Unanimous decision for Lee at Notre Dame
Irish alum rocks light heavyweight Stiers to up record to 7-0
Light heavyweight Mike Lee (7-0) clearly wanted a knockout, but had to settle for a unanimous four-round decision over Jacob Stiers (4-2) Friday night at the Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame alum, decked out in his school's gold and blue, scored knockdowns in the first, second and fourth rounds, but was dumped on the canvas himself in the third round.
All three judges scored Lee the winner 38-34 on points.
"In a way, I'm glad it happened," Lee said of being knocked down. "I showed I could come back."
He said he was hit on top of the head and was disoriented, but he had enough smarts to take a knee and use up all the time he was allotted before getting up.
"Obviously, there were some bumps. … I felt like I was chasing him all night," he said.
"The pressure was pretty big. I'm not going to lie, I can say it now that it's over."
With the raucous crowd chanting his name, Lee started behind a strong jab, and chased Stiers, who retreated behind a weaker jab. He went down with plenty of time left in the first, but Lee was overanxious and missed a lot of punches before taking a right cross himself. Stiers missed a wild swing at the bell.
Lee started the second jabbing strongly again, and bobbing safely and effectively. Stiers went down from a combination to the body, but it was ruled a slip. He went down for real when he backed into the ropes and had no place to go to avoid a right cross from Lee. Stiers went down later, also, but it was ruled a slip.
In the third, Stiers was staggered by a right, but Lee missed the follow-up punches as Stiers swayed around the ring. But it was Lee who went down in this round after he loaded up on a shot that was wide of its target and Stiers clocked him with the counter punch.
It looked like Stiers might be able to turn the fight around, but as they both threw punches, Lee's landed first and Stiers fell again. Later, he was staggered by a jab, and it looked like Lee might get the knockout he wanted, but by this time he was cautious, and couldn't follow up on the advantage.
The crowd at the Purcell Pavilion for the first pro fight card in Notre Dame history was pumped up.
"They were loud," Lee said. "They were going crazy, and I loved it."
The evening was all Notre Dame, with an appearance by a leprechaun and a short talk from alum Regis Philbin. The Mike Lee Foundation donated $50,000 to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and another $50,000 to the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend, Ind.