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Andy Lee working hard


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Andy Lee working hard

By Phil Doherty

Photos by Reynaldo Sanchez, courtesy of Sam Cohen


Irish southpaw middleweight Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) pounded out another solid day of training today at the Heavyweight Factory gym in Hollywood FL. Under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward, Lee sparred with fellow Kronk gym super middleweight Dominique Dolton (10-0, 6 KOs). Amazingly; according to Steward, these two Kronk fighters served the past 3 years as sole sparring partners to their heavyweight champion stable mate Wladimir Klitschko.


The 26-year old Lee braces himself for an upcoming “Celtic War” against undefeated 28-year old Scotsman Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs) on HBO’s March 12th Sergio Martinez- Serhiy Dzinziruk undercard. That bout takes place at the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut the same evening as the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga fight in Las Vegas on Showtime.


The scheduling conflict prevents Steward from working the opposite corner of McEwan’s trainer; the celebrated Freddie Roach.




This particular version of the “Celtic” contest changed a bit from the original plan when Lee’s fellow Irishman John Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs) dropped out due to his impromptu retirement last month.


It doesn’t seem to bother Lee, who defeated McEwan in the amateurs and knows his opponent’s style well. Lee explained to Fightnews: “We faced each other a while ago, in 2005. It was a good fight, it was a good contest but I won the fight. We know each other outside the ring as well, which makes for a good contest.”


The change of opponents puts Lee in a better position regarding potential rankings and future opponents since McEwan is ranked higher than Duddy (#12 WBO) and sports an unblemished record. Lee elaborates: “This is definitely a better fight, with an undefeated fighter and a big reputation. He’s one of the best amateurs around from that side of the world. If I beat him it’s a big step for me.”


The winner seems on course to face Texan Brian Vera (18-5, 11 KOs) who won a split decision this past Friday against former Contender champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (22-1-2, 6 KOs) in Ft Worth. Lee suffered his only defeat against Vera by 7th round TKO in 2008. Since then he’s gone on a 9-fight winning streak. McEwan also faced Vera; scoring a 10-round unanimous decision victory in Vera’s hometown two years ago.


The specter of Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) re- entering the fray adds even more spice to a weight class in need of some big fights.



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