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24 APRIL 2018

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Lee Pulls a "Micky Ward" to Defeat McEwan

Andy Lee vs Craig McEwan
Andy Lee vs Craig McEwan

By Derek Bonnett at ringside: In the main supporting bout to Dzinziruk-Martinez at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Andy Lee took on unbeaten Craig McEwan in a battle of middleweight contenders. Going into the bout, Lee held the advantage of the crowd’s support, but it was McEwan who was seemingly proving his naysayers wrong as the round ticked by. But, what may seem and what is reality are often two very different beasts. In the end, it took Lee’s inner beast to score a resounding victory in an early candidate for 2011’s Fight of the Year.

Lee worked the right hook off the jab early in round one, but a McEwan right hand buckled Lee along ropes early on. The tempo of the round slowed as both fighters tried to feel one another out. The round appeared even by its conclusion.

Another big right hook by Lee buckled McEwan in round two as if to return the favor from the previous round. McEwen loaded up with right hooks, but was not landing consistently. Another right connected by Lee as McEwan pressed the action and forced Lee to fight off his back foot. McEwan stole the round with a series of big left hooks that landed flush at the end of the round.

Lee, 25-1 (19), managed to counter successfully in the third with a right hook as McEwan waded in with greater confidence. McEwan landed a right hook of his own to force Lee to retreat. McEwan forced the action still as both fighters traded straight punches just off their mark. McEwan probably got the better work done overall.

Lee fought well off his back foot with the jab to start the fourth, but a big right hook by McEwan, 19-1 (10), turned the tide his way yet again. Lee moved to the body ineffectively as he tried to reach in from the outside. McEwan landed successfully to body and punctuated the round with a big overhand left. The fight seemed to be slipping out of Lee’s grasp and his countenance between rounds displayed growing frustration, while McEwan’s confidence grew.

Lee jabbed early in the fifth round, but without any real conviction. He seemed to throw punches only for the sake of throwing them. McEwan, however, utilized his jab to set up bigger shots. Lee landed a straight left. As in previous rounds, Lee’s success was overshadowed by McEwan, who responded better under fire. A pair of left and right hooks rocked Lee and force him to hold as the round came to a conclusion.

Both fighters struggled to land cleanly coming up the middle in close quarters during round six. McEwan landed another big left hook; this punch became the Scottish fighter’s bread and butter. Lee slowed down considerably and McEwan’s combinations grew in frequency and duration. However, Lee took the punches well and kept his footing.

Lee started the seventh round with a powerful right hook. McEwan took the punch well, a testament to his own whiskers, and worked the body. Lee’s left hook began to find its own mark and the tide began to shift slightly in Lee’s favor after giving up many of the previous rounds. McEwan’s pace began to slow and his punch output dropped allowing Lee his first round on SecondsOut’s card. Lee simply outworked McEwan.

Lee started with strong right hand to keep the momentum in the eighth round. Lee followed up with solid right hook. McEwan still kept his attention to the body, but the steam seemed to be missing from his punches. Before the bout, a boxing colleague, Antoine DesLauriers, editor of, sized up McEwan as a fighter who will jump off to an early lead, but one who tends to fade midway through the bout and rely on arm punches to get him the rest of the way home. DesLauriers prognosis appeared spot on as McEwan appeared to unravel. Lee landed a quick one-two to snap McEwan’s head back. McEwan, on the other hand, landed a long left hand without much mustard.

McEwan’s bright night came crashing down in round nine. After snapping Lee’s head back along ropes, McEwan went back to throwing pity-pat punches as he tired further. Lee moved in for the kill with a stinging right hand. A pair of straight left landed for Lee next. Then Lee came back with the right. McEwan finally was put down by left hand off a one-two combination. The Scot survived the round, but his end seemed nigh. Lee had seemingly brought the bout to even terms score-wise.

The end came in the final round in a manner which should have made "Irish" Micky Ward proud. McEwan was again rocked early, but he hung on with great heart knowing full well the outcome of the bout was still on the table and very much his fight to lose. After the two were separated from a clinch, Lee fired a huge left hook to drop McEwan to end the fight. Referee Steve Smoger did not bother to count as the fight was waved off at the :56 second mark.

Lee gained a measure of redemption with the win. After losing to Bryan Vera, many doubted his heart. Lee was all heart last night in Connecticut and he dug down deep to find an elusive victory. McEwan, although no longer undefeated, can still hold his head up high. The two middleweight contenders put on a bold display of heart and guts. As is always the case in boxing, there can only be one true winner. However, both men should go on to more meaningful bouts at 160 given their crowd pleasing styles.

March 12, 2011

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