It’s been a long road for Andy Lee. Lee was a former disciple of the late Emanuel Steward and while Lee never quite looked to be an elite tier middleweight, there was something in him that sparked a possibility in a master’s mind. That though alone was enough to keep my eye on Lee.
Lee came into the fight with John Jackson in a curious position. His performances were up and down post Chavez Jr loss. Lee looked like his best bet was to cash out on a St Patrick’s day fight with Matthew Macklin before riding off into the sunset. Instead, Lou DiBella put him on the Cotto-Martinez undercard against a good, young challenger (much like he did with Macklin on the Kirkland-Tapia undercard) and allowed Lee to show what he had left in the tank.
Lee didn’t look up for the challenge after 1. Jackson looked faster and like he was going to out-gun Lee. Lee had the case for winning maybe 1 or 2 of the 4 rounds, but Jackson looked squarely in control. In the 5th, Jackson came on strong. He was all but ready to finish Lee as he fell into the ropes under a downpour of lefts and rights. Lee braced himself, bit down, and threw a right hook as Jackson reached back with a right of his own. Lee’s right hit Jackson squarely on the chin and down he went.
Lee’s win establishes him as a viable challenger for any junior middleweight. Possible matches include Vanes Martirosyan, Anthony Mundine in Australia, and maybe even James Kirkland. A domestic fight with Brian Rose whether he wins or loses this Saturday, is another promising event.
While no longer there, maybe that which prompted the knockout. The ability to play possum and score a shocking knockout is what Emanuel Steward saw in Lee. The heart and balls to take that kind of risk. It paid off this time and I’m sure Steward would be proud.