Sunday 19 November 2017

Boxing: Title hopeful Lee keen to do double with Munster

BOXING: Middleweight Andy Lee believes that his next fight in his home town could set him up for a shot at Darren Barker's European title -- with Thomond Park as a possible venue.

The Limerick southpaw is back on Shannonside on May 15 for his next pro fight at the University of Limerick Arena against an opponent to be named.

Barker claimed the vacant European Champion in London last weekend following a nervy points win over France's Affif Belghecham.

And Lee reckons that if Munster go all the way in the Heineken Cup that he'll, given the opportunity, complete a Euro double against Barker.

"Hopefully the Munster boys can win the European Cup again next month.

"It would be a great lift for the city and I know that if I can get get Darren Barker in the ring with me then the European Middleweight title will be coming back to Limerick as well," said Lee.

Lee comfortably beat Belghecham in his last fight in Limerick and he also beat Barker 18-9 in 2004. "I went in to that fight with a broken right hand," recalled Lee of his meeting with Barker. "Obviously that didn't help but I still beat him quite comfortably."

For now, Lee is concentrating on next month's fight in Limerick and he's looking forward to his fourth professional outing in his native city. "It's always an incredible experience walking to the ring in your hometown.

"You recognise so many people in the crowd and it really brings it home to you that you are representing Limerick as much as you are yourself.

"The support is incredible and the buzz in the city on the week of a fight is always great."

Michael Sweeney, Andy Murray, Jamie Power, John Waldron, Colman Barrett, Ciaran Healy, Alan Donnellon and Cork-based Cuban sensations Mike Perez and Luis Garcia will also be in action in Limerick.

Irish Independent

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