Andy Lee (27W-1L, 19KOs), Irish Kronk middleweight star sees 2012 has the defining year of his professional career and the fearless Irishman has set his sights on winning a world title in the next 12 months.
Team Lee strongly believe their fighter has earned his place to challenge for a world title in 2012, the popular Kronk fighter is the hottest property in Irish professional boxing and in recent years has scaled the heights of world middleweight boxing to be presently positioned in the world rankings as WBC #6, WBA # 2, and WBO #1.
In March 2011, Lee ranked WBC #14 and WBA #5 signed a multi-fight promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment Inc. with the goal of developing and advancing his career aspirations. The Kronk fighter believes premier promoter Lou DiBella will progress his title ambitions and raise his stock value in boxing from being a world title contender to being a world champion in 2012.
The Irishman’s debut under the DBE promotional banner took place on March 12, 2011 and was broadcast live on HBO from the Foxwood Casino, Connecticut. The fight was an epic battle dubbed the ‘Celtic War’ against the then unbeaten world ranked Scotchman Craig McEwan (19W, 1OKOS).
The fight was a barnstormer with both fighters trading heavy leather from the opening bell. Lee relentless in his determination and courage throughout the fight caught McEwan with a devastating overhand left in the 10th round sending his opponent crashing to the canvas. Referee Steve Stogger, concerned about the health and well being of McEwan stopped the fight immediately without a count.
Lee’s next outing was on May 18, 2011 when he won both North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) against the experienced Alex ‘The Technician’ Bunema at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Using his long right jab the Kronk fighter effectively kept the durable Bunema (31-7-2, 17 KOs) at long range and in doing so comfortably won every round of the fight. The judges’ scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 100-90.
The Kronk fighter put on a boxing master class in his last outing on October 1, 2011 against the tough and resilient Brian Vera (19-5, 12KOs) at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City live on HBO and Sky TV. He systematically broke down his opponent over 10 rounds using his superior boxing skills.
Lee controlled the fight by landing beautiful right hooks and uppercuts and straight left hand power shots. Vera touched the canvas twice during the fight, but stubbornly hung in there to the final bell. The ringside judges scored the contest 99-90, 98-91 and 99-90.
The Kronk fighter falling to his knees when the fight ended was elated with his win; he had avenged the only loss on his record to Vera on March 21, 2008 and on a personal level he was now satisfied he had redeemed himself and banished a ghost.
The talented Irishman’s impressive performances in 2011 made an emphatic statement to the belt holders in the middleweight division that he has the skills and attributes necessary to challenge for and win a world title.
Lee is pencilled in to fight again on Saturday, March 17 at MSG Theater, New York on a St Patrick’s Day in a gala evening of Irish boxing with the bout scheduled to be broadcast live on HBO. He hopes this fight will be the springboard to land him a world title shot in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2012.
There are a number of world middleweight title contests planned and scheduled in the 1st quarter of 2012 and Lee aims to fight one of the winners; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr defends his WBC belt against Marco Antonio Rubio on February 4, Daniel Geale defends his IBF belt against a yet to be named opponent on March 7 and Sergio Martinez is due to defend his WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine belts against Matthew Macklin on March 17 also at MSG Theater, New York.
Lee commented “I am 28 this June with nearly 30 fights under my belt; I have grown as a fighter and I am now ready and prepared to challenge for and win a world title. It is every boxer’s ambition to be a world champion and I believe this is my year.
I have positioned myself nicely in the world ratings as a legitimate world title contender. In boxing what you want, what you deserve and what you get are all different things. Boxing is a business as well as a sport and sometimes things come down to timing and being in the right place at the right time. I believe I am at that juncture in my career and I am more than ready for a title shot.
After my fight on March 17, I want to move up the WBC ratings and capture the #1 spot as the mandatory challenger to the WBC title. I would relish the opportunity to fight Martinez, Chavez Jr, Rubio, Macklin or Geale in a championship fight. I have the skills and power to beat any of them.”
2011 has been a good year for the ambitious Andy Lee under the guidance of his respected and astute manager/trainer Emanuel Steward and his experienced and progressive promoter Lou DiBella. Two entertaining performances live on HBO is the perfect platform for the Kronk fighter to move forward on in 2012.
Lee has been pursuing his date with destiny from when he first laced up a pair of boxing gloves at the age of 11 back in 1995. He had a very successful amateur career winning a host of Irish national titles, multination tournaments, a Silver medal in the World under 19s in 2002, a European Bronze senior medal in 2003 and was a 2004 Irish Olympian. In January 2006, at the age of 21 he left his family and comfort zone in Ireland and boarded an airplane bound for the renowned Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit, USA with the dream of someday becoming a world champion.
Since Lee’s pro debut at the famous Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on March 10, 2006, Emanuel Steward, the boxing maestro has patiently nurtured and honed the boxing skills of his pupil and carefully chartered a pathway for his fighter to become a world title challenger.
The Irish Kronk star in the past 6 years has developed into a seasoned fighter with an arsenal of weapons, he likes to mix it at times with his opponents in fights but his greatest assets are that he can box and he can bang. His natural tall and rangy physic allows him to box at range, pick his punches and keep his distance.
Lee is also recognized as one of the strongest and most effective punchers in the middleweight division with 19 of his 28 opponents going back to the dressing room early.
Emanuel Steward commented “Andy is presently the most prominent and visible middleweight contender resident in the United States at this time; it makes good sporting and business sense for the television executives, promoters and sanctioning bodies to stage an Andy Lee world title fight in 2012.
Andy is in the prime of his life and given the opportunity will give champions like Sergio Martinez and Julio Chavez Jr all the trouble they want. He is a superior technical boxer who can punch with both hands. No matter what fight Andy Lee is in he has the fans on the edge of their seats.”
As the established and #1 Irish fighter in the US, Lee will certainly attract many supporters and ticket sales from Irish communities in New York and Ireland for his fight at MSG Theater on St Patrick’s Day 2012. This is the perfect stage for ‘Irish Andy Lee’ to launch his world title assault in the Mecca of boxing with the fanatical Irish crowd cheering him on from the rafters.
The famous Irish American heavyweight fighter Gerry Cooney wisely once said “You have a small period of time when you can perfect your career and become good at it. A lot of guys get distracted, which only hurts them. You must stay focused and work very hard at boxing.”
Andy Lee is going to take Gerry Cooney’s advice on board and use the next period of time to perfect his talent, stay focussed on the big prize and work very hard at his boxing so when his time comes in 2012 he will not just be ready to challenge for a world title, but actually realise his childhood dream and win a world title.