Lee Shakes Off The Ring Rust With Decision Win On Return
‘Irish’ Andy Lee (35-3-1, 24 KO’s) made his return to the ring with a comfortable unanimous decision victory over Keandre Leatherwood (19-4-1, 12 KO’s) in their 8 round Middleweight contest.
Appearing for the first time since losing his WBO World Middleweight title to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015, Lee showed some signs of ring rust – particularly throughout the first half of the fight – with his apparent reluctance to engage drawing disapproval from the watching audience.
Both men struggled to stamp their authority on the contest, but it was the well-schooled fundamentals of Lee that took over in the middle rounds, as the Limerick man finally settled into a rhythm behind his southpaw jab and finding a home for a sharp left hand to the head of Leatherwood in the fifth round.
Despite the pedestrian start, the second half of the fight saw Lee slowly but surely increase his punch output and take control of proceedings, enjoying his best rounds of the fight in the seventh and eighth sessions after some good work behind the jab – with Leatherwood offering little of in response.
With scores of 80-72, 78-74 & 79-73, Lee was awarded the clear unanimous decision and will be glad to back to winning ways – albeit in somewhat underwhelming style – after 15 months out of the ring.
Rob Tebbutt Scorecard: 78-74 (Lee)
Cuadras Conquers Carmona In Close Contest
Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KO’s) claimed a close, hard-fought unanimous decision victory over David Carmona (20-4-5, 8 KO’s) in their all-Mexican Super Flyweight contest.
In a closely contested bout from the opening bell, Cuadras – last seen in the ring against ‘Pound for Pound’ phenom Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez – struggled to pin down the awkward Carmona for large portions of the bout, with Carmona appearing to hurt Cuadras late in the contest with a targeted body attack.
After a solid start from the underdog Carmona, the former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Cuadras was able to force himself ahead in the first half of the bout, outworking Carmona in the exchanges and just doing enough to catch the judges eyes in some “nip and tuck” sessions, with both men struggling to stamp their authority on the fight.
The middle rounds of the contest saw Cuadras utilise his jab and take a good lead into the second half of the bout, using his experience to edge out the hustling Carmona. A switch of focus to the mid-section of his opponent in the fifth round, saw Carmona land a trio of body shots on Cuadras, who had begun to slow slightly in the wake of Carmona’s advances.
Cuadras worse scars of battle in the sixth round, with his nose marking up after some good work from Carmona, however, the experienced Mexico City slugger responded well with some hurtful hooks to halt the charge of his opponent.
With the fight entering the later stages of the 10 round distance, Carmona would be admonished for low blows in the seventh round – a consequence of his concerted body attack – with Cuadras showing signs of fatigue upon resumption of the action. Carmona would take full advantage, landing another spiteful hook to the body and following it with a right hand that appeared to momentarily stun his opponent and had Cuadras holding on.
More good body work in the eighth and ninth round from Carmona saw Cuadras’ early lead under threat going into the final round, with the body language of the two fighters showing a distinct contrast – the fresher Carmona appearing to enter the final round with a sense of relish, whereas Cuadras looked somewhat disconsolate.
However, Cuadras would grit his teeth and force himself back into the contest in the tenth round, with both men landing a series of combinations in a desperate attempt to catch the judges eyes for the last time. At the sound of the final bell, it would be Carmona who would once again appear the happier of the two men as the two awaited the announcement of the cards.
With the scores announced at 97-93 (x2) & 96-94 in favour of Carlos Cuadras, David Carmona would let out a groan of disbelief after fighting valiantly throughout. In truth, it was a difficult contest to score, with Carmona having the better of the action down the stretch after some well-placed body work in the second half of the fight. For Cuadras, it is a much needed victory en route to reclaiming his WBC Super Flyweight title and facing Roman Gonzalez in a rematch… Little did he know, that after the evening’s later events, he may have to choose between one or the other…
Rob Tebbutt Scorecard: 95-95 (Draw)
By Rob Tebbutt. You can follow Rob on Twitter on @RobTebbutt