33-year-old walks away from the sport
There is an argument that the hardest part about the great sport of boxing is walking away from it.
Today former middleweight champion of the world Andy Lee made the decision to retire. Making the announcement on Newstalk that he would be hanging up his gloves.
Whilst Lee never hit the true upper echelons of the sport. There is much that he achieved, and I have no doubt that Andy can look back on his career and be incredibly proud of it.
Lee’s career began as a young boy in the famous Repton Boxing Club a stone’s throw away from London’s famous York Hall. However at 14 his parents decided to move back to their native Ireland where he learned until the tutelage of his trainers at St Francis ABC in Limerick. He enjoyed a decent amateur career, winning medals at the European and World Junior Championships. His amateur career finishing at the Olympic Games in Athens.
After turning professional Lee signed his first professional contract, turning down a lucrative offer from the Irish Sports Council with the late great Manny Steward, moving to Detroit and continuing to learn and train in the hallowed halls of The Kronk Gym in Detroit.
The highlight of Lee’s career coming on a not so wintery night under the lights of Las Vegas. Lee has fought for a world title before, being stopped in the seventh round against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012. But this night would be different.
Fighting in front of a sold out crowd at the Cosmopolitan, Lee would fight fellow Olympian Matt Koborov for the WBO Middleweight title. Lee started the fight superbly, wobbling Koborov in the third round. But by the sixth it looked like he was losing his foothold in the fight. That is until he unleashed his trademark right hook which hurt the Russian. A flurry of eighteen, yes eighteen punches followed. The referee stopping the fight, and Lee realising every boxers dream. He was the champion of the world.
Having only fought once since losing his WBO title to Billy Joe Saunders, Lee had been trying to get back into the picture. A fight with America’s Danny Jacobs was mooted in January but nothing coming to fruition.
I wish you the very best Andy, Enjoy your retirement. There are a few folks out there that will be grateful that right hand will no longer be a problem!
By: Aaron Cooper