New York, NY - On Saturday, October 1st, Andy Lee (26-1, 19KO's) will not only have the opportunity to erase the lone blemish on his otherwise perfect professional record, but also take yet another step toward fighting for a middleweight world championship, when he takes on former member of "The Contender: Season 3", Brian Vera (19-5, 12KO's). Lee-Vera II, which will air live on HBO's World Championship Boxing, is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and will be the main supporting bout of the evening to Sergio Martinez' WBC Middleweight Diamond Belt title defense against current undefeated, European Champion, Darren Barker. Lee-Vera II is scheduled for 10 rounds in the middleweight division.
Lee, who is rated as the WBA #2, WBO #2, and WBC #6 middleweight in the world, certainly didn't need to take the fight against the very dangerous, and WBO #11-rated Vera, who is just two fights removed from his upset decision victory over former junior middleweight world champion, Sergio Mora. But for Lee, who has strung together 11 consecutive wins since the 2008 loss to Vera, including seven by stoppage, the fight absolutely had to be made.
"I've wanted this rematch with Vera from the moment I lost to him," said Lee. "It means everything to me, to beat the man that beat me, to clear my name and set the record straight. I want to be champion of the world but I also want to look back on my career and know I rose to the challenge and beat the only man that has beaten me. The loss to Vera still weighs heavily on my mind and until I beat him, I will not be able to move on."
Lee has shown a lot of growth since the defeat, and he believes that it will show come fight night.
"In our first fight, I made quite a few mistakes. I was young and inexperienced as a pro fighter. Firstly, I over looked Vera, but he fought with intensity and a lot of determination. This time I am making no mistakes, I am doing everything in preparation for this fight. I am in great shape already and if I have to fight all 10 rounds at full pace I can do that."
Lee realizes the magnitude and importance of the fight both for his immediate and future plans in the sport of boxing.
"I want to prove I am the better fighter and that, in the first fight, Vera caught me at the right time. I give Vera his due. He deserved his victory in our first fight. He turned up in better shape and more focused than me. I know I'm the better fighter though and that I will prove it on October 1st. My focus is totally on Vera, but after I win, which I fully expect to do, I will watch the main event with an eye to fighting the winner. Martinez is rightly considered the best middleweight in the world and if he gets by Barker then that is the fight I want."
Lee-Vera II is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. The show will be aired live on HBO's World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.
Tags: Sergio Martinez , Andy Lee , Bryan Vera , Darren Barker , Martinez-Barker , Martinez vs Barker