23 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lee will trade Civil for Celtic War as unbeaten Scottish middleweight Craig McEwan was confirmed as his March 12 opponent over the weekend.
California based McEwan, will fill the void left by Derry native, John Duddys retirement and steps in to fight the Limerick native on the under-card of the Sergio Martinez/Serhiy Dzinziruk world title fight at Foxwoods Casino.
Victory over McEwan, who comes fully endorsed by Freddie Roach, would see the New York based southpaw move into the world title reckoning, and in a more round about way would enable Lee to put his sole career defeat behind him.
Wild Card fighter McEwan, who Lee beat in the amateurs, has registered a routine victory over the only fighter to defeat the former Olympian, Brian Vera.
Lee has been very eager to avenge the Vera defeat and believes a win over the Scot live on HBO would prove Vera was fortunate to stop the Kronk fighter on an ill fated night that has haunted him since 2008.
The Ireland v Scotland showdown also throws up an interesting side plot as it pits legendary trainers Emanuel Steward, who looks after Lee, and Freddie Roach against each other.
Speaking to www.Irish-boxing.com Lee said he is delighted with his new opponent but is aware that whilst victory opens a number of boxing doors a loss would slam such doors firmly shut.
I am happy with the fight. I think it’s a good match between two boxers with similar styles. We are both young and looking to take the next step up, Lee said.
I would rate McEwan around the same level as Duddy, but with a totally different style. I actually fought McEwan in the amateurs, in 2005. I won that fight on points. So we know each other well. I’m confident I can beat him again, but it will be a tricky contest. I will be taking nothing for granted. I will make sure I am on top of my game because there’s a lot at stake for both of us.
The winner of this fight could be in line for a title shot and for the loser there is nothing. He trains with Freddy Roach and has a win over Vera so beating him will mean a lot to me.