Advertisement
Advertisement

Mike Lee Regained Rhythm Working With Chris Byrd

The standard playbook for boxing up-and-comers with just 12 professional fights under their belt is to hone their craft anonymously on various regional undercards, waiting for a chance at a high-profile showcase.

But with his athletic skills and undefeated record, matinee idol looks, tireless charitable work and Finance degree from The University of Notre Dame, as well as the almost unheard of accompanying level of national attention he brings to a sport that desperately needs it, Mike Lee is in no way your average, every day boxing prospect.

A humble and clean-living Subway national spokesperson who donates most of his fight purses to worthy charitable causes such as the Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, Lee (12-0, 7 KOs) will take on Paul Gonsalves (7-3, 3 KOs) of Hyannis, Massachusetts, to open the worldwide ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast this Friday, July 25, in front of a huge crowd of his fans in his hometown of Chicago at the UIC Pavilion.

“I’m beyond excited,” said Lee of his upcoming fight. “My last fight in Philly, I was excited to be back in the ring, but to come back home to fight. It’s so special to me. I fight better when there’s more pressure and fans and more attention and that’s what this will be. A national TV fight in my hometown. I’m very grateful.”

Presented by Warriors Boxing, 8 Count Productions, Seconds Out Promotions and Marines Promotions, the night of world-class professional boxing entitled “Conquerors”, will also feature rejuvenated welterweight contender Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (35-3, 23 KOs) of Weslaco, Texas, taking on hard-hitting and dangerous Breidis “Khanqueror” Prescott (27-5, 20 KOs) of Miami, via Barranquilla, Colombia in the night’s 10-round main event.

WBA #15, IBF #13, and WBO #11-rated Caleb “Golden” Truax (23-1-2, 14 KOs) of Osseo, Minnesota, will take on former USBA Junior Middleweight Champion Derek “Pooh” Ennis (24-4-1, 13 KOs) in the televised co-main event.

Tickets for "Conquerors" are priced at VIP $151, VIP Ringside $101, Mezzanine $51 and General Admission $31 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices: 312-622-7668 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office: 312-413-5740. More information will be available shortly at 8CountProductions.com.

It’s already been a wild ride in boxing for 27-year-old Lee. The immensely popular breakthrough fighter has fought on the undercards of some of boxing’s most prestigious events. The showdown against Gonsalves will be just his second in his hometown. He turned professional at the UIC Pavilion in 2010.

“Training went well,” continued Lee. “I’ve got my rhythm back from my last big win in April (a sixth-round stoppage of then-undefeated Peter Lewison). I’m healthy and feeling sharp. I’m in San Diego training with (former heavyweight champion) Chris Byrd. This will be our second fight together and we’ve been working together since February.”

Lee says working with a world-class technician like Byrd, one of the smartest in-ring boxers to ever lace up the gloves, has given him a sweeter approach to the science.

“Chris is a phenomenal trainer and his resume speaks for itself. He’s teaching me how to hit and not get hit. I’m becoming more of a boxer and I sit on my back foot a bit more now. I don’t need to take a punch to land three. He’s taught me a lot about counterpunching and moving. Chris is all about movement and changing up the rhythm. He’s really teaching me how to get to that next level.”

Lee is expecting a challenge from Gonsalves, but having access to a boxing mind as sharp as Byrd’s has its advantages.

“I think Gonsalves is a tough guy. He’s a good boxer and he’s beat a bunch of guys. You can’t take anybody lightly, but Chris is a master of styles and we’ve studied him and we’re working on both his strengths and weaknesses and my perceived strength and weaknesses. We’ll be ready when the bell rings. I want to keep beating better and better fighters and keep winning and working my way up the ranks. I want to win a world title. That’s been my goal since I turned pro.”

Lee says there is no timetable for his ascent up the light heavyweight ranks and he will take each fight one at a time.

“We’re taking our time. I didn’t have a big amateur career, but I’ve been getting better and better every fight and sparring with some of the top fighters in the world. I’m certainly a lot better now than I was when I turned pro. As long as I keep getting better and wining my fights, that’s all I ask of myself. There’s been a lot of spotlight on my career with the commercials and the Notre Dame background, but like any other fighter, I will do it when I’m ready. You get offers to fight people, but you want to take each step one at a time. I’ll just keep building and keep fighting tougher guys.”

You have to admire Mike Lee. He could be sitting in an office right now raking in money. But a fighter fights and that’s what’s in his blood. Lee spends countless hours training and a great deal of the rest doing charitable work for various causes. When the lights dim this Friday night, a huge crowd of supporters will go crazy while Lee enters the ring.

Deservedly so. Mike Lee is an above average guy.

“I love it. That’s the main reason why I look forward to coming home. I have incredible support, coast to coast, but especially in Chicago. Not a day goes by that I don’t get mail or a text from friends or family wishing me good luck and telling me they’ll be there. They’re helping me sell tickets. It means the most to me. People support me and seem to like the person I am. I have been very involved in Chicago children’s charities since I turned pro and they respect that and want to support me. Portions of this fight’s purse are going to charity as well. That’s something I’ve always felt strongly about and I’m proud to be part of it.”

Tags: Mike Lee image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by shawn4943 on 07-22-2014

Lee is a likable guy, but he sucks as a boxer and will never beat anyone of note. Maybe he can get in some more Subway commercials before a mediocre fighter exposes him.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras Trade Heated Words Oscar Valdez Ready For The Danger of Hard Punching Rueda Ryan Martin To Make Ring Return on Wilder vs. Arreola Card Povetkin Holds Meeting With WBC: Awaits Decision on Wilder Golovkin, Eubank Jr. Should Sign By This Weekend, Says Hearn SHO's Espinoza: Canelo-GGG in "Fall 2017" Was To Stop Bleeding Photos: Mario Barrios Putting in Work For World Title Eliminator Roman Gonzalez Focused on Cuadras Next, For The Right Price Parker's Promoter: Anthony Joshua Will Eat The Jab All Night! Cecilia Braekhus Returns, Tops First Card in Norway Since 1980 Manuel Avila Continues Unbeaten Run at Cache Creek Casino Smith's Trainer: We Can Beat Canelo, But Will The Judges Agree? News: Boxeo Telemundo Update; Skeete-Lepelley; Jay Harris Thurman Might Make Mandatory Defense Against Avanesyan Next Jonathan Guzman Ready For Wake Title Shot Rabchenko Handed IBF Eliminator On Santa Cruz-Frampton Card Hurd Wants Foes Like Bundrage, Ishe Smith For Upcoming Fights DiBella: Wilder vs. Joshua is Inevitable in Future, But Not Now Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith is NOT a Bad Fight, Explains Hearn Haye: Bellew Fight Must Be at Heavyweight, He Must Add Weight Anthony Mundine Back in Talks For Danny Green Rematch Knockout CP Freshmart Decisions Rojas In A Stinker Ganigan Lopez vs. Jonathan Taconing Will Be a War, Says WBC Joseph Parker Ready To Take November Date For Anthony Joshua Amir Imam, Guillermo Jones Return on Pittsburgh Card Arum: After Ramirez Beats Golovkin, He Will Be a Big PPV Star! Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia: The Fight, Right Now Photos: Mayweather Takes Part in BET Celebrity Basketball Game Ramirez's Adviser: Golovkin One-Dimensional, He's No '85 Bears! Mike Tyson Will Back Trump at Republican National Convention Edner Cherry Snags Debatable Decision Over Lydell Rhodes Antonio Margarito vs. Ramon Alvarez Pushed Back To August 13 Photos: Jose Benavidez Putting in Work For Francisco Santana Rolando Garza Inks Promotional With Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Gilberto Ramirez: Canelo Has No Pride, His Actions Disappointing Denis Lebedev Backs Glowacki To Retain, Beat Oleksandr Usyk Anthony Joshua Must Face Joseph Parker By January 9, Says IBF Jarico O'Quinn Inks Promotional With Salita Promotions Photos: Gilberto Ramirez Continues Hard Grind For First Defense Malignaggi-Bracero, Farmer-Redkach, Harrison-Rabchenko Set
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement