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Peter Quillan (31-0, 22 KOs) won the WBO middleweight title in 2012. He defended it three times since but didn't fancy meeting Matt Korobov in Vegas last week. So Andy Lee stepped up and took the vacant title.

Last week we pointed to Andy's punching power as the potential match decider. But Lee's experience was evident in the furious onslaught that followed his destructive right hook and forced the referee to stop the fight and save the Russian.

Fearless in taking a world WBC title shot against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in El Paso in 2012, Lee soon shrugged off that defeat.

Now, with Adam Booth streamlining his formidable skills set, the new world champion is poised to hold on to his hard-earned belt with some lucrative title defences.

Spare a thought for those amateur boxers who'll be making sacrifices over Christmas as they prepare for the IABA National Elite Championships which begin on January 9.

Last year there were four split decisions in the men's finals with David Oliver Joyce beating Sean McComb, Stephen Donnelly beating Adam Nolan, Michael O'Reilly beating Darren O'Neill and Gary Sweeney beating Stephen Ward. This year the competition will be equally fierce.

2015 is going to be busy for Ireland's elite amateurs so everyone's determined to get in poll position with a national title win when the action begins in just three weeks' time.

In June ,our boxers will be in Azerbaijan for the 2015 Men and Women's European Games Boxing Championships. In August, the 2015 EUBC European Elite men's Championships will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria. And in October, the AIBA World Championships will be staged in Qatar. Busy times.


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