By Jim Dower: Middleweight contender Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KO’s) is disappointed that his scheduled opponent for March 12th has decided to retire rather than meet him in the ring for their previously scheduled bout at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, in Mashantucket, Connecticut. However, Lee, 26, plans on going ahead and still fight on the card as long as HBO approves of his replacement opponent. There’s been talk of Peter Manfredo Jr. or Craig McEwan being brought in the replace Duddy.
If one of them gets selected, Lee could find himself facing an even better fighter than Duddy and it might be a lot tougher fight that Lee expected it to be. An ideal opponent for Lee would be Bryan Vera, who beat up and stopped Lee in 2008. Lee still hasn’t avenged that defeat and a lot of boxing fans are disappointed about that.
In an interview at the Mirror Sport, Lee said “I was surprised when I heard Duddy was retiring. As far as I knew, the fight was all set. But I respect his decision. Boxing is a hard game and like he said, you have to have the hunger for it. John Duddy was a tough warrior who always entertained the fans and I wish him well in whatever he does next in life. As for me, I will still fight on March 12th. They’re seeking a new opponent and it will be announced as soon as someone accepts the fight. It will have to be a ranked opponent or someone with a marquee name in orfer for American TV to approve it. Nothing changes for me. I’m still focused on getting ready for March 12th, and I am looking forward to having a good fight.”
Lee, ranked #5 WBA and #14 WBC, better hope that they don’t find someone too good for him, because he’s very vulnerable to big punchers and his stamina is poor. If they put him in with a quality fighter like Daniel Jacobs or Fernando Guerrero, I can see Lee getting stopped again. Lee is a decent fringe contender, but not much better than Duddy. If you match Lee too tough, he gets knocked out.