Saturday 17 March 2018

Lee throws his hat in ring for Golovkin bout

A battered Kell Brook who was taken to hospital with a broken eye socket Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
A battered Kell Brook who was taken to hospital with a broken eye socket Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Bernard O’Neill

Limerick southpaw Andy Lee wants a shot at middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin more than two years after his fight with the Kazakh was cancelled after Golovkin's father died.

Golovkin, who beat Lee in the amateur ranks, successfully defended his titles in London on Saturday night after Kell Brook's corner threw in the towel in the fifth. However, Golovkin said after the fight that he wants to fight Billy Joe Saunders, who dethroned Lee, the then WBO champion, in Manchester last December.

The unbeaten Kazakh has had problems - mainly because he keeps knocking people out - getting quality opponents as they're reluctant to fight him, but Lee has no issues in that regard.

"I have had a bit of a lay-off since my last fight, but I want to get back to boxing. What better way to get back than in a championship fight. I have no qualms about challenging Danny [Jacobs] or Gennady or any other top fighters," said Lee.

"I want to test myself and fight and beat the best, that has been my motivation."

Lee was slated to face Golovkin at Madison Square Garden in April 2014, but the Kazakh quit training and returned home for 40 days' mourning, the traditional bereavement period in Kazakhstan, after his father died in February of that year.

Lee's team reckon that a fight with Jacobs in New York before Christmas would make financial sense, as Jacobs is a Brooklyn native and Lee has a large Irish fan base in the Big Apple. And they believe a clash with Golovkin offers the Kazakh the chance to take care of unfinished business from 2014 and silence critics by taking on a genuine 160-pound fighter. Either way, the Irish 2004 Olympian wants to get back between the ropes. He added: "I felt I didn't do myself justice against Billy Joe and that's a wrong I want to right. I want to get my hands back on the title and I won't stop until I've achieved that."

Brook, meanwhile, has defended his trainer Dominic Ingle's decision to throw in the towel during his WBC and IBF middleweight title defeat by Golovkin. With Brook under intense pressure from the champion's latest assault, Ingle ended the fight to conclude a resilient performance.

The challenger was taken to hospital with a broken eye socket before being released early yesterday morning. He is to be operated on in the coming week, before preparing for an eventual return to the ring at light-middleweight.

"I came back after the second round and said 'I can't see out of the right eye, Dominic'," Brook, said. "I was talking to him, and he knows me, he saw me growing up as a kid. He's like a father figure. It was the right decision and I can fight another day. I was getting caught. It could have ended up seriously bad."

Irish Independent

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