Boxing: Triumphant Lee targets Barker scalp
SATURDAY'S big fight in Limerick may have ended disappointingly after two rounds when the Senegalese middleweight Mamadou Thiam pulled out with a back injury at the University Sports Arena -- but Andy Lee was glad of the quick win and wants to move on.
"Ok, it was an easy fight but I've had my share of tough ones too in the past," said Lee, who has now won 21 of his 22 fights. "But from here on, I want to get bigger names and move up the ratings, both European and world."
Promoter Brian Peters said yesterday he was hoping to get Lee into the ring with Darren Barker -- the Londoner who holds the European title -- in Limerick before the end of the year.
Lee scored an 18-8 win over Barker in the European Championships in Croatia six years ago and said he is confident he would succeed again.
"He's a decent boxer but he didn't pose any problems for me in the amateurs," Lee added. "If we were to meet again, I've no doubt the result would be the same."
Lee couldn't have had it easier against Thiam. He had the African on the floor three times in the opening round, though the second visit was ruled a slip by referee Emile Tiedt. It was still one-way in the second round and when Thiam got back to his corner, he said he had earlier hurt his back when he went down against the ring post. After consultations with Tiedt, his corner intimated that he was retiring.
In the chief support, Limerick's Jamie Power failed in his dream to win the Irish lightheavyweight title before his home fans when he was outpointed 97-91 by Mayo's John Waldron.
It was a good night for the Cork-based Cubans, with heavyweight Mike Perez creating world boxing history by winning two fights on the one card. He finished off Latvia's Edgars Kalnars in 48 seconds and then Thomas Mrazek of the Czech Republic in three rounds.
Supermiddleweight Luis Garcia outpointed Germany's Alexander Sipos 60-54. Cavan's EU and Irish lightweight champion Andy Murray had it easy when England's Amir Unsworth retired at the end of the second round.