Is “Irish” Andy Lee ready for a rematch against V.I. professional fighter John Jackson?
“Hell no,” Lee said in his Twitter feed a few days ago. Jackson (18-2, 15 KOs) and Lee recently opened up the Miguel Cotto/Sergio Martinez pay-per-view undercard at Madison Square Garden and while everyone favored Jackson to win, it was Lee that came away with the vacant North American Boxing Federation super welterweight title.
During the bout, Jackson came out strong, dropping Lee in the first round and following up with a series of combos and body shots that had Jackson leading up until the fifth.
“I felt terrific going into the fight, I felt strong, I felt confident,” Jackson said as he touched back down on St. Thomas last week. “The guy is a world class fighter, he fought for a world championship already, he never hit the canvas, and he’s very tough. But I was still confident – we’ve trained very hard to fight at this level against elite fighters to prove that we are elite fighters, and going in there in the first round, I felt strong. I wanted to feel him out a little and after that, I really didn’t feel that he had much against me.”
As part of Jackson’s training, the 340 Boxing team had flown in former light heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo as a sparring partner. His task was to mirror the left-handed Lee’s technique.
“The training definitely helped,” Jackson told the Source. “I was able to turn southpaw and knock Lee down in the first round with a right hook, and after that I felt that I was in control of the whole fight. I didn’t think it would feel so easy actually, I felt like I was sparring again in there.”
Jackson moved to finish Lee off in the fifth round, but in a matter of seconds, the tables turned and Lee landed a surprise right hook that put Jackson on the canvas.
“I had him against the ropes and I was throwing – boom, boom, boom, boom – and he was hurt, and he moved on the side and he staggered back and I went in to finish him, but he threw back a hard right hand,” Jackson said. “I didn’t even see him throw the punch, so I didn’t get to brace or anything and he caught me and knocked me out.”
Boxing experts have since said the hit is indicative of the boxing world: unpredictable.
“I don’t feel bad at all, because I was in control for most of the fight over an elite fighter,” Jackson said recently. “And after the fight, he came to me, asked to take a picture and said, ‘I had no answer for you – to be honest, I just got lucky.’ That’s the way it is, that’s the sport and I love it. I just feel blessed to have had this shot and I am looking forward to the next one, to the next challenge.”
As 340 Boxing managers work on lining up the next one, Jackson’s big brother Julius (17-0, 13 KOs) is also back in the gym and gearing up for some ring time, which is expected to be in the next month or two.
“Hopefully next month, I get something big, and hopefully in the same area as John,” Julius Jackson told the Source. “That’s what we’re looking forward to and I’m going to have John on my left hand and Samuel (Rogers) on my right hand when I’m going into the ring. It’s going to be an explosive thing and I’m ready to get out there and represent for the team one more time.”