Caleb Plant fights Mike Lee July 20 in Las Vegas
A number of years ago, Mike Lee was an aspiring boxer headed to one of the most distinguished universities in the country. Lee, the most prolific boxer in Notre Dame history, graduated with a degree in finance and a 3.8 GPA.
Lee will challenge for the IBF super middleweight title July 20, live on FOX from Las Vegas at The MGM Grand.
The 31-year-old from Downers Groves, Ill, who battles autoimmune disease, not only became a championship caliber boxer, but is a national pitchman and accomplished public speaker for a number of companies.
"Doctors told me at one point that I wouldn’t fight again, but I’m still standing right here. I pushed through my pain to get here," said Lee.
Lee is unique in the sport that he loves, combing philanthropic efforts and humility - a true role model in every sense of the definition.
He’s personally given over $100,000 for to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend and the Kelly Cares Foundation, headed by Coach Brian Kelly of the Fighting Irish football team.
"I’ve had people that never thought I’d get here and I love it," said Lee. "It takes a different kind of person to step into that ring in front of so many people. You have to be ready to go out there and risk it all. I fight who they put in front of me and keep winning.
"On July 20, I’m going to keep proving people wrong. This has been a culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. Most importantly, I’ve gotten somewhere no one thought I would get. I’m fine being the underdog. I have nothing to lose."
Lee plans to lay it all on the line against Plant.
"I’m coming out with everything I have," Lee said. "This is everything I’ve ever wanted. "This is a dream come true for me. "I’ve been through so much and there were days where I thought my dream was over. I’ve chased this since I was eight-years-old and I’m thankful for this chance to go after a dream that others thought I couldn’t reach."
In Las Vegas, where people bet against the odds everyday, Mike Lee will do what he does every time he fights. He’ll face a big challenge and give hope to the millions who suffer from autoimmune disease.