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Irish middleweight Andy Lee (19-1) defeated Anthony Shuler (20-7-1) by TKO in the eighth round at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana on Friday night.
The 25-year-old notched up his 19th win and emerged from the fight without any cuts or grazes to his eyes, the first time that he has done so since February 2008.
“I thought Andy fought a very intelligent, patient fight,” trainer and manager Emanuel Steward told the Irish Voice.
“He (Lee) dropped him (Shuler) in the second or third round with a body shot and then he dropped him later on with the same thing. At the end of the seventh we saw that he (Shuler) was tired. We told him to go out and put full pressure on him, and Andy went out and broke him down.”
Steward was impressed with how his fighter was patient and bided his time against his opponent, something that he had a propensity not to do in previous fights.
“In the same type of fight before, he might have got excited and wore himself out by trying to force a knockout. The guy was kind of cagey and he was able to slip slide,” continued Steward. “Andy fought a beautiful fight.”
Steward talked about Lee needing to adjust his posture slightly in the build up to the bout to avoid what he believed were opponents who were targeting him with head butts, and the Limerick man followed through.
“He kept his body in an upright position and was not bending his body. He controlled the fight the whole and was very patient, like when he fought Willie Gibbs,” said Steward.
Steward hopes to keep Lee busy and will try to squeeze in two fights before the end of the year.
“Andy will take a couple of weeks off and then get back in to the gym. He has been training for a long time for this fight and he has not been as active as he would have like to.
“One of the problems is that Andy wants to fight quality middleweights and the thing is that there aren’t any.”
Steward thinks the start of October would be a good time for Lee to get back in the ring and thinks he may have something ready for his fighter in the next week or so.