Them's fightin' words

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

It was the kind of unscripted role reversal that promoters usually only dream about.

There was boy-next-door Kris Andrews, polite and soft-spoken, offering up a few well-chosen words to the media at yesterday's announcement of his Aug. 28 Armed & Dangerous Canadian junior middleweight title bout against fellow Edmontonian Anthony Lessard at the Shaw Conference Centre.

And there was Lessard, the streetwise trash-talker, hovering like a vulture and sharpening his teeth as Andrews spoke his piece.

But then a funny thing happened -- and it shocked the hell out of everybody.

Andrews got mad. Really.

"You can look the part, talk the part, but the question is, did you earn the right to be here?" he sneered at Lessard.

"Anthony, you talk all this BS, saying you wanna fight me and you know how to beat me, but that's all it is -- BS.

"And here's something that's been bothering me ... something I've come to realize. I have no real friends in this game. I can count on one hand the people who really, truly support me.

"Does Edmonton want to see a real boxer box, or see a bum run off at the mouth? If you don't wanna pay to see a real professional, maybe this is the wrong city for me."

And with that, Andrews abruptly turned on his heel and stormed out of the press conference.

Promoter Glen Carriere was stunned. Andrews (14-8-2, 4 KOs) is part of his stable, but the six-foot-two southpaw's quick exit left the KO Boxing boss dumbfounded

"I guess we'll hear from Anthony now," was all Carriere could say.

That's when Lessard (7-4-2, 5 KOs) stepped up to complete the bizarro world osmosis. No hint of animosity, no sign of surliness. Just a kind of aw-shucks bemusement.

"I want to thank KO and Kris for this opportunity -- even though it's for a vacant title," said Lessard.

"I consider Kris my friend. We're union brothers (Local 92, Construction and General Workers Union).

"I have no hard feelings towards him. But I find it amusing that he says he's going to knock me out. Where does that come from? He's got what, four KOs in 24 fights?

"Nobody knocks me out. Nobody. I'm honoured that this will be the first time two Edmonton guys will fight for a national title, but that's where our connection ends.

"As Kris will find out, I've got lots left over from my last win (KO2 over Trevor Moyah in June). He's gonna know he's never been hit by anyone like me.

"He can't pressure me. I'm like a diamond; squeeze me and I shine."


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