In recent years, the junior welterweight division has lacked the excitement the other weight classes have because the talent pool hasn’t been that deep. Things are looking to take a turn as an injection of talent is soon to come, along with some young fighters on the rise. One of those young fighters is twenty-two-year-old junior welterweight Brandun Lee (24-0), fighting out of La Quinta, CA.
Showtime Boxing has provided a little bit of a treat. They have chosen to show a card on their network prior to the PPV event featuring the welterweight unification between Errol Spence Jr. and Yordenis Ugas. Opening the Showtime telecast is Brandun Lee facing the tough veteran out of Brooklyn, NY, Zachary Ochoa (21-2). With Showtime running a 30-day free trial promotion starting this weekend, it will generate the maximum number of eyeballs possible.
This is a step-up fight for Lee as he’s been brought up slowly, but now is the time to see what he really has and if he is truly a contender for the world title. What does Brandun think about fighting on such a big stage like Cowboy Stadium? Brandun told NYF,” I’m blessed to be given the opportunity to go out there and perform in front of thousands of people, which will also be televised for the world to see. Come April 16th; I will show the boxing world and fans who Brandun Lee is.” He comes off as a young, confident fighter who knows what he wants in life and what it is going to take to get there.
Looking back at 2020 during the lockdown, Lee was more active than most fighters were during that time. “It wasn’t too challenging, but the hardest part during that time was finding sparring. A lot of people were being cautious about coming out or being around new people,” said Lee about training during the lockdown. Brandun fought four times during that year, and he was able to capitalize on a captive audience to further push his name and brand in the sport. Outside of the ring, he kept busy and went to school, which led to him earning an associate degree from the College of the Desert. He is currently attending CASA San Bernardino and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Lee realizes that boxing isn’t forever, and having a solid backup plan like a degree will only set him up for success.
After that busy 2020, Brandun Lee stayed active last year and ended it with a fight against Juan Heraldez (16-2-1) in December. With his previous opponents, Lee was plowing through them and earning knockout after knockout in the early rounds. With Heraldez, it took a little more than a one-punch knockout, and he had to really work in there. It was a good learning lesson for Lee and one he needed at this point in his career. In round seven, the good ol one-two combo down the middle-sent Heraldez down and ended the fight.
Now Brandun Lee has the difficult task of fighting Zachary Ochoa, who Stephen “Breadman” Edwards trains. I asked Brandun where he held his camp and if the preparation would be any different this time around? Lee told NYF, “My main camp was held here at home in La Quinta, CA. I did most of my sparring at the Joel Diaz Camp in Indio, CA. Nothing has changed from previous camps except “bringing in more sparring partners for this fight.”
While on the subject of preparation, he had some thoughts on his opponent. Not one to disrespect the guy he will be facing, Lee was very professional when asked about Ochoa. Brandun said, “I think he is a decent boxer as a lot of east coast fighters are decent boxers. He’s light on his feet and throws a lot of jabs well. He also likes to throw a sneaky right hand from time to time.” Lee knows what’s at stake and that a big performance can lead to a potential title shot, especially if undisputed champion Josh Taylor decides to vacate. But he has assured me that the focus is Saturday night and that the rest will work itself out.
Finally, towards the end of the call, there was an opportunity for Brandun to sell the fight. I tried to get him to talk some smack, but he laughed and said, “he wasn’t that type of person to talk shit” or “have Twitter fingers.” He did, though, have a message for the fans tuning in. Brandun told NYF,” The fans should tune in because I give them what they want. They want to see blood, knockouts, and want to see people get hurt. At the end of the day, I will give the people a show and on April 16th, expect Brandun Lee to do what he does best and dominate his opponent.”
My Three Cents
This fight between Brandun Lee and Zachary Ochoa is a very intriguing matchup. You have Lee, who can position himself for a potential title shot later this year with a victory, while Ochoa is an independent fighter who can catapult himself towards the top of the list of fighters to watch this year. Is this too much, too soon for Lee, or is the time just right? Is Ochoa going to shut down the hype or become another name on the resume?
You have to tune into Showtime at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST on Saturday to find out.