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Notre Dame grad Mike Lee stays unbeaten with knockout win

Andrew Gastelum | Monday, July 11, 2011

CARSON, Calif. – Three-time Bengal Bouts champion Mike Lee dominated yet another fight Saturday night with a third-round knockout victory over Michael Birthmark at the Home Depot Center.

Fighting on the undercard of the World Lightweight Championship between Urbano Antillon and Brandon Rios, Lee (6-0-0) recorded his fourth career knockout with a powerful right jab that sent his opponent to the floor for the third and final time.

Lee enjoyed considerable fan support, especially from a contingent sporting blue-and-gold “Team Lee” shirts.

Perhaps the turning point in the match came midway through the first round, when Lee knocked Birthmark to the ground with a staggering right hook that drew massive cheers from the crowd. From that point on Birthmark fell into a defensive strategy that left his body exposed and caused him to wear down in the following rounds.

Lee proceeded with a patient, opportunistic attack in the second round that kept his opponent on the defensive. The Chicago native then picked Birthmark apart in the early stages of the third round with imposing uppercut combos.

The tiring Birthmark could not keep up with Lee’s ferocious attack, eventually dropping to a knee after a lethal combo of jabs to end the fight between the light heavyweights.

The 2009 Notre Dame graduate exited the ring just as he came in, with the Notre Dame fight song blaring followed by a parade of Irish supporters and flags.

The 24-year old Lee will soon return to the campus that nurtured his love of boxing. Lee is scheduled to headline the first professional fight at Notre Dame Sept. 16, the night before Notre Dame hosts Michigan State in football. Lee’s event, taking place in the Joyce Center, will be a highly anticipated homecoming, with all proceeds going to Notre Dame charities and breast cancer research.