According to reports in Ireland, Andy Lee is set to put his WBO middleweight title on the line in a high-profile clash with mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders at Thomond Park, the home of Munster Rugby on September 19.
The 31 year-old is already lined up to make the second defence of his belt following on from the draw with former champion Peter Quillin in April, in one of the biggest fights to grace the Emerald Isle for some time.
Undefeated Saunders, 25, earned his spot with an impressive, but close win over Chris Eubank Jr in November on the back of 20 straight wins and eleven stoppages since turning professional in 2009. The Londoner has been widely tipped as a future world title holder throughout his career and now gets his chance against one of the biggest punchers in the division.
Known for his ferocious power, which has relieved him from scrapes in the past, champion Lee has risen to the top of the sport the hard way and none more so when putting in a less than stellar performance against John Jackson in June 2014.
With his dream world title chance just around the corner, Lee was in danger of blowing his chance as Jackson dominated the first four rounds of their New York encounter, until an equalizing punch by the Irishman in the fifth ended the argument spectacularly.
It’s this sort of excitement that endears Kronk Gym member Lee to the fans, and with Saunders having a solid fanbase in the UK, their autumn all-southpaw battle is a real fight that is certain to be one of the best of the year when confirmed.
Editor’s note (08:30 ET / 13:30PM UK): Frank Warren has since denied the reports and says talks are continuing between Lee’s handler Adam Booth and himself.
Following reports in the media this morning (Friday 19th June) that the Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders WBO World Middleweight title fight will take place on September 19 at Thomond Park in Ireland, promoter Frank Warren has confirmed that these reports are incorrect.
The date and venue for the highly anticipated showdown have not been confirmed yet and are subject to ongoing negotiations. It can be confirmed that the fight will take place in September with venues in London and Ireland under consideration.
Mr. Warren and Adam Booth, Lee’s manager, are in advanced discussions and will announce details in due course once finalised – Frank Warren.