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Andy Lee (boxer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andy Lee
Lee Limerick.jpg
Lee celebrating a win in Limerick, 2008
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Reach75 in (191 cm)
Born (1984-06-11) 11 June 1984 (age 36)
Bow, London, England
Boxing record
Total fights39
Wins by KO24

Andy Lee (born 11 June 1984) is an Irish former professional boxer who competed from 2006 to 2017. He held the WBO middleweight title from 2014 to 2015, and in doing so became the first member of the travelling community to win a world title.[1] He is the second cousin of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.[2] During his professional career, Lee was trained by the late Emmanuel Steward.

Early life

Lee was born in Bow, London, England, to Irish Traveller parents. In 1998, his parents returned to Castleconnell, County Limerick in Ireland with their six children.[3][4] Lee had previously been training at the Repton Boxing Club in London from the age of eight, and upon his family's return to Ireland, Lee and his brothers joined St Francis ABC in Limerick, where his boxing career took off.[4]

Lee signed his first professional contract with Manny Steward in 2005. He then moved to Detroit, Michigan where he lived with his longtime manager and trainer until Steward died in 2012. Following his death, Lee moved back to London where he joined up with English trainer Adam Booth.[5] It was with Booth that Lee won the WBO belt in 2014, becoming the first Irish boxer to win a world title on American soil since 1934.

Amateur career

Lee represented Ireland at the 2002 World Junior championships in Santiago de Cuba, competing in the middleweight category. Lee fought five times in a week beating Ismail Sillakh and United States favourite Jesus Gonzales but lost the final to Cuban boxer Noelvis Diaz to claim the silver medal.[3][4]

At the World Amateur Championships in Bangkok, Lee was beaten on points by eventual winner Gennady Golovkin who also defeated Lucian Bute and Matt Korobov on his way to the gold medal.

Lee traveled to Pula, Croatia for the European Amateur Championships in February 2004. He earned a bronze medal in the competition, and thereby qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics at just nineteen years of age.[4]

In June 2004, Lee won silver at the EU Amateur Championships. He lost to the vastly experienced, former world champion, Marian Simion in the Middleweight final.

Lee's first fight of the 2004 Olympics was against Mexican boxer Alfredo Angulo, who Lee defeated 38:23 on points. In the second round, Lee faced Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam of Cameroon. After four rounds the fight was drawn 27:27 and the bout was decided by "count-back". The verdict went the way of the Cameroonian, which ended Lee's hopes of a medal.[3][4] Lee was bitterly disappointed in the result and stated "I just didn’t fight to my ability. But when I got back home the people treated me like I’d won the gold medal."[3][4]

In February 2003, aged seventeen, Lee fought for the Irish senior amateur title in the middleweight division. That year he beat Eamonn O'Kane.[citation needed] The following year, Lee won the title after overcoming Patrick Murray for the honour. In 2005 Lee retained the title, this time by defeating Eamonn O'Kane in the final.[6]

Professional career

After the Olympics, the Irish Sports Council had stated that they were prepared to fund Lee in order for him to continue at amateur level and compete at the Beijing Olympics. Lee however turned this offer down and signed a professional contract with trainer-manager Emanuel Steward, who had followed Lee's progress since the World Junior Championships. Lee subsequently emigrated to the United States where he trained at Steward's world-renowned Kronk Gym in Detroit.[4][7] Lee made an immediate impression, with Steward recalling - "The first time he’d flown from Ireland to Chicago, then to Detroit, and he wanted to spar. I said ‘No, you must have jet lag.’ But he insisted, so I put him in with Cornelius Bundrage, who was then undefeated. Andy pulled a mouthpiece out of his pocket, borrowed boots from one guy and gloves from another, then he doggone whooped ‘K-9’s ass."[8] His first professional bout was in March 2006, at the Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, in which Lee beat Anthony Cannon on a points decision over six rounds on a card that featured Johnathon Banks.

On 15 December 2007, Lee became the Irish Super-middleweight champion after he beat fellow Irishman Jason McKay at the National Stadium in Dublin.

"I’ve never had a fighter that I’ve rated higher. To be good is one thing but to be great takes a great passion for what you do and Andy loves to fight. He is the complete package – good looking, intelligent, explosive power, physically structured to be a great fighter. There are more Irish people spread out around the world than any other race and I honestly believe Andy could be the biggest draw in boxing history."

- Emanuel Steward speaking about Lee in 2008.[8]

In April 2007, HBO featured Lee as one of boxing's top prospects, with Larry Merchant commenting - "he looks like 10 million dollars". Star coach Steward was also quick to praise Lee, claiming on RTÉ television that by the end of 2008 he would defeat the then current world champion, Kelly Pavlik.[9]

In December 2007, ESPN also listed Lee as a top prospect saying - "Lee has all the potential to be the next great middleweight star. The 2004 Irish Olympian is a 6 foot 2 inch southpaw with skills, power and a streak as mean in the ring as he is personable outside of it. With trainer/manager Emanuel Steward molding him, Lee is moving quickly. He was 8-0 in 2007, including a thunderous knockout of faded former titleholder Carl Daniels. Lee is as blue chip as they come. If you could get stock in a prospect, he'd be near the top of the buy list."

On 21 March 2008, during his debut on ESPN 2, Lee suffered his first defeat after losing by TKO in the seventh round to Brian Vera. The stoppage was mildly controversial, as Lee was winning on points, and was still punching back as the referee Tony Chiarantano stepped in. However, he had been reeling and unsteady from heavy punishment and fatigue for several minutes, and neither he nor his corner complained at the stoppage.

On 19 July 2008 Lee defeated Willie Gibbs in the last round, when Gibbs's corner threw in the towel after a barrage of shots from Lee with 7 seconds to go.

On 21 March 2009, appearing on the undercard of the Bernard Dunne world title fight against Ricardo Cordoba, Lee beat the tough German brawler Alexander Sipos in a unanimous decision. This was a reckoning of sorts, as it occurred on the one year-to-the-day anniversary of Lee's first and only professional defeat.

On 20 June 2009, Lee outpointed Olegs Fedotovs in front of 60,000+ at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany for his 18th victory as part of the Klitschko-Chagaev undercard.

On 22 August 2009, Lee stopped Andy Shuler in the 8th round of a bout in Hammond, Indiana to earn his 19th victory and 14th KO.

A hometown crowd turned out in Limerick, 14 November 2009, to watch Lee defeat Frenchman Affif Belghecham in a ten-round battle of the southpaws. Shannonsider Lee outpointed the Frenchman 99–92; Lee stopped Mamadou Thiam the following year in the same venue.[10]

On 30 July 2010 Lee faced James Cook in Miami, Oklahoma and won the bout by a fifth-round knockout.

On 12 March 2011, Lee fought Craig McEwan at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and won via technical knockout at 0:56 in the 10th round.[11]

He avenged his loss to Brian Vera on 1 October 2011 by unanimous decision.

On 10 March 2012, Lee Knocked out Mexico's Saul Duran in the 2nd round of a stay busy fight.

Lee vs. Chavez: First World Title Shot

On 16 June 2012, Lee challenged undefeated Titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the WBC World Middleweight Title in the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas televised on HBO World Championship Boxing. Lee got off to a good start, using his jab and effectively outboxing Chavez Jr. in the center of the small 16 foot ring, however, Chavez Jr. eventually got through using his substantial weight advantage, and with his stronger physicality, essentially turning the fight in his favor. Near the middle rounds, Lee began to lose stamina due to Chavez Jr's focus on body work. In round 7, referee Laurence Cole stopped the bout with Lee still on his feet after Chavez Jr. stunned him. Lee subsequently took a barrage from Chavez Jr. on the ropes leading to the stoppage. Lee was up on all the official judges cards at the time.

Lee vs. Fitzgerald

Under the tutelage of new trainer Adam Booth, Lee returned to winning ways, after his loss to Chavez Jr., by outpointing former Irish super middleweight champion Anthony "The Pride" Fitzgerald (13–3, 4 KO's) over ten rounds in a middleweight fight held at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on 9 February 2013 on the undercard of a Carl Frampton Vs Kiko Martinez EBU (European) super bantamweight title fight.[12]

Lee vs. Jackson

On 7 June 2014, in Madison Square Garden, on the undercard of the Pay-Per-View fight between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, Andy Lee met hard-hitting Virgin Islander John Jackson in a 154-lb bout. John Jackson is the son of the great light-middleweight puncher Julian Jackson. In the first round Lee was knocked down for the first time in his amateur or pro career respectively on a hard right-hand counter by the heavy-handed Jackson. Lee regained his composure but proceeded to lose the next 3 rounds in a row, he spent the majority of the time tactically looking to catch Jackson coming in with a right hook counter. In round 5 Jackson unleashed a furious flurry of punches and trapped Lee on the ropes, Lee moved off the ropes, but as Jackson moved in to close the show, Andy Lee caught him with the perfectly timed right hook counter that he was looking for and knocked Jackson completely out.

Lee vs. Korobov: World Champion

After the comeback knockout victory over John Jackson, Andy Lee secured himself a 13 December WBO World Middleweight Title shot against the then undefeated former 2008 Russian Olympian, Matt Korobov, on the HBO triple-header that featured the fight between Timothy Bradley and Diego Chaves as its main event. In front of a sold out crowd at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lee and Korobov fought a closely contested chess match before Lee wobbled Korobov with a straight left in the 3rd round. However Korobov regained control and seemed to be controlling the pace of the fight until round 6, when Lee connected on a right hook in an exchange and badly hurt Korobov, a flurry of 18 straight unanswered punches forced referee Kenny Bayless to stop the contest handing Lee the 6th-round TKO victory and the WBO World Middleweight Title.[13] With this most impressive win, Lee became the first Irishman from Ireland to win a world title on American soil since 1934.[14]

Lee vs. Quillin

After stating that he wanted to fight the best in the world, Lee postponed a title defense in Ireland to defend his WBO Title against former WBO World Champion, unbeaten Peter Quillin in the Barclays Center on 11 April. Quillin failed to make weight at the weigh-in for the bout however, meaning regardless of the result of the fight, he was ineligible to win Lee's WBO Middleweight World Title. This fight took place as part of a Premier Boxing Champions show on NBC and was on a card that included Danny García fighting Lamont Peterson in the main event. The fight began with what appeared to be a fairly good first round for Lee until with 30 seconds left, Lee was dropped hard, and hurt by an overhand right delivered by Quillin. Lee survived the round, but two rounds later in round 3, found himself on the canvas again, albeit this time in controversial fashion, as it was discovered that Lee went down mostly due to Peter Quillin stepping on his foot.[15] As the fight wore on the rounds seemed to be close and went back and forth, in the seventh round, Lee landed a hard left hand followed by a clean right hook to Quillin's chin which sent him sprawling to the canvas, evening the fight up on the cards and handing Peter Quillin the first knockdown of his career. The fight continued to go back-and-forth and by the end of the 12th round, official judges scores were 113–112 for Lee, 113–112 for Quillin, and 113–113 even, rendering the official outcome of the bout a split draw.

Lee vs. Saunders

It was announced that on 19 September 2015, Andy Lee would defend his WBO Middleweight title against unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders in his home city of Limerick, Ireland. However the bout was rescheduled for 19 December, and instead took place in the Manchester Arena. Due to a slow start by Lee, Saunders was able to score 2 knockdowns. However, once again, Lee came on strong in the second half of the fight, outboxing Saunders for stages. However, Lee's late rally was not enough to close the gap of the early lead Saunders gained. With scores of 115–111, 114–112, and one judge scoring it a draw at 113–113, Lee lost a close majority decision on the scorecards.


On 20 February 2018, Andy Lee confirmed his retirement from boxing on Irish radio station Newstalk, on the Off The Ball sports programme, citing responsibilities as a father for why he had chosen to retire.[16][17]. He released an autobiography on 26 October 2018 titled 'Fighter' which detailed his upbringing and rise to being a World Champion. Since retiring Lee has become a trainer, manager and boxing pundit. At present he trains & manages boxer Paddy "Real Deal" Donovan, trains Jason Quigley and was assistant-trainer to Javan "Sugar Hill" Steward for Tyson Fury's rematch with Deontay Wilder on 22 February 2020, which Fury won by TKO.

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
39 fights 35 wins 3 losses
By knockout 24 2
By decision 11 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
39 Win 35–3–1 United States KeAndrae Leatherwood UD 8 18 Mar 2017 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
38 Loss 34–3–1 United Kingdom Billy Joe Saunders MD 12 19 Dec 2015 United Kingdom Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Lost WBO middleweight title
37 Draw 34–2–1 United States Peter Quillin SD 12 11 Apr 2015 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, US
36 Win 34–2 Russia Matt Korobov TKO 6 (12), 1:10 13 Dec 2014 United States Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, US Won vacant WBO middleweight title
35 Win 33–2 United States Virgin Islands John Jackson KO 5 (10), 1:07 7 Jun 2014 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Won WBC-NABF super-welterweight title
34 Win 32–2 France Frank Haroche-Horta MD 8 12 Apr 2014 Denmark Blue Water Dokken, Esbjerg, Denmark
33 Win 31–2 Hungary Ferenc Hefner TKO 2 (6), 1:19 23 Nov 2013 United Kingdom Phones 4u Arena, Manchester, England
32 Win 30–2 United States Darryl Cunningham TKO 1 (10), 1:27 15 May 2013 United States B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, New York City, New York, US
31 Win 29–2 Republic of Ireland Anthony Fitzgerald PTS 10 9 Feb 2013 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
30 Loss 28–2 Mexico Julio César Chávez Jr. TKO 7 (12), 2:21 16 Jun 2012 United States Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, US For WBC middleweight title
29 Win 28–1 Mexico Saul Duran KO 2 (10), 0:54 10 Mar 2012 United States Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Michigan, US
28 Win 27–1 United States Brian Vera UD 10 1 Oct 2011 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
27 Win 26–1 Democratic Republic of the Congo Alex Bunema UD 10 18 May 2011 United States Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois, US Won vacant WBC-NABF, and WBA-NABA middleweight titles
26 Win 25–1 United Kingdom Craig McEwan TKO 10 (10), 0:56 12 Mar 2011 United States MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Ledyard, Connecticut, US
25 Win 24–1 United States Troy Lowry TKO 4 (10), 2:59 2 Oct 2010 United States Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Indiana, US
24 Win 23–1 United States Michael Walker TKO 8 (10), 2:03 17 Sep 2010 United States UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, US
23 Win 22–1 United States James Cook KO 5 (8), 2:42 30 Jul 2010 United States Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma, US
22 Win 21–1 Senegal Mamadou Thiam RTD 2 (10), 3:00 15 May 2010 Republic of Ireland University Arena, Limerick, Ireland
21 Win 20–1 France Affif Belghecham PTS 10 14 Nov 2009 Republic of Ireland University Arena, Limerick, Ireland
20 Win 19–1 United States Anthony Shuler TKO 8 (10), 2:05 21 Aug 2009 United States Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Indiana, US
19 Win 18–1 Latvia Olegs Fedotovs UD 6 20 Jun 2009 Germany Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
18 Win 17–1 Germany Alexander Sipos PTS 10 21 Mar 2009 Republic of Ireland The O2, Dublin, Ireland
17 Win 16–1 United States Willie Gibbs TKO 10 (10), 2:46 19 Jul 2008 Republic of Ireland University Arena, Limerick, Ireland
16 Loss 15–1 United States Brian Vera TKO 7 (10), 2:17 21 Mar 2008 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, US
15 Win 15–0 Argentina Alejandro G. Falliga KO 5 (10), 1:49 2 Feb 2008 Republic of Ireland University Arena, Limerick, Ireland
14 Win 14–0 United Kingdom Jason McKay RTD 6 (10), 3:00 15 Dec 2007 Republic of Ireland National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland Won vacant Irish super-middleweight title
13 Win 13–0 Barbados Marcus Thomas KO 1 (10), 1:13 15 Nov 2007 United States Compuware Arena, Plymouth, Michigan, US
12 Win 12–0 United States James Morrow TKO 1 (8), 2:43 2 Oct 2007 United States Bourbon Street, Merrionette Park, Illinois, US
11 Win 11–0 Republic of Ireland Ciaran Healy RTD 4 (8), 3:00 25 Aug 2007 Republic of Ireland Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
10 Win 10–0 Austria Thomas Hengstberger KO 2 (8), 1:22 7 Jul 2007 Germany Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany
9 Win 9–0 United States Clinton Bonds TKO 1 (8), 2:09 18 May 2007 United States The New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee, US
8 Win 8–0 United States Carl Daniels KO 3 (8), 2:36 16 Mar 2007 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
7 Win 7–0 United States Arturo Ortega TKO 6 (6), 0:32 25 Jan 2007 United States The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, US
6 Win 6–0 United States Dennis Sharpe UD 6 11 Nov 2006 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
5 Win 5–0 United States Jess Salway KO 1 (4), 1:34 14 Sep 2006 United States The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, US
4 Win 4–0 United States Carl Cockerham UD 6 10 Aug 2006 United States The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, US
3 Win 3–0 United States Rodney Freeman TKO 1 (6), 1:38 15 Jun 2006 United States Pepsi Pavilion, Memphis, Tennessee, US
2 Win 2–0 Germany Wassim Khalil TKO 5 (6), 2:51 22 Apr 2006 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
1 Win 1–0 United States Anthony Cannon UD 6 10 Mar 2006 United States Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, US


  1. ^ "Lee retains leading role in the ring". The Independent. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  2. ^ Hopkinson, by Tom; 22:30, 12 Dec 2015Updated18:12 (12 December 2015). "World champ Tyson Fury can no longer mouth off on every subject, says Andy Lee". mirror. Retrieved 7 July 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c d "Andy Lee - profile". Ringside by Gus. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Ron Borges. "Future Star: Andy Lee". The Sweet Science. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Irish middleweight Andy Lee teams up with English trainer Adam Booth". Irish Central.
  6. ^ "Irish ABA National Finals". Strefa. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  7. ^ Boxrec. "Andy Lee". Boxrec Fighter Page. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b "FLASHBACK Emanuel Steward: I've never had a fighter I've rated higher than Andy Lee". Boxing News.
  9. ^ Mark Vester. "Andy Lee Stops McKay, Pavlik in 08?". Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  10. ^ Leonard Gunning. "Andy Lee Turns His Attention To Facing Darren Barker". Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  11. ^ Lee will now go on to face Sergio Martinez for the WBC Middleweight championship.
  12. ^ Nick Peet. "Frampton arrives with TKO of Martinez". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Lee stops Korobov to win title". ESPN. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Andy Lee claims world title". Irish Independent. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Andy Lee: The nice guy who finished first". The 42. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.

External links

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Jim Rock
Irish super-middleweight champion
15 December 2007 – February 2010
Title next held by
Anthony Fitzgerald
Title last held by
Fernando Guerrero
WBC-NABF middleweight champion
18 May 2011 – November 2011
Title next held by
Jose Miguel Torres
Title last held by
Kassim Ouma
middleweight champion

18 May 2011 – June 2012
Title next held by
Willie Monroe Jr.
Title last held by
Willie Nelson
WBC-NABF super-welterweight champion
7 June 2014 – December 2014
Title next held by
Ramón Álvarez
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Peter Quillin
WBO middleweight champion
13 December 2014 – 19 December 2015
Succeeded by
Billy Joe Saunders
This page was last edited on 2 June 2020, at 16:03
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