30 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
If Andy Lee cannot secure a world title bout next he would love nothing more than to rectify his only career blip by facing and defeating Bryan Vera.
Vera, who shocked and stopped the Limerick native in 2008, said earlier in the week that talks regarding a much anticipated rematch were already underway, and like the Texan, the Irish middleweight would love Vera-Lee II. The former Olympian claims neither he nor Vera have shied away from each other and bad timing rather than bad blood is the only reason they have yet to trade leather for the second time.
However, with Lees will rather than skill inspired victory over Craig McEwan proving he is not yet worthy of a shot at WBC champion Sergio Martinez. And with Vera demonstrating he has more than journeyman potential with a points decision over Sergio Mora, the timing now seems perfect.
Veras management have claimed a deal has been agreed in principle and all they are waiting for is the contract. Lee, on the other hand, is waiting for official confirmation from promoter Lou Di Bella and TV company HBO as to who is next.
I’m still waiting to hear about my next fight. I don’t think it will be a title fight but it will be against a top middleweight. I would like to fight Vera again, that fight might be a possibility. HBO were very happy about my fight and the drama of the whole thing. It’s up to them and my promoter Lou Di Bella to decide who and when I’ll fight next, Lee told www.irish-boxing.com.
Vera is the only man to beat me and hes coming off a big win himself. I have a lot of respect for Bryan Vera. Hes a tough man and a tough fighter and hes a handful for anybody. If I cant get a title fight in my next fight then I would like nothing more than to fight Bryan Vera. Hes never run from me. I never ran from him. The timing just hasnt been right.
The Limerick southpaw received as much criticism for his performance in the middle rounds as he did for his gutsy display in a dramatic final two stanzas of his last outing. Lee showed guts and fight, but lacked a bit of guile and flair as he struggled in the middle rounds of a fight he won via a last round stoppage.
However rather than sing from the result and not the performance is what matters hymn sheet, the middleweight contender gave www.irish-boxing.com an honest appraisal of a display he labels bittersweet.
I feel good after the fight, it was a tough night, I didn’t box well but I found a way to win. I started well in the first round, I hurt him but the next 5/6 rounds were McEwans, said Lee. I was loading up too much looking for one big punch while he was throwing combinations, that allowed him to win the rounds and grow in confidence. It wasn’t until round seven that I started to box and put my punches together. When I put him down in the ninth, that changed the fight. Going into the last round I sensed I could get him out and I did, Lee added before commenting on Anthony Fitzgeralds recent win EBA title win over Affif Belghecham.
I didn’t see Anthony Fitzgeralds fight with Affif, but thats a good win for him. I heard there was some controversy involving the stoppage but it’s still a good win and a good name on his record.