sending an APB to all boxers in his division
By Ray Kilgore
Tony Lee hit Corey Rodriguez with a right had that was so powerful, it
not only caused the referee to give Rodriguez a standing eight, but the
shot damaged Lee's hand in the process temporarily putting his boxing
goals on hold. Although Lee has not boxed since engaging in MN's version
of Hagler vs. Hearns with Rodriguez at Upper Cut Gym on May 20th 06, Lee's
letting it be known that his win is a message to other boxers in the Lightweight
to Welterweight division that his performance against Rodriguez is just
a sampling of things to come in the future.
Its been several months since Lee has officially boxed in the ring since
his battle with the heavily favorite Rodriguez; Lee's absent isn't because
he's flying high emotionally off his win but rather he hurt his right
hand to the point of having difficulties turning the ignition to start
his car. But on the day of this interview, an on looker who's never seen
the lump on Lee's hand could easily conclude that Lee's 100% based on
the intensity of his workout.
and fluidity in which Lee hits the heavy/speed bag, skips rope, and bobs
and weaves reminds you of a prime Roy Jones Jr. or Sugar Shane Mosley
that's how quick he is. Ironically, when he speaks, his speech is very
low and relaxed a total turnabout in comparison to his personality in
the ring. Lee, the youngest of six brothers and sisters, admits when he
took up boxing as a sport, his older sibs where somewhat surprised. "They
always seen me as somewhat soft," he says with a little smile on
his face that suggests many people have this notion about him until they
test him. "They were surprised when I took up boxing."
Lee, 20, was born and raised in West St. Paul MN and has always been gifted
at sports; he was born with a body frame that he's made chiseled over
the years, and he has natural speed. Although Lee enjoyed playing many
sports, his main love was football where he was a running back until he
was hit the wrong way and broke his femur.
Originally Lee and his mother thought all he did was broke a bone and
it would heal in time, but they would get shocking news. After further
examination, doctors discovered not only had Lee broken his bone, but
they found bone tumors that required a bone transplant. Not only was the
boxer devastated, his football career seemed all but done.
But Lee understood that his heart and competitive nature wouldn't handle
being sidelined by any factors that wasn't of his
choosing, so he spent the remainder of 7th grade rehabilitating his leg.
The following year, he was back playing football. "I am a competitive"
says the boxer who has 28 bouts, but unlike most athletes who push themselves
despite their bodies' telling them it can't handle the pressure any longer,
Lee listened to his body after he got hit in the same leg again and knew
his football career was over.
Lee, who idolizes Sugar Ray Leonard, thought about boxing and asked his
mother but she wasn't keen on having her youngest child engaged in a sport
many view as barbaric. Lee put the issue on hold and turned his attention
to baseball, but after sliding into base the wrong way, he hurt his leg
again, and told his mother that baseball was out and that he wanted to
After several months of "nagging" her to box, his mother finally
agreed and Lee went to B.T. Bombers but two days later, the gym closed
and Lee was out in the cold. Although his mother wasn't crazy about his
boxing to start with, she showed her support by calling gyms finally contacting
Burnett's and took Lee to their gym. Lee was 14 at the time and he's still
there today showing dedication and loyalty. Currently Lee's entertaining
the thought of either trying out for the Olympic team or going pro after
several more bouts, but he stresses the decision is his and right now
he isn't putting any pressure on himself. Although the handsome boxer
admits to being single and working two jobs, he's staying in shape as
he hopes to box in either August or September since doctors told him his
hand isn't broken. "My goal is to let everyone know I am here"
the boxer says with a serious look on his face, and based on his performance
against Rodriguez, he's on his way of sending that All Points Bulletin
loud and clear
By Ray Kilgore
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