Monday 16 January 2017

Boxing: I fear no one and I'm ready to claim a world title, insists Lee

Bernard O'Neill

Published 05/01/2012 | 05:00

ANDY LEE reckons he has what it takes to beat either his fellow Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin or Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, Dan Geale, Marco Antonio Rubio or Sergio Martinez.

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Lee, Ireland's only boxer at the 2004 Olympics, is primed to challenge any of the above in 2012 -- provided they have world titles attached to their names.

The Limerick southpaw is pencilled in to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 17 against an opponent to be confirmed on a gala evening of Irish boxing.

The St Patrick's Day bout will see Martinez put his WBC Diamond belt on the line against ex-European champion Macklin, and Lee is looking a good bet to get a shot at the victor.

The first quarter of 2012 will also see Chavez defend his WBC belt against Rubio, and Geale defend his IBF strap against an opponent to be named.

"I'm 28 this June with nearly 30 fights under my belt. I have grown as a fighter and I am now ready and prepared to challenge for and win a world title," said Lee, who fights out of the Detroit Kronk.

"I have positioned myself nicely in the world ratings as a legitimate world title contender. In boxing what you want, what you deserve and what you get are all different things.

Business

"Boxing is a business as well as a sport and sometimes things come down to timing and being in the right place at the right time. I believe I am at that juncture in my career and I am more than ready for a title shot.

"I want to move up the WBC ratings and capture the No1 spot as the mandatory challenger. I would relish the opportunity to fight Martinez, Chavez, Rubio, Macklin or Geale in a championship fight. I have the skills and power to beat any of them."

Manager and coach Emanuel Steward added that the three-time Irish Elite champion and 2004 European bronze medallist is in his prime: "Andy is the most prominent and visible middleweight contender resident in the United States at this time.

"It makes good sporting and business sense for the television executives, promoters and sanctioning bodies to stage an Andy Lee world title fight in 2012."

"Andy is in the prime of his life, and given the opportunity will give champions like Sergio Martinez and Julio Chavez Jnr all the trouble they want. He is a superior technical boxer who can punch with both hands.

"No matter what fight Andy Lee is in, he has the fans on the edge of their seats."

Irish Independent

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