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Ireland’s Lee at MSG

(Photo © Jason Gonzalez, MaxBoxing)
(Photo © Jason Gonzalez, MaxBoxing)

By Bill Tibbs


Former middleweight contender “Irish” Andy Lee, 32-2 (22), now campaigning at junior middleweight, is looking forward to performing on the big stage tonight. He will fight in one of the support bouts for the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto World Middleweight championship contest, live from Madison Square Garden in New York on HBO Pay-Per-View. Lee hopes a win will put him in a better spot to get a shot at the world junior middleweight title down the line. But tonight, he faces John Jackson, 18-1 (15), the son of former world champion Julian Jackson. In his time, “The Hawk” was considered perhaps the hardest puncher in the game.
 
Lee turned pro in the spring of 2006 and was rolling along at 15-0 (12) until he was stopped in the seventh round by Texas tough guy Bryan Vera in March of 2008. He returned from the setback and blasted off 13 straight wins going into the summer of 2012 including a rematch win over Vera. Then in June of 2012, he was stopped for the second time in his career by World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a bid for the world title in the seventh round. Four months later, his longtime trainer and close friend, Detroit boxing legend Emanuel Steward passed away. Unsure of what lay ahead, Lee moved back to Europe and restarted his career eight months later with new trainer Adam Booth.

Now the London-born Lee will face off against Jackson, who knows a win over Lee on a big HBO-televised show, will do wonders for his profile in the game. Lee hopes to keep John’s father, Julian as the only famous “Jackson” name talked about after tonight. In recent interviews, Lee, 29, seemed excited and charged up about his upcoming bout, his new weight and his title prospects.
 
“He’s a good fighter who knows how to fight,” Lee said of Jackson. While Lee has no plans to go north of 154 right now, if a title shot came up at 160, he would take it. “If the right fight came along at middleweight, I would take it”, he said. “It’s time to get back on the big stage at Madison Square Garden,” he said. “I really want to put on a good show for the people. By the end of the year, I’d like to be fighting for a world title.”
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 
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