Kronk Gym boxer Andy Lee set for middleweight bout Saturday
By Mike Brudenell
Mexican boxer Saul (Baby) Duran got his first look at his Saturday night opponent Andy Lee in a historic part of Detroit on Thursday afternoon.
Duran, a seasoned veteran who has twice fought in world championship bouts, was at the Gaelic League Irish-American Club on Michigan Avenue, just a line drive away from where Tiger Stadium once stood.
Saul Duran, left, and Andy Lee will trade punches Saturday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. / Photos by DAN GRASCHUCK/Special to the Free Press
Seated next to Lee at the pre-fight news conference, Duran (40-19-2, 33 KOs) said through an interpreter that he found it "very cold in Detroit" but was here to win his middleweight bout against Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
"I still wish to fight the best in the world," said Duran, 39. "I have fought tall fighters like Andy Lee. My strategy is to stay close early, bob and weave and look for a knockout."
Duran might find that a lot harder in reality.
Duran, at 5-feet-9, gives 5 inches to Lee, a 6-2 southpaw from Limerick, Ireland, with power and silky skills. Lee will be looking to put Duran away early in the "Pre-St. Patrick's Day Brawl" event as he prepares for a possible world title fight against WBC champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June.
"I have an opportunity to be world champion, and when I left home six years ago to train in America, I knew I had to make the most of it," said Lee, 27, who trains out of the Kronk Gym on Warren Avenue in Detroit under the guidance of Emanuel Steward. "It would be a big scalp for Duran if he beat me, but I've trained well for this fight, and I'm going to go for it from the opening bell."
Helping Lee, who lives with Steward at his home in Rosedale Park, prepare for Saturday's bout is younger brother Roger.
"I come across for Andy's fights and help him in camp," said Roger Lee, 25, an amateur boxer who works with their father, Thomas, in a landscape gardening business in Limerick. "Andy is in good shape. He's a disciplined fighter who trains hard and lives a good life outside boxing.
"Limerick is much like Detroit -- a tough, working-class town. You could get in trouble there if you went looking for it, but we steered clear of problems by staying in the boxing gym and away from the streets."
Steward, who guided the great Tommy Hearns to multiple world championships, among many other fighters he nurtured, is promoting Saturday's card in Novi, the first of a number of shows he hopes to put on this year.
"I'm planning to have a series of these fights," Steward said. "We're going to build boxing back up in Detroit. This is just one fight. I hope to have a fight every other month. We'll produce world champions from the Kronk again."
Added Lee: "It's not just about me. There are plenty of outstanding young Kronk fighters on their way up. They are my teammates. We'll have our world champions here in Detroit again."
Contact Mike Brudenell: 313-222-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Details: Saturday fights
What: Kronk Fight Night Pre-St. Patrick's Day Brawl.
When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 7:30).
Where: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River, Novi.
Who: Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs), Detroit, vs. Saul (Baby) Duran (40-19-2, 33 KOs), Chihuahua, Mexico, in a main-event 10-round middleweight bout; plus five more bouts involving Kronk fighters.
Tickets: $20 for general admission, $35 for preferred seating and $200 for front-row VIP seating, including cocktail reception; available by calling 248-942-5775, visiting www.emanuelstewardonline .com or at the door.
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson The WBO eliminator at supermiddleweight between former WBA lightheavy contender Robin Krasniqi (46-4) and former WBO champ Arthur Abraham (45-5) will go ahead April 22 at the Congress C...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Feb 12, Krasnodar, RUS, LTD SKV Boxing Elnur Samedov, 62,3, Rus W6-U Taras Kovalenko, 61,8, Rus 60-54 on all cards. Arseny Nury, 61...
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson It's official: today (February 14) SES and Z! Promotions revealed the plans for their big event March 18 at the Arena in Leipzig alhough some of the news have been known for some time. ...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Feb 5, Volgograd, RUS: Evgeny Romanov, 98,2, Rus W6-U Yury Bykhtsov, 96,3, Blr/Rus 58-56, 58-57 and 59-55. Feb 5, Kre...
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson Simo Rantalainen, a well known and controversial journalist, TV host, boxing promoter and a lot more in Finland, have written a book about Tarmo Uusivirta. Uusivirta is one of the best ...
That Detect Brain Bleeds, Introduced For Professional Boxing Events In The United Kingdom BRITISH & IRISH BOXING AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE London, UK – 3rd February 2017 – The British &am...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Jan 28, Voronezh, RUS: Victory Tim Boxing Promotion Vazir Tamoyan, 69,1, Rus W4-U Roman Klemeshov, 69,4, Rus 40-36 on all cards. ...
Up Close and Personal with Two Division World Champion Tasif Khan Interview by Gianluca Di Caro Photo courtesy of Team Tasif Khan For this edition of ‘Up Close and Personal&rsqu...