Scottish and Irish boxing fans on the East Coast of America are gearing up for their Fight of the Year as Holywood-based, Edinburgh middleweight Craig McEwan takes on Limerick’s Andy Lee at the Foxwoods Caino, Connecticut on 12th March. The fight ,which is being billed by top promoter Lou Di Bello as the ‘Celtic War’, is effectively a world title eliminator. Connecticut is deep in the heart of Irish America and it is likely that Lee’s countrymen will greatly outnumber Scottish fans on the night. However McEwan, who likes to fight as the underdog, will not be fazed by this.
“This will be the first time I have had a proper training camp before a bout and I expect to step into the ring better prepared than I have ever been. I will soon start sparring with top Ukrainian Serhiy Dzinziruk who will fight Sergio Martinez for a World Title on the same bill.”
Lee’s only defeat in 25 professional bouts came against tough Texan Bryan Vera whom unbeaten McEwan later outpointed, and the Scot feels the circumstances of Lee’s defeat point the way to Scottish success in Connecticut.
“Andy is a great fighter and a big hitter but I have watched some of his bouts since he was stopped by Vera and I am amazed that he has been unable to rectify the mistakes which led to his stoppage.He still gets hit too easily.”
And although the LA based Scot is well known for his slick, counter-punching style he hints at a possible change of strategy this time.
“If Andy Lee beats me on the 12th of March, he`s going to climb out of that ring knowing he has been in a fight. I’m going to war. I`ll hit him harder and more often than Bryan Vera did and if he can get past me he`ll deserve a shot at the World Title!”
And McEwan’s coach, Freddy Roach, is also confident that his mercurial charge can come good in Connecticut.
“Craig has been a bit inconsistent in his fights over the last couple of years and he`s had to dig deep against guys he should have blown away. It comes down to preparation. But when he gets the proper pre-fight training he can look like a world beater and that’s what we’re going to see on 12 March.”