Lee stuns McEwan with 10th-round KO
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Andy Lee knew he was in trouble going to the 10th and final round of his middleweight fight with Craig McEwan on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
His answer? To score a booming knockout in the top undercard bout on the show headlined by middleweight champ Sergio Martinez's title defense against junior middleweight titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk.
With a strong contingent of Irish supporters cheering him on, Lee rallied in the ninth to drop McEwan, a native of Scotland living in Los Angeles, late in the round.
McEwan, bleeding from a small cut by his left eye, survived, but not for long. He looked gassed as the 10th began and Lee went at him. Lee landed a tremendous left hand, McEwan dropped to his knees in bad shape and referee Steve Smoger called it off at 56 seconds.
Two judges had the fight 85-85 going to the final round while the third judge had McEwan ahead 86-84 of what had been an entertaining scrap.
"I was down, I was getting outboxed, I needed a knockout, or at least a knockdown in the 10th round," said Lee, a 2004 Irish Olympian who had once beaten McEwan during their standout amateur careers. "He was throwing a lot of punches. He caught me relaxing and he stunned me. I'm not that happy. I don't feel too good. I like to dominate. I had to dig deep. I didn't have my legs. I went back to the street. That's how we fight at Kronk."
Lee (25-1, 19 KOs) was talking about the Kronk Gym, home to him and his trainer, Emanuel Steward, who had to miss the fight because he was in Las Vegas on Saturday night working the corner of junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto's defense against Ricardo Mayorga. McEwan (19-1, 10 KOs) also was without his head trainer Freddie Roach, who is in the Philippines, where he is training Manny Pacquiao, who defends his welterweight title against Shane Mosley on May 7.
Lee hoped a win would set him up for a title shot against the main event winner.
"I want a title fight or to avenge my loss to [Brian] Vera," Lee said.
McEwan dominated most of the early rounds until Lee came back to win the last few rounds. He was not even supposed to be in the fight. Lee was originally supposed to fight John Duddy, but he retired in mid-January and McEwan took his place.
Fortuna flattens Wilson
Featherweight prospect Javier Fortuna (14-0-0, 11 KOs), 20, of the Dominican Republic, scored a spectacular one-punch knockout of Derrick Wilson (8-2-2, 2 KOs) in the eighth round.
Fortuna, with a frenetic and wild style, found a home for a booming left hand on the jaw that knocked out Wilson, 22, of Fort Myers, Fla., at 2 minutes, 27 seconds with referee John Callas calling it off without completing the count.
Fortuna, who fights in the same stable as Martinez, is wildly aggressive and open for shots coming back. But Wilson could not land flush. Fortuna, however, landed often, knocking Wilson down four times in all. He dropped Wilson for the first time in the third round with a right hook. Another right hook in the sixth round during an exchange dumped Wilson to the canvas for the second time. He went down for the third time in the eight round, moments before the knockout blow, when their feet got tangled as Fortuna was landing another right hand.
•Welterweight Thomas Dulorme (10-0, 9 KOs) displayed tremendous hand speed and charisma as he destroyed Miami's Guillermo Valdes (12-3, 3 KOs), stopping him at 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the second round.
Dulorme, 21, of Puerto Rico, recently signed a deal to have promoters Lou DiBella and Gary Shaw come on board as his promoters, along with Puerto Rico's Javier Bustillo. They were eager to show off Dulorme to the media and HBO executives, who were ringside.
Dulorme did not disappoint. He showed his speed as he rapidly connected with hard jabs, right hands and body shots. After a big right hand off Valdes' ear and a couple of more hard shots, referee Dick Flaherty called it off.
•Sonya Lamanokis (4-0, 2 KOs) and Tanzee Daniels (4-1, 1 KO) waged a tremendous, all-action women's heavyweight fight that had the crowd roaring throughout their six-rounder, which Lamanokis won via unanimous decision. The judges had it 59-55 (twice) and 58-56. Lamanokis, 226 pounds, the crowd favorite from Turner Falls, Mass., who lives in New York, was the more accurate puncher and more aggressive fighter than Daniels, 253 pounds, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
•Light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (6-0, 4 KOs) easily outboxed Billy Cunningham (5-9, 4 KOs) for a 40-36 shutout decision on all three scorecards.
•Junior middleweight Abraham Lopez (2-1-1, 0 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., battered Andrew Jones (0-3-1) of Buffalo, N.Y., for an easy four-round decision to open the card. Although Jones did well in the opening round, he showed nothing but hear for the rest of the fight. Lopez battered him and nearly stopped him in the second round and continued to pour it on the rest of the fight. The judges had it 40-36 and 39-37 (twice).
•An undercard bout featuring blue chip junior middleweight prospect Demetrius Andrade, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and former world amateur champion, was called off a few days before the fight because Andrade sprained his ankle running.