Texas stakes high for Lee
Andy Lee is now at base camp on his personal boxing Everest. Set to fight Julio Chavez Jr in Texas on June 16, Andy has the world at his feet.
His opponent is a WBC middleweight champion. However, Chavez Jr didn't fight the previous champion, Sergio Martinez. In one of boxing's eternal riddles, the title had been stripped from Martinez and put up for grabs. Martinez is deemed WBC Diamond middleweight champion. So both men are on a collision course, each anxious to prove they're top dog. A decider is planned for later this year. The bout would be one of the biggest box-office shows of the year.
There's always a "but" and this time it's Limerick's Andy Lee who meets Chavez Jr next month. If Lee wins, he'll hold the champion's belt and will have Martinez knocking on his door. "I want the belt," says Martinez. "I'll definitely fight Lee." In the States, you'll find commentators who're convinced Lee has a good chance of causing an upset.
Chavez Jr (26) is 45-0-1 (31KOs). Twenty-seven-year-old Lee 's record is 28-1 (20KOs). If Lee does it, he'll have moved into the mega-league.
Frampton's close to going 'global'
Barry McGuigan is playing a blinder guiding the career of Carl Frampton. The 25-year-old super bantamweight from Belfast remains undefeated in 13 bouts, nine of which he finished early. After seven fights, Frampton won the British Boxing Board of Control-sanctioned Celtic super bantamweight title, which he later defended successfully.
Then he won the Commonwealth title, stopping Australian Mark Quon in the fourth. He's also dispatched two other opponents who wanted his title, and looks sharper with every fight.
Next week, Frampton meets Paul Hirales for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title on the undercard of Carl Froch's IBF World super-middleweight title bout with Lucian Bute in Nottingham. It'll require Frampton to up his game even further. The unbeaten Mexican's record is good, 16-0-1 (8 KOs).
Wily McGuigan isn't looking too far ahead, at least publicly, but admits: "This is a great opportunity for Carl on a huge global platform. We want Kiko Martinez in Belfast.
"We're moving on from Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe now because we're annoyed they're fighting each other and not Carl."