August 11th, 2006 – by Wayne McCullough
Southpaw Andy Lee fought late replacement, Carl Cockerham, on Thursday night at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Lee showed poise and dominated the more experienced Cockerham throughout their 6 round fight to walk away with a points decision win.
The taller of the two by about 3 inches, Lee was able to keep Cockerham at a distance. His jab was setting up the left uppercut that was hitting Cockerham to the body. Lee was in total control and was looking very relaxed.
Cockerham, 12-12-3 (4), was staying low looking for overhand rights. But Lee, 4-0 (2), was landing his straight accurate lefts to Carl’s head. He followed that success with a good left uppercut that sent knocked Cockerham into the corner. Carl looked hurt but the bell sounded to end the round and he survived. Cockerham looked as though he was on his last legs at this point as he just couldn’t seem to cope with Lee’s left hands.
By the third round Cockerham was trying to force Lee back but got countered by a short left uppercut to the head. A double right jab and a straight left stunned Carl knocking him backwards but he recovered again.
Lee continued to use his jab in the 4th and once again a straight left rocked Cockerham’s head backwards. But he always fought back landing a few left hooks to Lee’s body. A cut over the left eye of Cockerham was now visible, perhaps caused by a punch most likely the left hand coming from his opponent.
Lee was working solid right hooks to Cockerham’s head and body. Carl landed one left hook to Lee’s head but it didn’t seem to cause any damage. Lee was dominating every round picking his shots and landing at will.
In the 6th and final round, Cockerham took a lot of shots but he was still determined to try and finish the fight on his feet. Lee landed more right and left uppercuts hoping for the KO but Cockerham dug deep and stayed with him until the final bell.
Lee said “I was trying to get him out of there. I was doing what I was told” by his trainer Emmanuel Steward. He continued “He kept coming back. He looked like he was ready to quit. But I’m learning and improving with every fight.”
Lee looked composed and relaxed. It was a good learning fight for him against a more experienced fighter.