As the countdown for his must-win rematch with Brian Vera on Oct. 1 in Atlantic City begins, Andy Lee last week discussed his strategy for the ten rounder.
"As long as I box I win and that's what I'm preparing to do," Lee told the Echo last Saturday ahead of a press luncheon in New York today.
The Limerick southpaw [26-1, 19 KOs] was stopped rather controversially by Vera [19-5, 12 KOs] three years ago after dropping the Texan in the first round but later getting drawn into a slugging match while ahead on points.
Lesson learned, Lee pointed out from his Detroit training camp.
"The way I see this fight is, the only way I can lose, is if I get caught up in a slugging match."
Admitting his errors the first time around, he said: "I was young and inexperienced as a pro fighter. Firstly, I overlooked Vera, but he fought with intensity and a lot of determination. This time I am making no mistakes, I am doing everything in preparation for this fight."
He's been sparring with IBF
light middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage; Carlos Molina,
a 19-4 light middleweight and
Canadian upstart middleweight Steve Rolls.
"Training is going really well, I am working very hard for this fight. As you might guess, there is an extra incentive in this fight for me," Lee remarked.
"I've wanted this rematch with Vera from the moment I lost to him," he added. "It means everything to me, to beat the man that beat me, to clear my name and set the record straight."
And Lee will not only have the opportunity to erase the lone blemish on his ledger, but also move closer to a world title match.
Lee-Vera II, which will air live on HBO's World Championship Boxing, will be the main supporting bout to Sergio Martinez' WBC middleweight Diamond Belt title defense against undefeated European champ Darren Barker of England.
"My focus is totally on Vera, but after I win, which I fully expect to do, I will watch the main event with an eye to fighting the winner. Martinez is rightly considered the best middleweight in the world and if he gets by Barker then that is the fight I want.
"I want to be champion of the world but I also want to look back on my career and know I rose to the challenge and beat the only man that has beaten me. The loss to Vera still weighs heavily on my mind and until I beat him, I will not be able to move on."
Lee will go into the fight ranked second in the world by the WBA and WBO and sixth by the WBC. Vera is 11th on the WBO ranking.
Lee-Vera II is presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Caesars Atlantic City. The show will air live on HBO's World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10 pm EST.
Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.