Andy Lee post another big win

By George Kimball @ ringside


Andy Lee post another big win

Results from Michigan

PLYMOUTH, Michigan ---  In what figures to be his last American outing until at least next spring, Emanuel Steward-trained Irish middleweight Andy Lee (13-0) scored yet another spectacular first-round knockout, dispatching two-time Caribbean champion Marcus Thomas at 1:13 of the first round in their bout at the Compuware  Arena outside Detroit Thursday night.

The 6-2 Lee was for the first time in his career facing an opponent as tall as he (Thomas is also listed at 6-2, but with his dreads piled into a top-knot appeared to be at least 6-5), but he wasted little time in chopping down the overmatched opponent from Barbados.

Thomas, brought a 10-2 record to Michigan, but he was 9-0 fighting in Barbados and 1-2 outside it, and it quickly became evident that he had never tasted firepower on the order of Lee’s.

“Once I hit him hard, he didn’t want to know,” said Lee.

The Irish southpaw appeared to shake the visitor with the first left he threw, and barely a minute into the fight, Lee followed a jab with a straight left and a right hook to put his foe on the floor. Thomas got up from that one, but moments later Lee maneuvered him into the Kronk corner, where he caught him with a left uppercut, intending to follow with a hook.

“But I never got to throw the hook,” said Lee.  The instant Lee brandished the right, Thomas swerved to turn his body away from the punch, and in doing so literally threw himself into the path of what Steward recalled as “a vicious body shot.”

Thomas pitched face-forward into the canvas. Referee Ansel Stewart bent over the stricken fighter, and quickly abandoned his count when it became clear that Thomas wasn’t going to get up anytime soon. (He remained on the canvas for a good half-minute after the fight had been declared over.)

“It was good to get the work,” said Lee. “I was thinking ten rounds in my head, but then I said ‘Ah, just get it out of the way!’”

Lee will fight next in the main event of a Dec. 15 card at the National Stadium in Dublin, with Detroit veteran (and former world title challenger) Corey Johnson scheduled to provide the opposition.

Lee, who recently agreed to fight several times in his homeland for promoter Brian Peters, plans to fly to Ireland a week early, in order to be in Belfast for countryman John Duddy’s Dec. 8 fight against Howard Eastman, and to remain there over the holidays. He would return to Ireland for a proposed February card in his hometown of Limerick, and then the weekend before St. Patricks Day is supposed to share a bill with yet another unbeaten Irish middleweight, New York- based James Moore, at the Mohegan Sun.
When Johnathon Banks decked Derrick Brown in the first round, the crowd thought it was going to get another quick knockout, but Brown is not only slippery and elusive, but durable (in his last outing he lasted the distance with Matt Godfrey in a regional title fight), and as the bout wore on it became increasingly apparent that the Florida-based New Yorker was determined to last the 12-round distance. Banks posted a comfortable unanimous decision to go to 18-0, while Brown fell to 13-4-2.

Banks-Brown was for a different regional cruiserweight title, and between rounds there were actually three cruiserweights in the ring. (Christy Martin trains Brown, along with her husband Jim.)

Banks hurt Brown early with a pair of rights, and then put him down when he caught him behind the ear with another right in the first, but he wisely ignored the fever pitch of the crowd and boxed patiently throughout the evening. Although Brown had his moments, chiefly in the seventh and eleventh, when Banks appeared to take the round off, he never hurt the Kronk fighter. Banks scored his second knockdown of the fight in the eighth when he landed a picture-perfect double jab followed by a straight right.

Judge Ted Gimza awarded Brown just one round in scoring it 119-107. White had it 118-108, and Jerome Jakubco 117-109. Boxing Talk also scored it 118-108.

At 25, Jason Cintron is just three years younger than his older brother Kermit, the reigning IBF welterweight champion. Jason, a stylish welterweight, is unbeaten in seven fights after winning a lopsided decision over Kansas City opponent Chris Hill, but the knockout gene apparently wasn’t passed along in the Cintron family DNA. While Kermit, who heads to Los Angeles next week to defend against Jesse Feliciano on Friday’s Fernando Vargas-Ricardo Mayorga card at the Staples Center, has disposed of 26 of his 28 professional victims inside the distance, Jason has but a single knockout to his credit.

Although Hill (4-14-1) fought with a badly bloodied nose over the final two rounds, he was never in danger of going down, but neither was he ever in danger of winning the fight. Judges White, Dan Grasschuck, and Katealia Chambers all scored it a 60-54 shutout for young Cintron, as did Boxing Talk.

The card, at the home of the Ontario Hockey League Plymouth Whalers, was billed as “Kronk’s New Stars,” and the three pro bouts were preceded by a pair of amateur scraps featuring Steward’s young boxers. Kronk junior welter Leandre White used a punishing body attack to defeat Toledo’s Najee Hayes, while heavyweight Craig Lewis was fortunate to get the nod in his fight against rugged Canadian Tyler Kewayosh of Chatham, Ont.

The card, promoted by Steward’s daughter Sylvia, functioned as a Kronk Homecoming of sorts. Former champions Milton McCrory, Hilmer Kenty, and Jimmy Paul were all at ringside, along with Mickey Goodwin, who in 1977 at the Olympia in downtown Detroit fought in the main event of the very first Kronk pro boxing card.

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NOVEMBER  15, 2007

CRUISERWEIGHTS: Johnathan Banks, 200, Ecorse, Mich. dec. Derrick Brown, 197, Utica, N.Y. (12)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Andy Lee, 160, Limerick, Ireland KO’d Marcus Thomas, 162, Bridgetown, Barbados (1)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Jason Cintron, 140 1/2, Reading, Penn. Dec. Chris Hill, 141, Kansas City, Mo. (6)