Andy Lee will make the first defense of his WBO middleweight championship this Saturday against former champion Peter Quillin at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) captured the title by stopping favored Matt Korobov last year.
The thirty-year almost didn’t make it to his match with Korobov. In June, Lee was floored in the first round by heavy-handed John Jackson. He survived to flatten Jackson with one punch in round five.
Two fights, two knockouts. Lee was behind on the scorecards of both bouts.
The knockouts were caused by a single punch. Lee, a southpaw, doesn’t stop people with his left hand like say--Adonis Stevenson.
Lee’s equalizer is a right hook. He can lead with it or counter. Lee, 30, has always had power, but now his right hand is scary.
Quillin, 31, is back in the ring after a lengthy layoff. He’ll be attempting to regain the title he won in 2012 by defeating Hassan N’Dam. Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) made three defenses before vacating.
He recently revealed that he took a break from boxing to deal with the conflicting emotions of celebrating the birth of his first child, and witnessing his uncle’s unsuccessful battle with terminal cancer.
Quillin’s most impressive victory was a 10th round stoppage of game Gabe Rosado 18 months ago.
His last fight was a one-sided victory over Lukas Konecny.
Quillin should be able to tag Lee with shots. He’s more a slasher than a puncher, but he’s quick and usually sharp.
“Andy Lee is just going to be one of those tests for me to go out and challenge [myself],” said Quillin in an article by Ciaran Gallagher of the Dailymaill.co.uk.
Lee wants to start the bout fast. He needs to get Quillin out of his game.
“Quillin's a guy who fights on confidence and, if I let him go in the fight, he might run away with it," Lee told Eamon Carr of the Independent.i.e. "I have to let him know early on that he's in a fight.”
Quillin is the faster fighter, but Lee carries with him that infamous right hand. Quillin will stab Lee with his jab and look to counter the right. Lee will force the action. He’s more experienced than Quillin and might be able to trap him. Stamina could be a factor as well.
Unless Lee can connect with a powerful blow early, look for Quillin to regain his old title by unanimous decision.