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The Mouthpiece
Can’t Touch This! – Hammerin’ Hank Stops Sanchez

by George Hanson Jr., Esq.
October 2, 2009


Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Venue: Yesha Center, Philadelphia, PA
Promoter: Donna Cohen’s Bionic Bull Promotions
Matchmaker: The Boxing Diva, Renee Aiken
Announcer: Larry Tornambe
Referees: Shawn Clark, Benjy Esteves
Coverage: www.gofightlive.tv

In Washington, D.C., President Obama and his administration are supported by The First Lady, Michelle Obama; Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. No question these three women are leaving indelible imprints on the political and social fabric of our nation. In addition, the fashion aficionados benefit from Michelle Obama’s flair and sense of style. Not to be outdone, The City of Brotherly Love boasts The First Lady of Boxing, promoter Vernoca Michael and her counterpart, Donna Cohen of Bionic Bull Promotions and The Boxing Diva, matchmaker Renee Aiken.  These three pioneers are attestation to how far women’s involvement in the sweet science has come over the past thirty-three years in Pennsylvania.

It was on January 28, 1976 when Marian “Lady Tyger” Trimiar and Gwen Gemini fought the first ever professional female bout in Pennsylvania. The four-round match, held at the old Arena at 46th and Market Streets, was declared a no-contest because there was no ruling body for women established in the state. It was Trimiar, who later held the Women’s World Lightweight Championship, in her unstoppable quest for gender parity that opened many doors for women in our beloved sport. The small bald-pated woman, who started boxing as a kid, would not accept the status quo.

So tonight, when many stayed at home to watch Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko defend his WBC heavyweight championship against Chris Arreola and the replay of Floyd
Mayweather’s dominance, after a 21-month retirement, of Juan Manuel Marquez on HBO, I opted to be at Yesha Hall to watch Hammerin’ Hank Lundy. Fortunately, I was
wise enough to venture out because Cohen and Aiken satisfied my insatiable hunger for two excellent boxing with an action packed six-bout card, which included two female
matches, leaving me and the audience wanting more.

Besides, who wanted to see Klitschko dominate an out-of-shape Arreola who doesn’t respect the sweet science enough to submit his body to the rigorous training that is the hallmark of the greats when you can watch The Hammer—junior-welterweight prospect Hank Lundy. The only reprieve for those who were absent is that the show was broadcast by gofightlive.tv and can be ordered for the nominal fee of $4.99.

In the main event, a ten-round junior-welterweight match billed as the UBC Championship, undefeated Philly prospect Hammerin’ Hank Lundy (14 wins – 0 losses –
1 draw – 8 kos) entered the ring to MC Hammer’s Grammy winning hit, U Can’t Touch This, phalanx by his entourage, which included his promoter Jimmy Burchfield of Classic
Entertainment & Sports, to face the awaiting Justo Sanchez (17 wins – 23 losses – 1 draw – 0 kos) of Howell, Utah. The size disparity was apparent as referee Esteves brought them to the center of the ring to receive final instructions. The thirty-five-year-old Sanchez started his career as a featherweight and fought most of his bouts as lightweight.  Lundy who weighed in at 138.5 lbs had rehydrated to 145 lbs outweighing Sanchez by five pounds. It was a mirror image of Mayweather facing the smaller Marquez, and the results were similar.

Lundy dominated his opponent from the onset, working a stiff jab to his midsection, ripping combinations from various angles at will. Forever the showman, he completed a six-punch combination with a behind the back right hook that caught Sanchez in the second round to the delight of the audience. This garnered a warning from the referee. Sanchez, the indefatigable construction worker, husband and father of four girls, landed a good combination in the third round. However, his momentum was short-lived as Lundy dropped him twice in round four with a right uppercut and finally with a body shot and short right with fifteen seconds remaining.

Lundy’s size and speed was too much for Sanchez, who was in a conundrum but never wavered. In the fifth stanza, Lundy continued to display his wares working behind a stiff
jab. Just twenty-one seconds into round six, after a barrage of blows the referee halted the action and rescued Sanchez who displayed great courage despite being outgunned.
The bombastic Lundy is the Christian Audigier of boxing. Audigier, fashion designer and genius behind the Ed Hardy brand is one of the most successful men in fashion and
somewhat of a maverick who marches to the beat of his own drum. Like Audigier, Lundy is bold, brash and willing to put himself in scope sight by issuing challenges to
every notable name in the junior-welterweight division. Most important, they both understand the concept of branding and how to maximize opportunity. Can’t touch this!

In the eight-round co-main, a super-middleweight match for the UBC Intercontinental, Dhafir “No Fear” Smith (21 wins – 19 losses – 6 draws – 4 kos) of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania won a split-decision over Demetrius Davis (19 wins – 15 losses – 5 draws – 7 kos) of Washington, D.C. Two judges scored it 77-74 for Smith, while the dissenting judge surprisingly had the same score for Davis. Davis took the opening round with good body work, landing a strong overhand right. Smith made the adjustment and opened the
second stanza with a piston-like jab, giving Davis some of his own medicine by attacking the body.

In round three Smith caught Davis with a right followed by a sweeping left hook that introduced the seat of his trunks to the canvas. More surprised than hurt, Davis rose
quickly and finished the round. The remaining rounds saw Smith gain an advantage by using his jab and good lateral movement to neutralize Davis who seemed to be luring him into an overhand right but was one step behind in pulling the trigger. This was a well-matched bout; hopefully there will be a rematch.

In arguably the most thrilling bout of the night, the well-traveled Belinda “Brown Sugar” Laracuente (23 wins – 25 losses – 3 draw – 9 kos) of New York City and Lakeysha
Williams (9 wins – 14 losses – 3 draws – 1 ko) of Philadelphia tore the ring down in a four-round junior-lightweight match that had the crowd on its feet cheering wildly at the conclusion. The New Yorker captured a unanimous decision by scores of 40-36 twice and

Laracuente, a twelve-year pro, has barnstormed all over the world swapping punches in places such as Lima, Peru; Nairobi, Kenya; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lusaka, Zambia;
Ardennes, France; Tokyo, Japan; Alberta, Canada; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and throughout the continental United States. She has never been stopped, which would leave one to wonder how many of those losses were hometown decisions.

To say that Laracuente can box is an understatement. She fights with the intensity and vigor of someone who is clearly at home in the ring and seems to relish picking off
punches or having them whistle by, inches from her head as she evades contact. In all my years of watching boxing, I have seen few boxers that can match her intensity, focus and sheer disregard for danger. Adding fuel to the fire was three-division world champion and current IBA Super-Featherweight Champion, Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez working Laracuente’s corner, instructing her to attack. Laracuente is a heat-seeking missile that is able to attack while defending at all times. It is difficult to imagine anyone fighting at that pace. No surprise when the thirty-year-old Laracuente told me that she has been boxing for over twenty-years.

Williams, who began her career as a junior-bantamweight, was outweighed by 4.5 pounds tipping the scales at 125.4 lbs. Watching them in the ring there was no question
that Laracuente was the bigger of the two. This is even more egregious considering that Laracuente lost in her attempt to wrest the Welterweight Championship away from Holly Holm in 2008. Laracuente is one of those rare fighters who can move effortlessly between four weight divisions without losing speed or power.

The bout began with Laracuente pressing forward as Williams used lateral movement and a counter jab to keep her at bay. There was one point in the round where Williams dug into Laracuente’s body with a vicious left hook. Not missing a beat, Laracuente picked it
off with her right elbow, rolled, and countered with a right uppercut a la Floyd Mayweather. Laracuente forced the action and Williams fought back. You had to wonder how they were going to sustain this pace for four rounds. The second round was similar as the bigger fighter attacked. However, Williams is as tough as nails with a heart bigger than her featherweight body.

The third round saw Laracuente corner Williams, who stood her ground like a cornered cat facing the perils of a German shepherd and fought like there was no tomorrow. This
brought the crowd to its feet as the two women stood toe-to-toe and ripped off combinations. Laracuente took the final round with a consistent attack, hurting Williams
with a good right. But, the Philadelphian weathered the storm. I am positive that Klitschko/Arreola could not compete with this action-packed bout. Next stop for
Laracuente—Malindi, Kenya for a match against Everlyne Odero on October 18th. 2004 Olympic alternate, featherweight prospect Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter (10 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 4 kos) of Philadelphia returned to action after a 14-month layoff and won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-53 twice and 60-54 over Wilshaun
Boxley (5 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Coon Rapids, Minneapolis. This bout was marred by several accidental clashes of heads that had Hunter pleading his case to referee Clark. However, it was Boxley who showed the effects as blood flowed freely in the last round from a cut over his right eye. The head-butts were due more to their contrast in style as opposed to the intent of both well-meaning gentlemen.

The bout commenced with Hunter working behind a rapier jab to the body and head. The round was close because Boxley landed two well-timed right hands which could have
won it for him. In round two Hunter went downstairs with several hooks to Boxley’s ribcage and pressed the shorter man from Coon Rapids. Another counter right was the
last telling blow that Boxley landed for the remainder of the bout as he appeared to be thinking too much instead of returning fire.

Hunter, who was switching intermittently from orthodox to southpaw, dominated Boxley in the round five, hurting him on three occasions. However, as soon as you thought
Boxley was going to wilt, he would fire back refusing to let Hunter break his will. Boxley came to Philadelphia to “get down,” not to lay down. Hunter captured the final round of this exciting featherweight match. Despite the long hiatus, he showed very little ring rust. The genteel Boxley who has the manners and politeness of an African exchange student fought hard and held his own against one of the best prospects in the featherweight division.

There is something especially titillating about a beautiful woman donning a black cat suit and a pair of boxing gloves as was the case with welterweight Natalie “Ms. Too Bad”
Brown (5 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Mississagua, Ontario in the opening fourround bout with Rachel “The Joker” Clark (2 wins – 2 losses – 1 draw – 2 kos) of
Philadelphia. Watching Brown in the ring brought back fond memories of Halle Berry wearing a similar suit in the 2004 feature film, Cat Woman. And like Cat Woman,
Brown can fight. This was an epic battle between two boxers who understand the art of boxing. The only thing missing in this one was Batman. Brown resembled a 100-meter runner, while the dreadlocked, tall southpaw Clark looked like she competed in the high jump. The bell sounded for round one and they were off as Brown came forward behind a stiff jab and Clark stayed on the outside.

This was good crisp boxing as Brown moved her head, picked off shots as Clark fired, reloaded and used good lateral movement at long range to avoid hard shots. I scored the first round for Brown. Clark took the second and third stanzas by boxing from the outside, occasionally stopping on the dime to land her bread and butter—right hook, straight left. Sensing that she was behind, Brown stormed out for the final round hurting Clark with two straight rights, pinning her on the ropes for most of the round and working the body. Clark captured a majority decision by scores of 39-37 twice. I had the same as the dissenting judge, 38-38, a draw.

Other Results: Debuting cruiserweight Dan “Mad Man” Grafton of Philadelphia stopped aspiring rap mogul and lyricist, Patrick “The Deadliness” Johnson (0 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws) Kokomo, from Indiana at 2:25 of the fourth and final round. Johnson bears a slight resemblance to The Greatest Muhammad Ali and has his gift for gab. Grafton
suffered a cut on his right cheek in the opening round compliments of the long jab of the lanky southpaw. The articulate and personable Johnson fought hard with a long jab, evading Grafton who would whack away at his opponent’s ribcage every time he forced him into a corner. Grafton attacked with reckless abandon and negated any possibility of winning style points. More exhausted than hurt, Johnson covered up doing his impersonation of the “rope-a-dope” during one such barrage in the fourth round, forcing referee Clark to waive off the action.

Philly cruiserweight Pedro Martinez (5 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) whose opponent failed to attend the weigh-ins fought a three-round exhibition with Ron Boddie
(15 wins – 35 losses – 4 draws – 7 kos). Someone forgot to tell these two that this was an exhibition and not a sanctioned bout. They tore into each other from the opening bell and continued at a frenetic pace until the end. Luckily, they were wearing headgear and sixteen-ounce gloves.

“We have come a long way baby!” This was a tremendous night of boxing by promoter, Donna Cohen and matchmaker, Renee Aiken. In the audience were several dignitaries from the boxing community including former IBF junior-middleweight champion Buster Drayton; former lightweight contender and Rachel Clark’s trainer, Ivan “Mighty” Robinson; former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham; Cunningham’s wife and manager, Livvy Cunningham; super-middleweight, Brian “The Bionic Bull” Cohen; Artie DePinho of TKO Boxing; Patrick Sullivan of Classic Entertainment & Sports; Philadelphia light-heavyweight, entrepreneur and creator of
Punchline clothing, Simon “One Punch” Carr; Carr’s trainer—Rev. Elvin Thompson; trainer, David Feldman; former amateur standout and professional junior- middleweight, Ed Dennis; Philadelphia Golden Gloves champion Quilly “The Quiet Storm” Hughes; rising amateur bantamweight, Sonny “The Bronco” Conto; Conto’s father and trainer, Frank Conto; amateur middleweight sensation, Jamal Rose; and the number-one-ranked US amateur heavyweight, Paul “The Machine” Koon who will be making his professional debut in November.

See you on Friday, October 2nd at The Legendary Blue Horizon as The First Lady of Boxing Vernoca Michael presents another smashing card featuring the return “home” of the Pride of Haifa, Israel, undefeated cruiserweight Ran “Sweet Dreams” Nakash in an eight-round main event against Gary Gomez. You do not want to miss this exciting card, The 6th Annual Cancer Awareness Night, which also features welterweight, “Dangerous” Darrell Jones against Nakash’s friend and stable mate, Muhammad Tuba of Nazareth. Continue to support the sweet science and remember, always carry your mouthpiece. ghanson3@hotmail.com   www.thefightcountdown.com   

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