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Calvarez
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By T.K. Stewart

First 'The Contender' reality show participant Brian Vera stopped him in a colossal upset. Then, in his first fight back from the Vera debacle, he suffered a nasty gash from a clash of heads with Willie Gibbs before stopping Gibbs in the 10th round.

Now, Limerick, Ireland's Andy Lee may have to wait even longer before he steps into the ring once again. The 24 year-old Emanuel Steward trained middleweight is recovering from surgery to repair excessive scar tissue over his right eye.

Lee, 16-1 (13KOs) had been cut over the right eye in the past but a clash of heads against Willie Gibbs in their July match made what was already beginning to be a recurring problem - worse.

As a result, Lee and his braintrust figured it was best to repair the scar tissue now rather than have to deal with it later on.

The hope was to have Lee make his return to the ring on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexandre Povetkin on December 13th in Germany. However, with that fight now postponed and with an opponent for Klitschko uncertain, the immediate future for the young southpaw is up in the air.

Lee, who trains out of Detroit under the watchful eye of Emanuel Steward, had surgery in Los Angeles to repair the eye several weeks ago. He recently began gym workouts in an effort to get back into fighting shape and get ready for what he thought was going to be a fight on the Klitschko undercard.

If Lee doesn't land a spot on the Klitschko undercard the plan may be to sit out and return in 2009.

Emanuel Steward once claimed that Lee had the goods to beat both Winky Wright and Kelly Pavlik but then Lee suffered the upset loss to the unheralded Vera and looked less than spectacular against Willie Gibbs.

Whatever the case, Steward still seems to stand by his previous comments and still feels that the immediate future for Lee will involve a match against a top rated name and then a title fight.

"It's still safe to say that Andy is heading for a world title shot," said Steward. "I've always believed that, and I still do, despite what happened in his loss to Brian Vera. The goal is to fight a top contender, probably in February. By May, I'd like to see him in a title fight. I'd also like to see him fight again in Ireland."

I spoke to Lee the night he lost to Vera at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut back in March. He told me then that, "I should've been more careful and I should've been more serious. Because I didn't do that, I lost. Brian showed up here tonight in the best shape of his life and he lured me into brawling with him. I won't make the same mistakes again."

It's not clear who Lee may fight next. But from what I hear, one of the names being tossed around for an Ireland fight in February is none other than "The Battersea Bomber" himself, Howard Eastman, who posted a twelve round split-decision win over Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis last weekend in Guyana.
 

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I wouldn't mind him fighting Eastman but it's quite a big risk. Howard can be very,very akward. Thanks for posting this, enjoyable read.
 

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I gotta admit... I wanna watch it all unfold. They stopped the Vera fight prematurely. Not to say Lee woulda recovered fully, but he was swinging when the ref called it. He still had a punchers chance. Whatever, I woulda liked to see it go longer.
 

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The title of the article is bizarre. He's already come back from defeat and then took a short break to have a fairly common and routine surgery.
 

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I met some really awesome folks from Ireland when I was in Atlantic City for the Hopkins/Pavlik fight. They were there to support B-Hop, but they incessantly talked trash about Lee and how most of their neighbors didn't like him either. Doesn't that say it all?
 

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I met some really awesome folks from Ireland when I was in Atlantic City for the Hopkins/Pavlik fight. They were there to support B-Hop, but they incessantly talked trash about Lee and how most of their neighbors didn't like him either. Doesn't that say it all?
Lee is generally very well respected and liked over here.
 

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I almost feel bad for Andy. He was very overhyped and none of it was his fault as far as I know. Steward says one thing about him being a future champ and the whole world builds him up. I still think he will end up being a fun fighter to watch but not a champion. I hope he proves me wrong though.
 
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I met some really awesome folks from Ireland when I was in Atlantic City for the Hopkins/Pavlik fight. They were there to support B-Hop, but they incessantly talked trash about Lee and how most of their neighbors didn't like him either. Doesn't that say it all?
when you dsy irish, do you mean real irish or just claim irish decent?
 

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The title of the article is bizarre. He's already come back from defeat and then took a short break to have a fairly common and routine surgery.
But he hasn't returned to the point where he was at, where he was hyped and close to a world title shot. He didn't look good in his return against Gibbs, if he was really what he was hyped up to be, he would have taken him out earlier and not struggled as much.
 

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But he hasn't returned to the point where he was at, where he was hyped and close to a world title shot. He didn't look good in his return against Gibbs, if he was really what he was hyped up to be, he would have taken him out earlier and not struggled as much.
I wouldn't say he struggled against Gibbs, he comprehensively outboxed him for the entire fight. But considering the ease with which Lee was landing it is definitely worrying that he didn't put him away at the very least in the middle rounds. I didn't really know what to make of it at the time tbh, maybe he hasn't as much power as I thought.

I don't think he was ever realistically close to a world title shot. Steward was talking bollocks but there was little substance to it.
 

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I wouldn't say he struggled against Gibbs, he comprehensively outboxed him for the entire fight. But considering the ease with which Lee was landing it is definitely worrying that he didn't put him away at the very least in the middle rounds. I didn't really know what to make of it at the time tbh, maybe he hasn't as much power as it seemed originally.

I don't think he was ever realistically close to a world title shot. Steward was talking bollocks but there was little substance to it.
His power and stamina are not enough to hang with the top level 160 pounders.

If he would have won the Vera fight and kept on winning the rest of this year, he would have been realistically close to a middleweight title shot. That's why they signed with Top Rank right before he lost.
 

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His power and stamina are not enough to hang with the top level 160 pounders.
Could turn out to be true, we'll have to wait and see. I've followed the lad since he was an amateur so I'm not gonna stop now. I really thought he had the power, but I'm not sure anymore. Stamina can be improved, he just needs to work harder. I'd be more concerned about his chin and general durability. It could very well be that he was just completely gassed against Vera, and hopefully that is the case.
 
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