Lee Destroys Falliga
Undefeated middleweight prospect Andy Lee (15-0, 12 KOs) destroyed his tough opponent Alejandro Gustavo Falliga (14-4-2, 4 KOs) in a 5th round TKO tonight at the University Sports Arena in Lee’s native Limerick, Ireland. Lee, 23, dropped Falliga four times in the fight, with three of them coming in the fifth round, which prompted for the referee to move in and halt the one-sided slaughter. Before the bout, it was thought that Failliga, 25, would give Lee a tough time, and perhaps test him a little.
However, it was immediately clear from the first round that Falliga was badly over his head in class, and didn’t have either the speed or power to contend with the blazing shots from Lee. In the first round, the southpaw Lee came out standing straight up, shooting his right jab out repeatedly, and occasionally turning it over into a powerful right hook to tag Falliga with it. In a lot of ways, Lee looked like a slender version of IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, whom he regularly spars with before his fights.
Lee landed several excellent straight left hands in the round, but was mostly limited in large part to right hooks and jabs due to Falliga’s constant running. It seemed from the very start that Falliga was just trying to survive and not get knocked out, for he rarely mixed it up with the taller Lee, preferring first and foremost to run from him.
In the 2nd round, Lee came in close for a brief clinch, while in close, Lee landed two big left hands to the back of Falliga’s head. causing him to immediately drop to the canvas holding his head and looking at the referee for help. It appeared like a bad acting job on Falliga’s part, for he seemed to be hoping that he’d get a point deducted from Lee for the illegal punches. However, if Falliga was thinking clearly, he would have realized that even with a point taken away from Lee, it wouldn’t have mattered because it looked like only a matter of time before Lee knocked him out. Lee continued to punish Falliga after he got up, hitting him with crisp left hands and a large number of right hooks.
Towards the end of the round, Lee dropped Falliga with a straight while he was trapped in the corner. The punch, however, seemed to only graze Falliga, who appeared to fall down more because of him being off balance than because of the punch.
In the third round, Falliga began to use more side to side movement, trying to keep Lee from landing his long right jab/hook combination. It worked pretty well, as Lee had problems catching up to Falliga, as he ran around the ring constantly. Lee did, however, land one really big left hand that got Falliga’s attention, causing him to run even more. During the round, Lee was cut over his right eye, and also received a small nick above his left eye, but neither where serious. It’s hard to tell how the cuts occurred, because Falliga was rarely punching during the round, except in a defensive manner. Mostly likely it occurred due to a class of heads, for the two of them came together on a couple of occasions.
In the fourth round, Falliga finally let him hands go, throwing a number of wild right hands that missed by a mile. At least he was finally trying instead of running. Lee landed some excellent left hands during the round, both to the body and head. However, Falliga once again started running, and spent the last half constantly moving side to side, changing directions to prevent Lee from timing him. In between rounds, Emanuel Steward, Lee’s trainer, told him that he needs to close the distance between the two, because he was giving Falliga too much space.
In the 5th round, Lee looked determined to following Stewards’ advice, as he immediately was on Falliga, throwing powerful combinations. While Falliga was moving along the ropes, Lee reached out and speared him with a long left hand that connected perfectly, dropping Falliga to the canvas. As soon as the action resumed upon him getting up, Lee immediately dropped him again, this time with another left hand.
It seemed more like a case of Falliga slipping rather than him taking a big shot, as Lee kind of rushed at him and bumped at the same time that he punched him with a left. Never the less, the referee gave Falliga a standing eight count. This time, when the action resumed, Falliga landed a hard left-right combination to the head of Lee, who was not thinking defense at all at this point. The punches did nothing to Lee, who immediately came in close, landed two consecutive left hands to the head of Falliga while they almost in a clinch, knocking him down for the third and final time in the round. The referee then moved in and stopped the fight at 1:49 of the round.
The win was an especially important one for Lee, for he will be, according to his trainer Emanuel Steward, fighting the winner of Kelly Pavlik vs. John Duddy bout, which is coming up later in the Summer. Obviously, the winner of that bout will most likely be Pavlik, 25, which will set up a very tough bout for Lee. At this point, I doubt seriously that Lee could handle a slugger like Pavlik, for he doesn’t appear to have the power, experience or the build to go up against a fighter as powerful as him. Perhaps in a year or two, with more maturity, Lee could beat a fighter in the class of Pavlik, but not now.
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