawford stands today among boxing’s fastest rising stars” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “His opponent Hank Lundy, Crawford’s toughest to date, seeks to usurp that star power for himself on fight night with an upset at the historic Madison Square Garden Theater. This will be a memorable night that will catapult the winner to new heights.”
Crawford vs. Lundy tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 13 at 10:00 a.m. ET, available from Ticketmaster.com and TheGarden.com for $25-$300 plus fees.
“I guarantee fight night I’m going to break you. I’m going to break your will.
“I already got you out of your comfort zone.
“I want you to get this in your head. You can be funny all you want. I’m going to beat your ass. It’s going to be bad.”
“Philly, Jersey, Boston, they’re all going to be here,” Lundy said. “One thing and one thing’s for sure, the Garden knew what they were doing by picking ‘Hammerin” Hank because they know this bum can’t sell the place out!”
“Everybody knows you, Hank. You’re like the boy who cried wolf.
“You talk a good game, but when you lose it’s always something. ‘I’m going to do this … I’m going to do that.’ You ain’t gonna do shit. You talk about how street you are. That’s talking, boy.
“We know about you. We’ve heard about you getting socked up in the gym and not doing anything. You can smile all you want. You can talk all you want. For real, though, when you look at me in the eyes, I’m about that lifestyle. You’ve heard my background. We ain’t heard nothing about Hank. We just hear you talking.
“I’m going to put on a spectacular show come Feb. 27th. I’m gonna hit him in his mouth and he’s going to end up like [Dierry] Jean and get what he’s looking for.”