Friday 2 December 2016

Lee frustration as Saunders forced to pull out of fight

Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30

Andy Lee claimed the title after stopping Matt Korobov in Las Vegas last December, but his first title defence fell through after Peter Quillin failed to make the weight in New York in April
Andy Lee claimed the title after stopping Matt Korobov in Las Vegas last December, but his first title defence fell through after Peter Quillin failed to make the weight in New York in April

Andy Lee's ill-fated attempts to defend his world title fell through for a third time yesterday after Billy Joe Saunders picked up an injury.

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Limerick man Lee was slated to defend his WBO World middleweight title against Saunders in Manchester on October 10, but Saunders, the mandatory challenger, picked up a facial cut in training.

Saunders apologised to his fellow southpaw and Olympian.

"First of all, I'm sorry to Andy and all the fans that this fight has had to be postponed again," said the Englishman.

"It's completely unfortunate that I got a cut during a sparring session, but there's nothing I can do now until the specialist advises me on when I can resume training and fight again.

"I'm committed to this world title fight, the WBO have confirmed that I'll remain the mandatory challenger. It's just a very frustrating situation at the moment as myself and Andy just want to get in the ring and fight after all the delays."

The pair were due to meet in Thomond Park on September 19, but that promotion was shelved and moved to Manchester after Lee picked up a virus.

Lee claimed the title after stopping Matt Korobov in Las Vegas last December, but his first title defence fell through after Peter Quillin failed to make the weight in New York in April.

Co-promoter Frank Warren appears to be looking at a date in November or December in England.

He said: "Billy Joe's got a cut eye. We're just waiting for the doctor to confirm when he'll be available. We're looking to put it on towards the end of November, December."

Warren hinted that a new opponent could be drafted in for Lee in Manchester.

England's Tommy Langford is potential opponent - he claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title by stopping Mexico's Julie Cesar Avalos in Dublin last month.

Irish Independent

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