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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

Lee banishes ghosts of sole professional defeat

Limerick’s Andy Lee last night gained a dominant victory over the only man to have ever beaten him as a professional.

Image: Tim Larsen/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S BEEN A while coming but Andy Lee has at last fought and beaten the man who ended his unbeaten pro record in the ring three years ago.

A massive surprise at the time, Brian Vera condemned Lee to defeat back in 2008 and it has taken a little while for the Limerick fighter to get back to his best since.

What will please the Irish man and his team the most however, will be the nature of his victory. Lee proved himself to be the superior boxer and gained a unanimous decision (99-90, 99-90, 98-91) after ten rounds of an enthralling battle.

Vera went down late in the second after being caught with a terrific right-left combination from Lee and was never really allowed into the fight, though he made it awkward for his opponent throughout.

It was a 12th consecutive win for Lee and speaking to ESPN afterwards, he said: “The importance of this win was immeasurable. It had been years coming. If not for tonight, I would’ve been haunted forever.”

Lee was fighting on the undercard of Sergio Martinez’s title defence against Darren Barker and will be hoping the win takes him closer to a title shot. He added:

“I’ll fight anyone, but no middleweight wants to fight me.”

Martinez won the top bout with an 11th-round KO of Barker and is now looking for a fight with either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr.

READ – The Sports Pages: some of the week’s best sportswriting

READ – Lee tantalisingly close to his shot at the big one

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