Andy Lee (30-2, 21 KOs) notched up the 30th victory of his professional career with a clinical first round TKO victory over Darryl Cunningham (28-5, 11 KOs) at BB King in Times Square last Wednesday.
It was Lee’s second fight with new trainer Adam Booth, but Booth was unable to come to New York as he had to stay in London and deal with an injury to his highest profile fighter, former heavyweight champion David Haye.
Booth sent Darren Chan from his gym to work with Lee, and longtime corner men from the Manny Steward era, cut man Joey Gamache and Andy’s brother Roger, rounded out the team. Their help was scarcely needed on the night as the main event on the Broadway Boxing card didn’t even last 90 seconds.
After a tentative opening minute, Lee connected with a sharp right hook that stunned Cunningham and pinned him into the red corner. A flurry of head and body shots ensued before referee Benjy Esteves Jr. called a halt to proceedings with 1:27 gone in the first round.
“I came out jabbing well, and he was jabbing well too actually. We were both trying to see where the opening was," Lee told the Irish Voice after the fight.
"I could see when I threw a few stiff jabs to the body that he was trying to reach as he didn’t like it. As he reached down for the jab I turned it in to a hook, and that was the beginning of the end for him.
“I am not getting carried away with that. Anyone can get caught in the first round. I am not ready for the world yet, but I am definitely progressing and I am learning. The next fight will probably be towards September, and it will probably be a step up in competition to see where I am at then."
Though Darren Barker has been mentioned as an opponent, Lee did say in an interview with Steve Farhood in the ring after the fight that the man he still wants to fight above all else is middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez. In conversation with the Irish Voice, he went to say that the only things he can control about his next assignment are his own preparations.
"Whoever the opposition is, it is about me right now and improving and getting to where I need to be as a boxer,” Lee said.
After the fight, promoter Lou DiBella gave the Irish Voice his take on how Lee performed and what might be out there for him.
“He looked sensational tonight. I think Adam Booth did a great job and his corner did a great job tonight,” DiBella said.
“All of his punches were sharp. Darryl Cunningham is a professional fighter and he ripped through him like a knife through butter. It was a great performance."
DiBella went on to say that there are plenty of options available, one possibility being the winner of the June 29 fight between Gennady Golovkin and Matthew Macklin.
“Sergio [Martinez] is out for the rest of the year and he [Lee] is certainly going to fight before the year ends, but we are going to look at all opportunities,” DiBella added.
Lee will now take break as he prepares for his wedding in the south of France next month. Once the honeymoon period is over, the Limerick native will get back to work on what could be a pivotal period in the second act of his career.