Interviews

Brandun Lee Won’t Change Who He Is To Get Where He Wants To Be

Brandun Lee
Amanda Westcott/Showtime

It’s easy to become wrapped up in what sells. The bravado, flashy clothes, fancy cars and of course, the perpetual trash talk. It all attracts a fanbase that whether they want to see you win or can’t wait to see you lose, will continually turn on their television sets to see the outcome.

While many fighters today have mastered the art of it, Jr. Welterweight contender Brandun Lee (21-0, 19 KOs) doesn’t want any part of it.

“It’s just the way I was raised,” said Lee during an interview with Round By Round Boxing. “We have to be gentlemen about the sport. If we got a problem we can fight, but going back and forth? Nah, I’m not like that.”

From a distance, Lee doesn’t appear to be loquacious. He spends a lot of his time hanging out with friends and just laying low. However, if you managed to stick around him a bit longer and watch him lace up a pair of gloves, he becomes someone else entirely different.

In short, there’s something that comes over Lee once he steps foot inside the ring. The effervescent personality and constant smile are wiped away in a matter of seconds. The hands he uses to always greet fans and utter strangers with kindness become drenched in the blood of his opponent. Whether it’s a sparring session or an actual sanctioned fight, Lee simply flips a switch.

At the moment, the California resident is riding the high associated with a 12-fight win streak. Yet, with every jaw breaking shot he lands, Lee simply walks to his corner stone-faced as if he knew exactly what was going to happen.

Despite being only 21 years old, Lee has found his destructive work of art the talking point of most boxing fans. In his latest trip to the ring, Lee pounded his man over the course of three rounds until the referee mercifully waved things off.

The victory may have added yet another highlight-reel finish to his growing list, but for Lee the spectacular wins over obscure names haven’t garnered him recognition as one of the better young fighters in the world.

Presently, names such as Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Jaron “Boots” Ennis and a slew of others, mostly come to mind when discussing the next generation. For Lee, on the other hand, his name is seldom, if ever mentioned. The lack of reverence however, isn’t something Lee worries himself with. Instead, he simply tips his cap to those that are considered ahead of him.

“I don’t feel disrespected at all. I’m not looking at other people’s plates. They’re eating and I’m eating so I’m not mad at all. Devin, Shakur, Teofimo and Boots are all great fighters. When the time comes I’ll be there.”

In terms of how he can get there, the road to relevancy isn’t exactly a clear one. With no top 15 rankings in any of the four major sanctioning bodies, Lee has turned his attention elsewhere.

“I want Jeremias Nicolas Ponce,” said Lee when discussing the current IBO belt holder.” “I’ve been eyeing him for a while. I need some sort of title and credibility. It’s time to take the next step. Once I get that belt then I can start calling out other guys.”

If Lee were in fact able to secure a win over Ponce, the 21 year old still believes he has a ton of work to do to reach the crescendo of the sport. For his good friend and highly touted Welterweight contender Jaron Ennis on the other hand, many are expecting him to reach the mountain top sooner rather than later.

At the moment, Ennis is currently preparing himself for the most difficult opponent he has ever faced. at least on paper, as he takes on former world champion Sergey Lipinets in mid-April. Should the Philadelphia native pocket the win, many expect him to be fast-tracked to a shot at a world title.

Amongst the many young names that are associated with the sport of boxing’s next-generation, Ennis finds his name mentioned above almost all of them. While he is still considered a prospect, Lee merely laughs at the notion that Ennis is an up and comer.

No, after sharing the ring with him on many occasions and witnessing his talent on full display behind the scenes, Lee has Ennis ranked amongst the best fighters in the world already.

“Boots is in my top five pound for pound. I got Crawford, Canelo, Boots, Inoue and I’ll throw Spence in there.”

While Lee would love to join his good friend, he knows he isn’t there just yet. With that being said, he’ll look to get one step closer with a busy 2021.

“I’m going to keep working,” said Lee. “I’ll get there.”

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