Junior welterweight Brandun Lee has a growing reputation and can count three accomplished pros among those who believe he is destined for the very top. Former two-division champion Timothy Bradley, Jr., WBC regular lightweight champion Devin Haney and top welterweight Jaron Ennis have seen Lee up close and all believe he will soon be a household name among boxing fans. This Friday, Lee (18-0, 16 KOs) will headline his first ShoBox: The New Generation when he takes on Camilo Prieto (15-2, 10 KOs) in a ten-round bout at the Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn.
“Brandun is a beast,” said Ennis. “He’s a phenomenal fighter and he’s going to put on a show Friday night. I think he’ll be able to show boxing fans all his skills. He’s a monster. Him being a calm and relaxed fighter sets him apart. He’s really smart as well and has great ring IQ, but you can’t forget about his power because he has the ability to end fights early.”
Bradley and Haney have both sparred with Lee and are amazed by the bright prospect’s talent. Bradley, who appeared on ShoBox four times between 2006-08, including a split-decision over Junior Witter to win the WBC 140-pound championship, recalls sparring with a 14-year-old Lee ahead of Bradley’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez for the WBO welterweight title in 2013. Bradley’s trainer, Joel Diaz, wanted to replicate Marquez’s counterpunching ability and believed Lee’s hand speed and counterpunching were credible.
“Lee and I sparred four complete rounds and, boy, was I impressed with his ring IQ, speed, timing and movement,” said Bradley. “For a young man with no pro experience, he was able to hold his own. Brandun is from my area so I follow him from afar and I really admire his game. He's undefeated and that's not surprising at all. I believe Lee has the goods to become a world champion and at this point he is still gaining experience and momentum towards his dream.
“There are still questions that need to be answered by Lee. How will he respond if he is ever knocked down? How will he do against someone just like himself; someone undefeated, stern and just as hungry? It's going to be fun to watch him as he continues his journey. He has the skill to rise to the top but we all know it takes more than just skills. He's on the right course and I back him 110 percent.”
Haney believes Lee has the potential to move up the ranks quite quickly as well. “If you haven’t heard of Brandun Lee, you will very soon,” said Haney, now 21 years old. “He has the talent and power to make some real noise in the welterweight division. I sparred him before and trust me, he’s a real dog. I’m looking forward to watching on March 13 and I expect my guy to put on a hell of a performance on ShoBox: The New Generation.”
Lee has also sparred with Oxnard, Calif.’s Mikey Garcia and Mauricio Herrera, who lost a close decision to then-unified champion Danny Garcia in 2014.
Friday’s four-fight ShoBox telecast includes five boxers who have yet to taste defeat with a total record of 107 wins to just four defeats and two draws. In the co-feature, Brian Norman Jr. (16-0, 14 KOs) takes on Flavio Rodriguez (9-1-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight matchup... Alejandro Guerrero (11-0, 9 KOs) meets Jose Angulo (12-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight scrap... and Aram Avagyan (9-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on fellow undefeated Dagoberto Aguero (17-0, 11 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight fight.