Andy Lee ready for Craig McEwan challenge
Middleweight Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) attended a press conference in B.B. Kings in Times Square last Wednesday to promote his March 12 fight against Scotsman Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs) at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
“I started sparring this week in the gym in Florida. It is going well. I am ready to go,” said Lee.
Also there was McEwan, decked out in a tartan kilt to mark the occasion. The Scot is also looking forward to the battle of the Celtic southpaws.
“It is a great occasion for both of us to show what we can do,” he said.
McEwan will be sparring with Serhiy Dzinziruk in preparation for the fight, but he has also been working with other fighters at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles ahead of the bout.
“Andy is tall, he can box a bit and has a long reach. I have to work on getting inside of that and will have to have a real game plan for March 12,” said the Freddie Roach-trained fighter. Roach himself was not in New York as he was on a press tour with Manny Pacquiao.
Unbeaten and last in action in July, McEwan has stayed in shape as he was preparing for several fights that fell by the wayside.
“I’ve been ready. I was supposed to have fights in November, December and January and they all fell through,” he added.
Though he has nothing but respect for Lee, that goodwill will fly out the window at the sound of the first bell.
“Andy is a great guy, but business is business and we’ll have to deal with that on March 12,” said McEwan.
Lee’s trainer/manager Emanuel Steward was also present and confirmed some top notch sparring was coming up for his charge.
“Next week we’ve got Chad Dawson (former WBC, and IBO light heavyweight champion) coming in to spar with Andy. You are not going to get a better southpaw than him,” said Steward.
The Kronk Gym trainer went on to say that Lee would have to set the tone for the fight on March 12.
“McEwan is a little different. He is a guy with a stiff rhythm, and he throws a lot of punches. He is agile in a strange way, throwing punches left-handed and right-handed,” said Steward.
“You cannot relax with him, as he will take control. Andy has got power, and he will have to use his power to gain respect and set the tempo.”
Steward said he was working with Lou DiBella on a possible promotional deal for Lee, but added that no contract was signed.
On the same subject of a promotional contract, DiBella said the two parties were “along that road” and that a Celtic-themed press conference would take place in New York on fight week to hype the Lee/McEwan side of the promotion.
Steward feels that Lee is ready to take full advantage of this opportunity, and that the years of sparring and training with the likes of Wladimir Klitschko have prepared him for this moment.
“Andy is one the few guys who has learnt to be a professional boxer. Most of the guys fight amateur style. He’s learned how to go from a real top amateur kid to a seasoned professional,” said Steward.
Steward said that he has rejected overtures from WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog, instead focusing on taking the U.S. route to a title.
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