Lee (right) was able to avoid much damage from an aggressive Vera.
Irish Middleweight Avenges Loss to Brian Vera
Irish middleweight Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) was able to avenge the lone blemish of his professional career at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night, cruising to a unanimous decision victory over a stout Brian Vera (19-6, 12 KOs). The win levels the series between these two fighters, as Vera was able to stop Lee back in a 2008 bout via a seventh round TKO.
This opening frame of this pairing was a bit of a feeling out, as Lee looked to set up his attack through his lead jab. Both competitors turned up the aggression in the second round, with the duo engaging in the first solid exchanges of the bout. Vera was able to find his mark after tossing a series of power shots, but Lee was there to match his efforts as well. In the waning seconds of the frame, the Irish boxer caught his opponent off balance and immediately dropped him when he landed a crisp left hook. Vera quickly returned to his feet, but the knockdown appeared to give Lee control of the early momentum.
These two middleweights continued to engage in some good action, with Lee looking to remain tactical and Vera trying to entice him into a scrap. Lee did a good job of sticking to his strategy and kept distance between his opposition, a clear lesson he learned from their first encounter. The Irish puncher picked his spots to attack, and he opened a nice cut over the left eye of Vera in the fourth round. He took advantage of that eye over the ensuing rounds, timing his advances to pepper that cut.
Lee appeared to have registered his second knockdown of the night in the sixth frame following a series of combinations he landed by jumping in and out of confrontation with elusiveness. He blasted Vera with a hard right hand that rocked him a bit, and the native Texan swayed backwards before seemingly breaking his fall by touching his glove to the canvas. However, referee Steve Smoger did not see him catch himself, and the action continued with no ruled knockdown.
In the latter portion of this fight, Lee was clearly in control and circled the ring to avoid making himself vulnerable to the aggressive advances of Vera. The Irish fighter was boxing much more carefully than in their first contest, a tactical plan that was paying off with points on the score cards. Despite that approach, Lee still exchanged when he found the opportunity, and the duo battled it out all the way to the eventual final bell.
After 10 rounds of action, the ringside judges would be called upon for their analysis, and they each saw it for Lee by a wide margin. A 98-91 tally coupled with a pair of 99-90s would be the call, and Lee gained redemption of his only professional loss by unanimous decision.
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