Boxing: Lee knocks 'Midnight Stalker' out of his stride
IN the main event on a card billed as 'The Windy City Fight Night,' Limerick southpaw Andy Lee had an impressive technical knockout win in nine rounds over durable local middleweight Michael 'The Midnight Stalker' Walker at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
Lee, a former Olympian who is based in Detroit with top trainer Emanuel Steward, was never in danger and with sharp combinations from both gloves, brought his record to 23 wins in 24 fights since turning pro four and a half years ago.
Walker was not a rated contender, with 19 wins, four losses and two draws, but the manner in which Lee went about his job was praised by Steward and brought him closer to a world title fight promised for 2011.
"I always felt fully confident from the moment the bout was signed," said Lee, who hopes to box in Ireland before the end of the year. He has another bout scheduled for October 2 in Hammond, Indiana and the opponent is expected to be announced in the next week.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Matthew Macklin regained the European middleweight title he relinquished through injury early this year when Georgia's Shalva Jomardashviliin retired in the sixth round. "It's nice to be champion again," said Macklin and the win will boost the world title hopes of the Birmingham-born ex-hurler whose father is from Roscommon and mother from Tipperary. He is inside the Top 10 rankings of the four major boxing organisations, the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF.
On a busy weekend, Belfast's former amateur star Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton ran his record to seven consecutive wins when he stopped the experienced Ukranian superbantamweight Yuriy Voronin with just over half a minute left in the third round at the Ulster Hall.