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Hero's welcome for world champ Andy

BECOMING a world champion is a dream within every young child's reach, the newly-crowned WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee has said.

Speaking in Limerick where he was honoured with a civic reception, boxing champion Andy Lee said he has been "blown away" by the reaction he has received since arriving back on home soil.

Lee, who beat Russian Matt Korobov in Las Vegas in the sixth round at the weekend, confirmed that the wheels are already in motion for a title defence at Thomond Park.

"I have known a lot of world champions and trained with a lot of world champions over the years and I don't think any one of them, no matter how big they are, have come home to a reception or being treated like I have been today," he added.

The 30-year-old boxer, who now lives in London, grew up in Castleconnell.

"For me to win this world title shows kids around Limerick and Ireland that it is not impossible to become a world champion. They can emulate what I did and more.

"I would encourage any young boxers because it is a great social outlet and teaches kids discipline."

Andy's mother Ann, who was among those to greet him at Shannon Airport, recalled how she "dropped to her knees and cried" when she watched her son win the world title.

hnews@herald.ie

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