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NY Post
New York Post
8 Apr 2023


NextImg:Brandun Lee trying to find balance in more ways than one amid ascension

Brandun Lee is still trying to find a critical balance in his career. 

The former 2021 Prospect of the Year has raced out to a 27-0 record to start his fast-rising career after turning pro at just 17 years old. 

Now 23, Lee is already starting to put himself in position to challenge for title opportunities and take on some of the elite boxers in the super lightweight division. 

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Brandun Lee is one of the most-anticipated prospects in boxing.
Getty Images

Knocking out 16 of his last 18 opponents, Lee is beginning to creep closer to the Top 10 in most of the division’s rankings. 

He likely can get there with another victory as he next takes on veteran Pedro Campa (34-2-1) in a significant step-up bout, in terms of his opponent’s talent and stature. 

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The 10-round super lightweight bout will be the co-main event on Showtime’s Sebastian Fundora-Brian Mendoza card Saturday night (10 p.m. Eastern) from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. 

A Yuba City, Calif. native, it’ll be a hometown fight for Lee. 

As he looks to continue his ascension against the best opponent he’s faced so far, finding a balance between taking on better and better opponents that help him climb the rankings and not rushing the process before he’s ready is paramount to his much-anticipated development.   

“We certainly have to take baby steps,” Lee told The Post. “A lot of the world champions at 140 [pounds] are all grown men. They’re full, developed, grown men. They’re all either in their late 20s or early 30s. I’m barely gonna be 24 years old.

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“I’m getting there, but at the same time we’ve got to take baby steps to let my body fully mature and sooner or later, we’re going to have no choice but to challenge one of those world champions.”

Brandun Lee

Brandun Lee, left, has started his career 27-0.
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Brandun Lee i

Brandun Lee is trying to find multiple balances in his career.
AP

Lee’s career inside the ring isn’t the only thing he has to balance. 

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He’s also a part-time college student at California State University, San Bernardino, where he studies criminal justice. 

 After putting down the gloves, Lee envisions himself working as a customs agent. 

“Me going to school now, it’s helping me in the boxing ring because it’s keeping my mind always working and not getting lazy,” Lee said. “And I’m always learning something new…  I get bored very easily. When I’m not training, I’m not running, I’m not doing yoga, I’m doing some damn homework or writing a damn essay. It keeps me in a straight line, it keeps me out of trouble and most importantly, it’s getting me one step closer to a bachelor’s degree.”

Brandun Lee, left, squares off with Pedro Campa ahead of their bout.

Brandun Lee, left, squares off with Pedro Campa ahead of their bout.
Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Showtime

While finding that balance in both his career and personal life, Lee must now also separate himself from other top prospects vying for the same opportunities. 

Beyond his performances in the ring, Lee believes being a trailblazer gives him a leg up in that ambition. 

Lee’s father, who is also his trainer, is Korean, while his mother is Mexican – a combination Lee did not have any examples to look to or follow. 

Brandun Lee punches Diego Gonzalo Luque during his most recent bout on Jan. 7.

Brandun Lee punches Diego Gonzalo Luque during his most recent bout on Jan. 7.
Getty Images

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“I know there’s a lot of fighters out there who are upset that I claim that I’m half Mexican. A lot of them don’t believe me that my mother is hispanic,” he said. “And they find that disrespectful, which is crazy to me. At the end of the day, I know who I am, I know who Brandun Lee is…

“For me personally, I’ve never seen an Asian American box so well, the way that I box. I’ve never seen an Asian American knock out people the way that I’ve knocked out people. And I’ve never seen an Asian American have the defense that I have. I feel like I really stand out in general being an Asian fighter in America.”