WBO world middleweight champion ‘Irish’ Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) will face Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillen (31-0, 22 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York this Saturday. The bout will be the televised scheduled for 12 round Co-Feature to the main event between world champions Danny Garcia & Lamont Peterson. The challenger Quillen will be have his supporters with the bout being held at the Barclays Center, in his resident Brooklyn, New York. Lee could actually match the support of Quillen if not better as there is a large Irish American population in New York.
Lee’s last few fights have had some very exciting endings. The first was with John Jackson last June. Jackson is the son of former world middleweight champion Julius Jackson. Lee was knocked down early in the fight putting him behind on the scorecards. In round 5 Lee connected with a short right hand that landed just ahead of Jackson who was throwing at the same time. Jackson went down and was out before he hit the canvas. It was a thrilling comeback knockout victory for Lee in spectacular fashion. The knockout was on highlight reels for months following the fight. Ironically Quillen would vacate his WBO title and it would be Lee who would get the opportunity against unbeaten Matt Korobov last December. Lee entered the bout as a heavy underdog and once again found himself trailing early on the scorecards. In round 6 Lee staggered Korobov and a barrage of punches that followed saw the fight come to its dramatic ending. Lee had pulled of the upset and become a world champion.
Lee had achieved his goal of becoming a world champion and was looking forward to making the first defense of his title in his native Ireland. Following his victory over Korobov Lee had a mandatory challenger in unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders of the UK. There was talks that a Lee-Saunders fight was a big enough of an attraction that it could be held in a large soccer stadium in London, England. Then how things so often happen in boxing all that changed quickly. Saunders accepted to step aside to allow the former champion Quillen to face Lee instead in New York. Saunders was guaranteed that he would face the winner between Lee and Quillen next. In Lee’s case it was a no brainer. It was said that he is to make at least three times more for the amount of money against Quillen then he would have made defending in his native Ireland.
Finances aside the reality is that Lee favored to lose is title to Quillen this Saturday. Lee has had some exciting comebacks in his last few fights but he will be hard pressed not to be in similar circumstances against Quillen as he was in his last two fights. Meaning he would not want to be dropped early if at all against Quillen who is a much more proven puncher than both Jackson and Korobov. Quillen also has a very soid chin and will likely not be shook up the way Jackson and Korobov were. The one thing that Lee has in his favor is that Quillen has not fought in about year. It may take him some time to shake off the ring rust. This is where Lee needs to take the advantage and try and jump out to an early lead on the scorecards. There is no doubt that Lee can box. It’s his defense and stamina that will have to hold up against an oncoming Quillen. Lee is aware that the odds are against him but he has been here before. So it’s nothing new. He will just need to beat those odds once again to retain his title.