On February 27, 2016 – it was a hostile city showdown at Madison Square Garden where boxing fans from all walks of life formed one of the most malicious boxing environments I ever been apart of.
I have to admit – this was one of my best trips of covering fights at The Mecca of Boxing! This is how a world title fight should feel. At the end of the day, security did a very good job at keeping the loud crowd in check and the fans themselves kept it at a certain level, not resorting to non-sense that could ruin a good event.
This hot-ticket event was centered around a long winded showdown between WBC Jr. Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and long-time fringe contender Hammerin’ Hank Lundy. But the two main attractions can’t take all of the credit for this sell out crowd. A strong contingent of Puerto Rican and Irish fans also put their money down to join the surprising number of Nebraska based fans who came to show that people from their city are “about that life”.
The Philly fans were also definitely in the house though seemingly scattered across the 5,000 seat theater as opposed to united in large flocks.
There was a lot of hot air in the build up to this fight. Lundy and Crawford traded verbal jabs on press conference stages. Fans and supporters took written shots at each other through social media.
Lundy’s camp told the Omaha contingent that they would be sent back to the corn fields. Crawford’s supporters were hell bent on letting the world know that their city wasn’t one to be messed with.
Things began to get physical. A member of Lundy’s camp told about Crawford’s fans acting like idiots in a hotel lobby, starting an altercation that required police presence hours before the fight.
Plenty of armed security guards filled The Garden in anticipation of drama in the stands.
In the ring – things looked good for Lundy early as he clearly won the first round, connecting with good shots upstairs, using speed to his advantage. Lundy may have also won the third round. In the fourth – he turned southpaw and that seemed to be the beginning of the end.
Crawford scored two hard knockdowns in the fight, the last of which caused the referee to stop the fight. Some say it was an early stoppage – and it may have been – but make no mistake, Crawford was in complete control at this point.
With the win – Crawford continues his climb to the very top of the boxing mountain. Some feel he is good enough to take over the vacant spot at boxing’s pound-for-pound list. He is currently rated #6 in the world.
Lundy was eventually gracious in defeated and later vowed to be back.
Check out the photo gallery. More details to come soon.