WBO grants Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders mandatory extension

Phil D. Jay 15/01/2015

News on a possible world title clash between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders has been delayed until Monday, 19th January following a request from both parties, the World Boxing Organisation have confirmed.

Lee, 30, is due to put his newly claimed middleweight title on the line against Saunders on the back of his impressive stoppage win over Matt Korobov in December, where the Irishman won the vacant belt previously held by Peter Quillin.

Saunders has been the mandatory challenger for the title since last year, but waived the opportunity to fight Chris Eubank Jr in a British grudge match instead. The Londoner passed that test by defeating Eubank via a split decision in November and now hopes to land his opportunity against Lee.

A rematch had been touted between Saunders and Eubank until the latter signed on to face interim WBA title holder Dmitry Chudinov on February 28, a fight that will take place at the 02 Arena in London on the Tyson Fury v Christian Hammer undercard.

That leaves Saunders free to negotiate with Lee for a potential first world title fight on the champion’s home soil in Ireland, although Denmark’s Patrick Nielsen is also in the frame, according to reports coming out of the Emerald Isle.

More developments are expected to come to light once the deadline is reached early next week.

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