PODCAST Ep 240: Andy Lee Interview

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney catch up with newly retired former middleweight titleholder Andy Lee for a conversation about his decision to hang up the gloves, his Olympic experience, working with the great Emanuel Steward, what to expect in the Golovkin-Alvarez rematch, and what other middleweights right now can threaten the Canelo-GGG winner.

Watch: Chavez Jr. vs. Lee 2012 (Full Fight)

Ahead of Saturday's fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez, take a look back at Chavez's 2012 bout against Irishman Andy Lee. 

Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. happens Saturday, May 6 live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Order the fight here.

HBO Boxing Year End Picks: Best Blow

Photos: Will Hart

Photos: Will Hart

With the end of the year approaching and Boxing's Best airing, HBO Boxing Insiders are taking a look back at 2014. Here, they make their selections for the single best punch on the network this year:

More: HBO Boxing Year End Picks

Kieran Mulvaney: Gennady Golovkin TKO3 Daniel Geale

For all the outstanding branding by Team Golovkin – from Mexican Style to Big Drama Show, to embracing such Golovkinisms as “good boy” – it would all be for naught if the fighter didn't deliver in the ring. But deliver he does, and big time. To fully appreciate the blow that precipitated Geale's fall, watch it in slow-motion: Geale's face registering a glimmer of glee at landing his best punch of the night – a right to Golovkin's face that knocks back the middleweight champ's head – and that glee transmogrifying to shock and horror as the Australian realizes that there's an even bigger right hand coming in the opposite direction, a right hand that sends him to the canvas and discombobulates him in night-ending fashion.

Eric Raskin: Golovkin's knockout-while-getting-hit move

The Lee-Jackson and Froch-Groves knockouts were more crushing blows. But Gennady Golovkin's KO punch against Daniel Geale gets all the points for creativity. As he absorbed a flush right hand to the face, GGG unleashed a right hand of his own that took his Australian opponent down under. A man who can knock another man out while getting hit is a dangerous man indeed.

Hamilton Nolan: Andy Lee knocks out John Jackson

Jackson outboxed him. Jackson was landing at will. Jackson systematically hurt him, and finally moved in for the kill… and caught one crazy Andy Lee punch thrown from off the ropes on a prayer, and it was over. Craziness.

Nat Gottlieb: Andy Lee knocks out John Jackson

Down in Round 1 Andy Lee picked himself up off the deck only to get schooled by John Jackson over five-plus rounds. No one in the house gave Lee any chance, but with his back to the ropes in Round 6, Lee uncorked a signature right hook that put Jackson to sleep for the evening. With that shot Lee launched himself into a world championship bout.

Oliver Goldstein: Andy Lee against Matt Korobov

Having been whacked out the ring by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his previous tilt for a belt, Andy Lee must have experienced a familiar feeling through the first five rounds against Matt Korobov. Barring one shot in the third that had Korobov's knees buckle slightly, Lee – tall, gangly, and stiff – was being largely outworked by his stocky opponent. But then came the sixth round – and as an overbold Korobov squared himself up, Lee struck with an incisive right hook that had Korobov's legs fuzzy as analog static. The punch was short, sharp, sweet; and the follow-up onslaught brought the game Lee a first championship belt.

Tim Smith: Golovkin-Geale

The 3rd round KO punch that Golovkin delivered against Geale was a counter right hand over the top a solid left that Geale landed on Golovkin's chin. Golovkin delivered the KO punch while recoiling backwards from Geale's shot.

Diego Morilla: Andy Lee finishes John Jackson

A one-punch stoppage is always an instant candidate for best punch of the year. But if that punch comes while the fighter is being pummeled into submission and almost on the verge of being stopped himself, then the choice is locked. Lee had already visited the canvas of the Madison Square Garden, and was finding himself in the middle of a 20-odd punch salvo while being almost totally outgunned when, out of nowhere, he fired a counter right hook off the ropes from his southpaw stance that landed square on Jackson's cheekbone, sending him to the canvas for the entire count. Irishmen write songs about things like these, and I would be surprised if Lee doesn't already have a ballad written in honor of this demolishing, bone-chilling knockout punch.

Michael Gluckstadt: Golovkin-Geale

This punch shouldn't just win Best Blow, it should win Best Motion Picture for a Comedy or a Drama. The change of expression on Geale's face – and the lack of one on Gennady's – was the boxing year's high point for slapstick humor and range of emotions contained in a single moment.

HBO Boxing Year End Picks: KO of the Year

Photo: Will Hart

Photo: Will Hart

With the end of the year approaching and Boxing's Best airing, HBO Boxing Insiders are taking a look back at 2014. Here, they make their selections for the best KO on the network this year:

More: HBO Boxing Year End Picks

Kieran Mulvaney: Carl Froch KO 8 George Groves

After their first meeting ended in a controversial stoppage, Froch left no doubt in the rematch, icing Groves in front of a massive Wembley Stadium crowd with a picture-perfect KO. A little stutter-step, a feinted jab and then a massive overhand right that poleaxed the Londoner: it was as sweet and definitive an ending to a prizefight as you'll see. Honorable mention to Andy Lee's one-punch stoppage of John Jackson.

Eric Raskin: Andy Lee KO 5 John Jackson

It was a virtual coin flip between Lee-Jackson and Carl Froch's violent rematch knockout of George Groves, but the deciding factor for me was how comprehensively Lee was losing when he uncorked the miracle counter right hook. Aesthetically, the two best HBO-televised knockouts of the year were a dead heat. So Lee's stiffening of the previously unbeaten Jackson at Madison Square Garden wins on the strength of its shock value.

Hamilton Nolan: Andy Lee KO 5 John Jackson

Jackson outboxed him. Jackson was landing at will. Jackson systematically hurt him, and finally moved in for the kill… and caught one crazy Andy Lee punch thrown from off the ropes on a prayer, and it was over. Craziness.

Nat Gottlieb: Nonito Donaire KO 6 Nicholas Walters

Featherweight Nicholas Walters took Nonito Donaire's early fire and then turned it around by pummeling the Filipino into a bloody pulp before he blasted him in round 6 with a thunderous overhand right to the side of the head. Donaire managed to get up, but was so dazed and confused the ref waived it off.  A decisive beat down of a onetime superstar.

Oliver Goldstein: Carl Froch KO 8 George Groves

How to right the wrong of one of the most disappointing early finishes in recent history? Carl Froch insisted before his second meeting with George Groves that their first was heading toward a fairer conclusion when Howard Foster screwed the pooch, and this time around delivered when he crashed Groves into another dimension at Wembley in May.

This bout lacked the excitement of their initial tussle, when Groves had thrashed Froch about the ring for seven or so rounds, but its ending was truly memorable, as Froch feinted a left, let Groves bite, then let rip with a right for the ages.

Tim Smith: Terence Crawford KO 9 Yuriorkis Gamboa

Terence Crawford's stunning 9th round of Gamboa. It was a stepping stone fight for Crawford. It was as Crawford KO'ed Gamboa and stepped right into the spotlight as one of boxing's brightest new stars.

Diego Morilla: Wladimir Klitschko KO 5 Kubrat Pulev

Bulgaria's Pulev was tall, bulky, strong, yet agile and skilled, and had the hunger and the credentials of a young Klitschko: an Olympic medal, an unbeaten record and a defiant attitude. Perhaps that's why it was so impressive to see him go down in such a devastating fashion. Klitschko is known for 1-2-ing his foes into submission, using his pawing jab to set up his ramming straight right to then lay a progressive beating on his opponents. But using his often neglected left hook, he sent Pulev to the canvas a total of four times to score his most devastating KO to date.

Michael Gluckstadt: Andy Lee KO 5 John Jackson

How can you not love Andy Lee? He's not the most skilled middleweight, nor the most powerful, but he may have the most heart (a dubious conceit in other sports, but one that certainly exists in boxing). In front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden on the Cotto-Martinez undercard, it looked like we were seeing Andy's end as an elite boxer. Jackson was outworking him and outclassing him, and just when it looked like he was about to finish the job, Lee reached down and unveiled a storybook right hook that ended Jackson's night before he even hit the canvas. Another, similar miracle punch later, and Andy Lee finished 2014 as a middleweight title holder instead of an afterthought.

Bradley vs. Chaves Fight Highlights

Photo Gallery: Bradley-Chaves Open Workouts

Timothy Bradley | Diego Chaves | Matt Korobov | Andy Lee | Jose Benavidez | Mauricio Herrera

Check out this collection of photos from Wednesday's open workouts in Las Vegas, courtesy of HBO Boxing photographer, Will Hart.

Bradley vs. Chaves happens Saturday at 10 PM ET/PT on HBO World Championship Boxing. 

One-on-One with Matt Korobov and Andy Lee

Hype Meets Experience in Two Undercard Battles

Matt Korobov (Right) Photo - Will Hart

Matt Korobov (Right) Photo - Will Hart

By Oliver Goldstein

On the televised undercard, Jose Benavidez takes a huge step up in competition when he meets Mauricio Herrera for an interim welterweight bauble. Benavidez (21-0, 15 KOs), from Phoenix, Arizona, has long been touted as a potential star through his fledgling career, while Herrera (21-4, 7 KOs) has continued straining to transcend his meager power, unflattering record, and often limited connections, to remain relevant in boxing’s upper echelons. Who will win here? The numbers say Benavidez, who is smilingly undefeated, and boasts an attractive KO percentage. But the numbers might be lying — or at least not telling nearly the whole truth. In the past five years, Herrera has faced Ruslan Provodnikov, Danny Garcia, Mike Anchondo, Mike Dallas Jr, Karim Mayfield, Ji-Hoon Kim, and Johan Perez among others. He has fought comfortably more than one hundred rounds. He has also never proven less than competitive: he beat Provodnikov before the Russian was fashionable, and should have had the duke against Garcia this year. Benavidez has never even been scheduled to go ten rounds: his deepest fight was an eight-round victory against Pavel Miranda. If that proves sufficient preparation for a fighter as wily as Herrera, count this writer a surprised observer.

Additionally, Matt Korobov meets Andy Lee for a vacant middleweight belt. Korobov (24-0, 14 KOs) turned pro some years back with substantial hype — a fight on the Pacquiao-Hatton undercard in 2009 stood as testament to the esteem he commanded. But injuries and prevarication have held the Russian back: only in the last year has he faced more substantial competition. Even then, Jose Uzcategui, his first HBO opponent, might yet prove little to write home about. Lee, a former Emanuel Steward pupil now working under Adam Booth’s tutelage, has lost two previous fights, against Brian Vera (later avenged) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Has he regrouped under Booth? Certainly, a recent win against John Jackson looks good on paper, but struggles against Anthony Fitzgerald and Frank Haroche Horta don’t suggest much about the partnership. Lee is a capable fighter, though, with powerful fists and a decent heart. But his tendency to keep his head high and back stiff remains likely to get him in trouble: should Korobov prove half the fighter he is said to be, this should end in a first major victory for the Russian.