The back is one of those things, you often don't know how useful the damn thing is till it goes out on you.
Boxer Mike Lee, the Illinois native and Notre Dame graduate, found out that the proverbial hard way when he dealt with some herniated discs.
The pain and impact upon his ability to train is now past tense, Mike's dad John told me, which is why we will be able to gauge his growth in person, on Jan. 16 at Barclays Center.
Lee, a light heavy, will tussle with TBD on a Lou Dibella card topped by a Deontay Wilder time defense, against Polish power Artur Szpilka. “Mike is back in training and he just fought four weeks ago,” the father told NYFights. “The back is good and we are moving forward.”
Lee the younger has clicked with a new coach, dad reports. Jamal Abdullah, who trains “Prince” Charles Martin, on the card taking part in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator vs. Czar Glazkov, is on the same page with Mike.
The pop said the trainer when he looked at Mike Lee loved his power and athleticism. “He said, ‘Leave him with me.' People will know this trainer after they see Charles Martin on the 16th.”
The father chuckled. “And Mike is going for his 16th win on the 16th in 2016!”
The fighter moved to LA, and trains at Wild Card West, so he's been getting ace sparring.
The Lees aren't in rush mode. The kid is still a kid, relatively. He's 28 and is looking to keep winning, keep learning. After 5-7 more fights, he gets to that sweet spot, ideally, and more meaningful stakes will be up for grabs.
Lee has dealt with some hater brigade venom on social media. Critics wondered how he was able to land Subway TV spots without a KO pro resume. But him and his dad have not been deterred from walking their preferred path to the promised land of their mental conception. And that type of autonomy can ruffle feathers. Haters and all beings will get a chance to have their say come Jan. 16, at Barclays Center.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Warriors Boxing and Sferis Knockout Promotions, start at $25, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.comor by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.