Boxing: brian vera

Where is Harold Lederman?

August, 19, 2013
Harold Lederman is an addict.

The ex-pharmacist turned fight judge is hopelessly addicted to the sweet science, and is a top-grade emissary for the sport. Fight watchers have grown fond of his peppy updates on how he scored rounds during HBO's telecasts, and a few reached out to me, asking, "Where's Harold?" after the last couple HBO shows featured the talents of unofficial judge Steve Weisfeld, who latched on to the company earlier in February. So I checked in with Lederman, the New Jersey resident, and asked where he has been.

Not to worry, Lederman fans, Harold is still in the fold, and will be offering his scores and analysis right soon on the tube.

"The last fight I worked for HBO was Mikkel Kessler-Carl Froch, May 25, 2013," he told me. "I'll be back Sept 28th on 'HBO World Championship Boxing' when Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. returns against tough Texan Brian Vera. Fun fight."

Andy Lee headlines at BB King's

May, 15, 2013
Andy Lee, the Irish middleweight looking to get back on the big stage for another crack at a crown, has an Off-Broadway gig, of sorts, tonight. The 28-year-old, who was a protege of the late sage Emanuel Steward, meets Darryl Cunningham atop a Lou DiBella promotion at BB King's.

I asked the lefty Lee (29-2 with 20 KOs) to give a scouting report on Cunningham (28-4 with 11 KOs), and also what might come next if he does the expected and gets past the 38-year-old Michigan resident who is coming off three straight wins against middling foes.

"He's an experienced southpaw, is cagey, and has lost against better quality opponents," Lee told me. "I don't mind who I fight after this, let's win first and then see how the land lays in September."

Lee got a shot at WBC middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June 2012 but was stopped in round seven. He's rated as high as No. 8, by both the WBC and WBA. Strangely, a man he beat decisively in 2011, Brian Vera, is ranked No. 7 by the WBC and No. 1 by the WBO. (Come to think of it, "strange" isn't the right word to use for that WBO ranking. "Inappropriate" might be the better word choice. Then again, the middleweight division is in a state of flux, and is waiting for some clarification as some of the talent rises or falls down the ladder.) Vera had upset the then-unbeaten Lee in 2008, stopping him in the seventh round on "Friday Night Fights."

To Lee's credit, he responds to Vera's lofty perch with acceptance, a wise choice considering that if a fighter lets the politics of the sport rev his engine too much, he can get burnt out.

"I'm happy for Brian. Whatever he gets, he deserves," Lee said. "The way he fights, he earns it."

Lamar Russ, Delen Parsley and Tor Hamer are also slated to fight on the DiBella card.


Dzinziruk-Vera headlines Turning Stone

January, 22, 2013

Boxing returns to Verona, N.Y., on Friday when middleweight contender Sergiy Dzinziruk, seeking to nail down a title shot by the end of the year, gloves up in the main event against rawhide-tough spoiler Brian Vera.

ESPN2 and WatchESPN will televise the main event (9 p.m. ET) and some undercard action on "Friday Night Fights."

The event will unfold at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, and the mainer stands out as a rock-solid pairing for FNF.

Dzinziruk (37-1-1, 24 KOs), a 36-year-old Ukrainian who lives in Germany and is promoted by Gary Shaw, beat Daniel Santos in 2005 to win a 154-pound crown, and held the title until 2010. He drew with Jonathan Gonzalez in his most recent bout, in September, so I expect him to be sharper and better motivated on this occasion.

"I felt like my last time out, I didn't capitalize on every opportunity that was presented to me. It was my fight to grab and it slipped away because I let it," he said. "I've prepared to get back into the win column, and anything less is unacceptable. I will define the moment and not let the moment define me."

The 31-year-old Vera (21-6, 12 KOs), who fights out of Austin, Texas, is coming off of a victory over perennial contender Sergio Mora last August.

"I respect every opponent, but Vera is a different monster," Dzinziruk said. "The guy never quits and he is always willing to take the fight to the most uncomfortable places possible. I'm willing to go wherever is necessary, but it won't be Vera calling the shots because I'm going to dictate the pace and control the fight. With my conditioning, I will systematically break my opponent down and reestablish my position amongst the division's elite."
New York City is sometimes described as the greatest city in the world. That may be so in some regards, but in the eyes of middleweight boxer Andy Lee, the description doesn't fit.

Lee (26-1 with 19 KOs) came to the United States from Ireland in 2005. He arrived from Limerick, which is known as "Stab City" to some, because of its rough-'n-tumble vibe. He settled with trainer Manny Steward in Detroit, then soon after came to NYC to enjoy some of the buzz Derry transplant John Duddy was luxuriating in.

He lived in New York from 2006-09, but it proved difficult to concentrate on the ring ascent. The 27-year-old Lee spoke to NYFightblog on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference to hype his Oct. 1 bout in Atlantic City. He'll fight Brian Vera at Boardwalk Hall in a rematch of their 2008 scrap, which the heavy underdog Vera won via TKO. This scrap is the top support bout to the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker main event.

"I liked New York, but I had to get back to Detroit for boxing," Lee told me. "Too many distractions in New York. It's a rat race. You have to hustle for the rent. And then there's the nightlife, the friends. There were good times, but it wasn't good for boxing."

Lee expects he'll get by Vera, who is a banger with skills and endless stamina, this time. His eyes are wide open as to what happened in their 2008 tussle. "The first time, it was on ESPN. I underestimated him. I was unprepared and overconfident. I expected the fight to be another fight in my step up. I was playing to the crowd. I was immature."

If and when Lee gets past the 19-5 Vera, he has his sites set on bigger game in the division. Martinez, like Lee promoted by Lou DiBella, is the marquee name. Lee would welcome a crack at his stablemate. "On any day, I'm as good as any middleweight out there. Sergio is the only guy I would fight and think before, 'You'll go in and win this one easy.'" But I wouldn't be mesmerized by his tricks, his feints. I think good, basic boxing would beat him."
Full slate for NYFightblog starting tomorrow.

I'm hitting a luncheon for Andy Lee (26-1), the middleweight trained by Manny Steward who is looking to make the leap from contender to Contender.

Lee, born in Ireland, living in The City, will fight Brian Vera (19-5; age 29; lives in Texas) on Oct. 1. That bout is a rematch of a 2008 fight Lee lost and will run on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker scrap in Atlantic City.

Vera is a journeyman, but on the upper crust of journeymen. He will simply beat you if you are not physically and mentally prepared, even if perhaps you supposedly possess more skills than he does. He's the sort of fighter who some smart folks are trying to re-position in the fight game. Yes, he has losses. Yes, he may never advance to to be premium talent. But he simply takes part in fan-friendly fights. Call it the UFC influence, which hasn't been embraced by boxing's suits, but IMO, should be. Just because a man has lost some bouts does not make him less of an attraction. Oh, and Lee, by the way, may also in the near future be assessed the same way as I just did Vera ...

Also looking to have a chat with Brooklyn's Sechew Powell (26-3; age 32). The junior middleweight had a shot at a crown, but came up short for the IBF 154-pound strap against Cornelius Bundrage on June 25 in Missouri. Powell has been on the cusp for many a moon, and I wonder if he's feeling some urgency, if he's wondering if things will ever break his way.

I feel some fondness for him, I admit, because I did a feature on him for the late Boxing Digest Magazine around 2003, when he'd had a handful of pro fights, and so I have always followed his goings-on that much more closely.

Powell has stayed busy giving Floyd Mayweather sparring in Las Vegas the last few weeks, so we'll get some insight on how Floyd has looked. Is he still all that, or does he look like a 34-year-old guy in the ring now, with diminished reflexes?

Also slated to chat with ex-super bantam champ Joan Guzman, once knocking on the door of pound-for-pound lists, now banging on the door, begging to be let back into the mix. The Brooklyn resident is 35; is it simply too late for the Dominican Republic native to get his head screwed on tight enough to have one more title run? He's had more trouble with the scale than anything else recently, so we'll keep a close eye on his poundage sitch when he tangles with Armando Robles (17-1) on Oct. 1 in the D.R.

Follow me on Twitter.