‘Kid Chocolate’ fails to make the weight for Andy Lee fight
Fight with Peter Quillin will still go ahead in New York but Lee’s world title won’t be on the line
Andy Lee’s fight in New York on Saturday night is no longer for the Limerick man’s middleweight title belt
Andy Lee’s fight in New York on Saturday night is no longer for the Limerick man’s middleweight title belt after his opponent, the unbeaten former champion Peter Quillin, dramatically failed to make the weight on Friday.
The American challenger, who goes by the nickname of Kid Chocolate, weighed in at 1.4 pounds above the 160lb limit.
While the two boxers will still meet in the Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn, Lee’s belt is now longer on the line in what represents a major blow to the Irish southpaw, who was hoping to build towards a world title fight in Thomond Park.
That still remains a realistic proposition as there has never been any dispute about Lee’s technical ability.
More recently his trainer Andy Booth has worked hard to add to the long-range, counter-punching abilities Lee honed under the educated eye of his previous coach, Emanuel Steward. Lee brought in Booth after Steward died in 2012 and the Limerick southpaw has benefited from Booth’s new pair of eyes.
Lee can land hard with both hands and has brought a bit of the dog into his repertoire. At over six feet, he’s a tall boxer for the middleweight division and his reach and height has always been an asset.
Booth has given him more power and Lee has become comfortable fighting at close range with his long levers. Four of his last five bouts have been knockouts or TKOs.
But Lee is also a smart fighter and has only lost twice in his career. His last defeat was in June 2012 to Julio Chavez junior, who was big for the division and has since moved up to super middleweight.
Lee lost to a TKO in the seventh round, and it was in the same round that the Irishman succumbed to Brian Vera in 2008, a TKO in the seventh after Lee had Vera on the canvas in the first round.
He knows himself that Quillin is a well-matched opponent. As a New York resident, although one who took off to live in California to work under the influential eye of multiple world title-winning trainer Freddie Roach, he will, just like Lee, have support in Brooklyn.
Quillin has various been described at 6’1’’ and 5’11’’, with the reputable BoxRec going with the lower figure.
Quillin’s last fight was against Lukas Konecny in April 2014 when he was ranked 4th best middleweight in the world by Ring Magazine. It was the unranked Konecny’s first fight outside of Europe and Quillin won it by unanimous decision.
The 30-year-old Lee can thank rap artist and squeeze of Beyonce, Jay-Z, for Quillin vacating the title last September. His management company didn’t want to get into bed with Jay-Z’s RocNation, which won the purse bid for the fight against Matt Korobov.
Quillin stepped out and Lee stepped in. Now Quillin is back, or at least he was until the weigh in.
“I’m an animal and confident in myself,” he had said in the build-up. “All I have to do is do what I have for 31 fights, be the explosive boxer I am.”
It turns he had forgotten one small but hugely significant thing: that 1.4 pounds.