Andy Lee vs Anthony Fitzgerald Preview Feb. 9
Andy Lee, the Irish middleweight contender who was actually born in London, England, and who used to fight out of Detroit, Michigan, will be meeting Anthony Fitzgerald of Dublin, Ireland at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sat. Feb. 9. The 28-year-old southpaw is trying to get his career back on track after being stopped in the sixth round by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. back in June of last year in El Paso, Texas. The 27-year-old Fitzgerald also lost his last bout in May when he was beaten by Eamonn O’Kane by a three-round split decision.
Lee enters through the ring ropes with a record of 28-2 with 20 Kos while Fitzgerald is 13-3 with 4 Kos. This appears to be a 10-round tune-up fight for Lee, but he better not take Fitzgerald too lightly. Both of Lee’s losses have been by knockout as he was also stopped by Brian Vera in the seventh round back in 2008. He turned pro in 2006 and has taken on some decent opposition over the years with former WBC champion Chavez Jr. being the best of the bunch.
Last September Lee decided to move back to London and train there with the respected Adam Booth. He’s going to have to bounce back big time this year if he hopes to get another shot at a world title and he’s hoping that Fitzgerald will be his first stepping stone. Lee’s pretty big for a middleweight at 6-foot-2 and he’ll have the height advantage over Fitzgerald, who turned pro in 2008.
Lee also has a big edge in experience as his opponent has basically fought lower caliber fighters over the years. This will be a huge step up in class for the light-hitting Fitzgerald and he’ll have to be at his absolute best if he has any chance of pulling off an upset. Either that or he’s going to have to land a haymaker right on the jaw. While Lee may have a new trainer in Booth and has been working on his boxing skills there’s not really anyway to defend against a weak chin.
Fitzgerald knows he can make a name for himself here with a win, so he should be well prepared for the challenge ahead of him. Lee’s still ranked in the top 10 by the WBA (9) and WBC (7) and a loss here would see him fall down the rankings quite dramatically. He also has a lot of domestic opponents to keep him busy these days as there’s been a resurgence of boxing in Britain over the past couple of years. Future opponents could include Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray, and Darren Barker. He’s also made a name for himself already in America, so the future looks bright for him as long as he can get past Fitzgerald first.
On paper, Lee shouldn’t have any problem at all with Fitzgerald, but he will still have to put in a good effort since the Irishman is pretty durable. Lee will have to use his superior boxing skills and power to dictate the fight right from the opening bell. He’s got fast hands and should be able to utilize his effective right jab to keep Fitzgerald at distance while landing speedy combinations. Look for Lee to stop Fitzgerald somewhere along the line or win a comfortable unanimous decision.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Lee win at -1200 with a Fitzgerald victory at -600. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.