Andy Lee: Why nature of comeback win will stand me in good stead

Former WBO World Champion speaks to Off The Ball after a winning return to the ring after more than a year away

Andy Lee, boxing, Madison Square Gardens

Andy Lee before the fight ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

Former WBO World Champion Andy Lee feels the nature of his comeback win will stand him in excellent stead.

The Limerick boxer enjoyed a unanimous victory over KeAndrae Leatherwood at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday night in his first fight since a title bout defeat to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.

The 32 year old won in eight rounds and the manner of victory is something he reflected on with Off The Ball.

"Looking back in hindsight now, had I maybe jumped on him in the first round and taken more risks and maybe took a few more punches and invested more earlier in the fight, it would have been a better headline. It would have been more sensational," he said.

"But I would have had to take more punishment and more miles on the clock. And to get eight rounds in Madison Square Gardens in a real live fight under the lights with the small gloves on, it's invaluable. So in terms of the next few months, it will stand to me more than getting a knockout." 

Andy Lee is declared the winner against KeAndrae Leatherwood ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

On the style of the fight, Lee felt Leatherwood was quite cagey in his approach.

"Going into the fight, I'd watched a good bit of Leatherwood on YouTube and he seemed like a slick, fast American boxer with quick hands, but not great footwork and when he attacked, he kind of left himself exposed and I thought that's where I can exploit him and the weakness I can take advantage of," said Lee, who intended to use the first round to draw out his opponent.

"But after the first round and a half, it was apparent that he wasn't really going to come in towards me. His trainer probably told me that if he attacked, that's where I would look to counter so he fought very cagey and the first few rounds there was little action in the fight and I'm sure it was kind of a boring fight for people watching."

Lee then took the risk to come forward and press Leatherwood from the third round on en route to victory.