Brandun Lee / Professional Boxer

Brandun Lee is not your typical teenager. He has had an exceptional year in 2017 where he turned 18, graduated high school and fought three professional boxing matches. With half the year still remaining, Brandun is sure to accomplish much more.

The Junior Welterweight (140 lbs.) has been boxing since he was a child and achieved an outstanding amateur record, earning many accolades including three National Junior Golden Glove Championships.

Based out of Coachella Valley in California, he is exclusively trained by his father, Bobby Lee, since the beginning. He signed with manager Cameron Dunkin in 2016 and fought his first professional fight this past January.

Sporting a 3-0 professional record, Brandun is currently training for his next fight which should be scheduled sometime soon in the next month.

And, yes, we did ask Brandun about the similarity of his name with another “Brandon Lee.”

HalfKorean.com was able to discuss Brandun’s background and his boxing career.

Please note that HalfKorean.com comments/questions are in BOLD.

What is your mix?
I have a Korean father and Mexican mother.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born on April 25, 1999. I was raised in Yuba City, California for about 12 years and then moved to the Coachella Valley.

How many siblings do you have?
I have one older brother who will be 27 this year.

Do you speak Korean?
No I do not speak Korean. I just know some of the words.

How about Spanish?
I can get around just slightly. Not too much. I can’t carry on a conversation but I can speak some words here and there.

What has your “mixed Korean” experience been like?
It has been great. I’m very lucky to be of mixed race. I have the best of two cultures.

Did you grow up around any other mixed Koreans?
Unfortunately I did not.

Have you been to Korea?
No, I have not actually. I plan on going there one day.

If the opportunity presented itself, would you be interested in trying to line up a fight in Korea down the line?
Yes of course. My father is Korean so I feel like the people would support me. I’d love to give them a show.

What’s your favorite Korean food?
Anytime I go to a Korean restaurant I have the bulgogi (불고기).

What do people think your ethnic background is?
I think that they stereotype a lot and look at my eyes and think Chinese. Some people think Korean and others think Japanese or Filipino. The kids at my school see me as just another Asian. Only once in awhile do people think that I’m mixed. They might ask if I’m full blooded Korean or what other race I am.

We have to ask about your name. Were you named after Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee?
Yes. My dad is a huge Bruce Lee fan. When I was growing up I had Bruce Lee posters.

At what age did you start boxing?
I started going to the gym with my older brother. Throughout the years I was messing around here and there. When I turned six is when I started taking it serious. When I turned seven, I was in the gym all year round. When I turned eight, I had my first amateur fight. We would drive down to central California, which would take four and a half hours, every weekend to get a fight. Every weekend. Eventually no one wanted to fight me and then we had drive a little further to Southern California. We’d go down there twice a month and sometimes three times a month. It would be a good eight to nine hours. We would come down on a Friday. We would leave our house on Friday, stop in Santa Clarita on Saturday morning, and then go fight somewhere in LA. I’d fight and then that night we would drive to San Diego. I would fight in San Diego and then Sunday morning I would fight again and then after that fight we would come back home.

Did you do any other sports when you were younger?
When I was younger I played soccer and in elementary school I ran track.

How difficult has it been this year being a teenager, a high school senior, and training for professional boxing matches?
To be honest, I dedicate myself to boxing 110%. I go to school and come home around 3pm, take a short nap, and then go to the gym around 5-6pm. I get out of there around 8pm. That’s my routine. School then gym, school then gym. I don’t really go out that much. Maybe on the weekends I have some fun, play golf with my friend who is a golfer and got a scholarship to Bakersfield. He knows how to play but I just swing the club.

Do your classmates know about your boxing career?
I went to middle school down here and they kind of found out within a few years. They just know that I’m a boxer and usually say, “Don’t mess with him.

How supportive have your parents and family been towards your boxing career?
Yes. They’ve all been supportive 110%.

Your father has been your trainer thus far. Would you say it has been easier or more difficult to have your father be your trainer?
He’s been my trainer since day one. I think it’s been better. I don’t think there is no other trainer who would take the time that my father takes with me. My father loves me as a son and another trainer would not have that kind of love for me. He takes his time and makes sure everything is perfect. My father is very precise and wants everything to be done one way. I don’t think any other trainer would be like that and correct me. I really need that and I need to be perfect. I think with my father being my trainer is wonderful.

Does your father train anyone else?
No. He has only trained my brother and then me.

Was your dad a boxer?
No he was not. He’d stay up watching boxing videos and he would record it from tv. The only thing he watched was boxing.

Have there been any other boxers in you family?
Yeah, on my mom’s side. Her father did it and her brothers did it. Her father boxed in the army and two of her brothers did pretty good for themselves. One of them went to the Olympic trials but unfortunately during the semifinals he dislocated his shoulder.

Who are some of your boxing influences?
There are a few people. I like watching a lot of Mike Tyson, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin, Lomashenko. It’s a little bit of everything. You have the punchers of Tyson and Golovkin and then you have the boxer-puncher of Trinidad. Lomashenko is very precise and accurate, like a machine, something my father would like.

How would you describe your boxing style?
I can punch when I want to punch and box when I want to box. It all depends on the opponent. If I feel like the opponent’s punches are weak and I can take the guy out, I will be a puncher.

You are currently a junior welterweight (140 lbs). Do you plan to stay in that weight class for the immediate future?
I plan to stay at this weight, win a title at this weight, and I want to defend a title at this weight. From there, whatever my dad tells me to do, I will do.

How difficult is the weight cut for you to reach 140?
I’m cutting roughly 10-12 pounds for a fight. There are other boxers that gain a good 15-20 pounds within the 24 hours after weigh ins.

Do you feel that being mixed race has played any role in your boxing career so far?
No. When I was little, people thought that because I was Asian that I couldn’t fight. We would come down to Southern California and they would say, “We want the little Chinito” which meant they wanted the “Chinese” kid. They saw me as a little skinny thing and after the fight I would earn their respect. Now that I’m older, people don’t necessarily see me that way.

Are you still in training mode and when is your next planned fight?
Right now I do not have a date currently. I’m just maintaining. Of course I still go to they gym but I’m not pushing 110%, just maintaining. Get a nice stretch, nice sweat.

You’ve already fought three times this year. How many more fights do you hope to have for the rest of 2017?
I’m just a fighter. I just train and then I fight. That part is up to my manager and my dad.

What kind of goals have you set for yourself?
Within 10 fights, I should be well known and should be fighting on TV. Within a year, I should be close to top 10. Since I am so young, only 18, I feel like I can’t compete 110% against a grown man because they have that “man” strength. I don’t mean the current guys I’m fighting but I’m talking about the current title holders. I feel like when I’m around 20 that I will be fighting for a title.

By mid 20s or so, I should be a world champion by then. Hopefully I’d be an icon to the Korean race. Try my best to be an icon to the Mexican race. And try to be an icon for Americans. Hopefully they all support me.

Further down the road, do you see yourself becoming a coach/trainer like your father?
To be honest, I think I would only have patience for my own kids.

Looking at your amateur record of 181-9, you have obviously won a lot but you have also experienced some losses at the amateur level. How long ago has it been since your last loss and how did you bounce back from those losses?
The last loss I took was in 2014. I remember I lost and it was a close fight. He could have won or I could have won, but he won. Training for next tournament about six months later, I thought about how I felt when I lost. I wasn’t emotionally broken down but I was more mentally upset that I made it so close. I could have easily have won that fight and I didn’t do what I was told to do. I was told to box and not get hit but I chose to be a puncher that day, which was wrong. I made it a tough man contest instead of a technical fight. So, I thought about and knew I messed up and swore that I wouldn’t let it happen again. That loss was a split decision.

Do you plan to attend college as you continue your pro boxing career?
I’m going to community college for now so I can focus 100% on my boxing career.

Any final words to the mixed Korean community?
I am very proud to be a Korean/Mexican American. I want to inspire all people to fulfill their dreams and never give up. Nothing can stop you when you are determined and work hard.

We want to thank Brandun for taking the time to discuss his background and pro boxing career with us. Thank you also to his father, Bobby Lee, for coordinating the interview. We wish Brandun much continued success!


Make sure to follow Brandun’s career on BoxRec and via his social media:
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram.

Posted: 7/6/2017

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Brandun Lee
 

Lee Family
 


 

Brandon with his older brother Jhong
 


 


 


 


 


 


 
(Pictures courtesy of Lee Family)

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