Andy Lee said he needed a rematch with Brian Vera for psychological purposes, to prove he could beat the man who upset him back in 2008. Last night in Atlantic City, he got the rematch, and he proved his superiority. Lee defeated Vera by unanimous decision on HBO from Atlantic City, winning on scores of 99-90, 99-90, and 98-91. Bad Left Hook scored the fight for Lee, 99-90.
Unlike their first fight, the Irishman Lee (27-1, 19 KO) was in full control the whole way through. He came out fighting smart, largely neutralizing the pressure of Vera (19-6, 12 KO) and simply outboxing him with relative easy. Lee, who is hardly a perfect fighter, did eat some right hands along the way, but never looked too phased by anything Vera did get home, and more often than not it was the left hand of Lee that pushed the pace.
After a good first round from Lee, he put Vera down late in the second on a terrific counter left, catching Vera open after a missed punch and putting him on the canvas. Vera shook it off, but never did really get into the fight any further. In the fourth round, a clash of heads busted Vera open.
As the fight wore on, Vera kept coming forward, and often kept coming right into Lee's blows. Vera, as always, made it as rough and tough as he could, and never let Lee truly coast. Lee did have to work, though he made it look easy for the most part.
In the sixth round, Vera was caught with a counter right hook, and though his glove touched the canvas, referee Steve Smoger didn't rule a knockdown. In the end, it didn't much matter, and Lee was just too good to lose again to the gritty Vera.
One notable from the fight was that Lee added a nice uppercut to his arsenal, which was very effective when he used it, and gave him something in addition to a strong straight left and a good right hook. He didn't buckle under Vera's pressure, even when Vera really poured it on, and he showed a cool head in there. Vera was as tough and sturdy as ever, but Lee outclassed him this time, and took a solid step forward toward a major title shot.