Full slate for NYFightblog starting tomorrow.
I'm hitting a luncheon for Andy Lee (26-1), the middleweight trained by Manny Steward who is looking to make the leap from contender to Contender.
Lee, born in Ireland, living in The City, will fight Brian Vera (19-5; age 29; lives in Texas) on Oct. 1. That bout is a rematch of a 2008 fight Lee lost and will run on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker scrap in Atlantic City.
Vera is a journeyman, but on the upper crust of journeymen. He will simply beat you if you are not physically and mentally prepared, even if perhaps you supposedly possess more skills than he does. He's the sort of fighter who some smart folks are trying to re-position in the fight game. Yes, he has losses. Yes, he may never advance to to be premium talent. But he simply takes part in fan-friendly fights. Call it the UFC influence, which hasn't been embraced by boxing's suits, but IMO, should be. Just because a man has lost some bouts does not make him less of an attraction. Oh, and Lee, by the way, may also in the near future be assessed the same way as I just did Vera ...
Also looking to have a chat with Brooklyn's Sechew Powell (26-3; age 32). The junior middleweight had a shot at a crown, but came up short for the IBF 154-pound strap against Cornelius Bundrage on June 25 in Missouri. Powell has been on the cusp for many a moon, and I wonder if he's feeling some urgency, if he's wondering if things will ever break his way.
I feel some fondness for him, I admit, because I did a feature on him for the late Boxing Digest Magazine around 2003, when he'd had a handful of pro fights, and so I have always followed his goings-on that much more closely.
Powell has stayed busy giving Floyd Mayweather sparring in Las Vegas the last few weeks, so we'll get some insight on how Floyd has looked. Is he still all that, or does he look like a 34-year-old guy in the ring now, with diminished reflexes?
Also slated to chat with ex-super bantam champ Joan Guzman, once knocking on the door of pound-for-pound lists, now banging on the door, begging to be let back into the mix. The Brooklyn resident is 35; is it simply too late for the Dominican Republic native to get his head screwed on tight enough to have one more title run? He's had more trouble with the scale than anything else recently, so we'll keep a close eye on his poundage sitch when he tangles with Armando Robles (17-1) on Oct. 1 in the D.R.