WBO Champion ‘Irish’ Andy Lee defends his World middleweight title on April 11th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City against unbeaten challenger ‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin.
London Born Irishman, Andy Lee, is riding a wave of momentum at the moment and will not want to relinquish his status as WBO Champion without laying it all on the line. He is a southpaw with a killer right hook that has developed into something of a signature punch for him.
He worked with the legendary, hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward for the most part of his career who unfortunately didn’t get to see Lee become a world champion before passing away. However, since linking with trainer Adam Booth -who trained former unified cruiserweight champion of the world David Haye- he has put together a great run of victories. Since losing his first world title bid for the WBC version against Julio Cesar Chavez Junior when he was stopped in the 7th round, he has racked up six consecutive victories. Similar to Booth’s former charge, Andy Lee has the ‘haymaker’ of a shot within his arsenal to uncork.
In his last fight he knocked out the formerly unbeaten puncher and Russian Olympian Matt Korobov at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas with a picture perfect right hook. He had also previously knocked John Jackson cold with the same punch; a right hook, when fighting with his back to the ropes. He is dangerous even when under pressure or when losing. His body fits naturally well into the weight class which helps him hold power in his shots.
Peter Quillin, named after the legendary Cuban featherweight ‘Kid Chocolate’, is a slick boxer who has passed every test with flying colours to date. This is though arguably the first time he has been in with a real big puncher though so he will have to be wary of the fact right to the final bell.
He made like work of Gabriel Rosado and Lucas Konecny, both fringe world level fighters and looks like the real deal. He’s a thoughtful fighter who goes about his work in accurate fashion but also possesses good knockout power. He sent French-Cameroonian Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam to the canvas six times en route to his 2012 world-title win.
Quillin is the former WBO Champion but that doesn’t mean he has lost. He vacated the belt to take time away from the ring. He hasn’t fought for almost exactly a year as he has been dealing with family affairs outside the ring. Will he be ring rusty or mentally in the right place?
Although he currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, he was raised in Grand Rapids in Michigan so the home advantage probably won’t have much of an effect. There is of course a hefty Irish contingent in New York anyway.
A fight with mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders from Britain lies next for the winner but neither will be looking passed this showdown. Quillin is perhaps the better boxer and is capable of regaining his title but Lee will be a huge threat and has great timing and punch power to inflict a knockout should Quillin become over-zealous in his approach.