Saturday 24 February 2018

'The knockdowns cost me the fight’ – Defeated champion Andy Lee targets rematch

Andy Lee faces the count from the referee after being knocked down during last night's fight Photo: PA
Andy Lee faces the count from the referee after being knocked down during last night's fight Photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Andy Lee admitted he could have no complaints in relinquishing his WBO World middleweight crown to Billy Joe Saunders, but has already set his sights on a rematch.

Lee endured two knock downs in the third round after being on the receiving end of two vicious right hooks from Saunders.

He recovered well but couldn't deliver the knock-out blow which he needed to end the ambitions of the British fighter who psychologically had the upper hand after those early knockdowns.

The Irish fighter conceded the knockdowns had a huge impact on the contest.

“The two knockdowns cost me the fight,” Lee told reporters at the post-fight press conference.

“He deserved to win so I can’t complain with the decision. I would like another go of it, I felt I finished stronger but the two knockdowns cost me the fight,” added Lee.

Saunders seemed open to the idea when pressed for his thoughts on a second fight with Lee.

“Andy showed a good account of himself tonight, a rematch could go. I’m sure we could do a bigger venue down in London that’s something that we could talk about as well,” he said afterwards.

Two of the judges voted it 115-111 and 114-112 in favour of Saunders with the other judge marking it level 113-113 before an estimated attendance of 7,000 in Manchester.

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