By Dan Fitz-Simons: While there’s already speculation among Andy Lee’s fans regarding a revenge bout against Lee’s old rival, Bryan Vera on February 4, Andy himself knows he has to focus on his more immediate challenge, Daniel Urbanski. Lee (24-1-0) is scheduled to fight the Polish warrior on December 11th in Germany on the Klitchko-Chisora undercard and is well aware his only loss was by upset to Vera. That upset has been a stark reminder to the Shannonsider that anything can happen in the world of boxing. Although Urbanski probably won’t defeat Lee, he could prove to be one of Andy’s toughest opponents.
The 26-year old Urbanski (19-5-3) won his last 7 contests and has 27 fights under his belt. Urbanski (like Lee) likes to stay busy, and he’s already had 6 bouts in 2010. A solid B-rated contender, Urbanski is a level above Lee’s last three opponents (Cook, Walker, and Lowry). He has a 3-star rating from Boxrec, with a resume of ranked European fighters including: Golovkin, Studer, Buysangurov, and Britsch. His additional accomplishments include the Polish Light Middleweight Title, and the IBF Youth Title. Still relatively young, Urbanski is sharp and experienced, and he’s ranked #34 among European middleweights.
Nevertheless, Lee’s power remains unquestioned; he’s taken out several opponents with either hand. Manny Steward has also helped Andy develop his vicious right hooks to the body, which the Limerick man throws with devastating accuracy. Another devastating weapon in Lee’s arsenal is the upper cut, which he’s fast enough to throw from the outside. As a southpaw, Andy could pose a problem to Urbanski’s orthodox style. With only 5 KO’s and 3 draws, Daniel isn’t a banger. Moreover, Lee at 6′ 2,” has a reach advantage against Urbanski who is only 5′ 9.” With his 5” height advantage Andy can also keep Urbanski away by fighting tall on the outside.
Since his loss to Vera, the lad from Castleconnell has become a stronger, faster fighter; he’s had 9 wins, 5 of them ending early. Lee has 18 KO’s, and it’s possible he’ll target the Polish fighter as his 19th victim. But Urbanski could also provide an excellent tune-up for the more important contest against Vera. Steward’s best scenario could be for the fight to go the distance, so that Andy is challenged by a tough opponent for a “safe” eight rounds. When Lee ran out of gas against Vera, and then again against Belghecham, there were concerns over his stamina. That could explain why this fight is only eight, instead of ten rounds. Steward isn’t taking any chances.
The Limerick Assassin is rated # 4 by the EBU, # 8 by the WBA, and # 15 by the WBC. This will be his 5th fight this year. He’s fought opponents from the U.S., Russia, Latvia, Mexico, Cameroon, Senegal, France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the UK, Argentina, (and now) Poland. Moreover, his mentor, Manny Steward, is one of the best trainers in the sport. A stablemate of Vlad Klitchko at Kronk Gym, Andy has also had the advantage of sparring with the World Heavyweight Champion, as well as his own cousin, Tyson Fury, the British Heavyweight Champion. The odds are, Lee will win against Urbanski, but not as easily as he defeated previous opponents.