Middleweight Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) takes on Scotsman Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KOs) at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on Saturday night.
Lee makes his way to Connecticut this week from Hollywood, Florida, where he has been in camp for the past month.
No one is more aware of how much is at stake in this HBO-televised 10-round bout than the 26-year-old, and Lee says that he has trained hard for the challenge.
“I got plenty of sparing and plenty of hard rounds of sparring this camp,” Lee told the Irish Voice on Sunday night.
Lee was part of a busy camp in Florida, with Miguel Cotto also there to train for his fight in Las Vegas on Saturday night against Ricardo Mayorga.
Emanuel Steward, Lee’s trainer/manager, now trains Cotto and will be with him in Vegas to work his corner this weekend. Sugar Hill, Roger Lee and Joey Gamache will work the corner this weekend.
“Sugar Hill and my brother Roger trained me exclusively, and Emanuel looked over my training,” said Lee of his camp in Florida.
“I feel like the camp went very well. I got some good conditioning work in. I was on the track with Miguel (Cotto) and I think I am in the best shape I have ever been.”
Though Lee would not divulge his game plan, for obvious reasons, he said he and his team had been doing their homework on McEwan.
“We have worked on a few things and we have watched tape of his fights. I know what I have to do, and it has been well drilled into me,” said the 2004 Olympian.
As previously reported, Lee and McEwan know each other well form their amateur days. Lee beat the Scotsman in the amateurs in 2005 and since the two turned professional, McEwan, who is trained by Freddie Roach, had a very solid win over the only man to beat Lee in the paid ranks, Bryan Vera.
The winner of this fight will take a huge step towards a world title tilt, and with Lee having reportedly signed a promotional contract with Lou DiBella, there is a chance that the winner could fight the winner of the headliner bout between Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk.
In other news, Matthew Macklin’s preparations for his fight on April 9 were thwarted when opponent Winky Wright pulled out of the bout after he injured his arm in sparring.
Middleweight Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs), who signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions, was looking forward to announcing himself to the U.S. boxing public in grand style by defeating the veteran Wright, a highly-respected former world champion who beat Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley (twice) and once figured prominently in the pound-for pound best fighters in the sport.
“I am gutted. A win against Wright would have put me right up there among the challengers for a world title. He was making a comeback and aiming to do the same thing,” said Macklin, according to the Sunday Mercury newspaper in Birmingham.
Macklin and his manager Brian Peters are reportedly meeting with Golden Boy Promotions to see if an alternate opponent can be arranged.