By Terence Dooley
Andy Lee’s mandatory WBO middleweight title defence against Billy Joe Saunders has now been officially announced for September 19 in Limerick, Ireland. Adam Booth, Lee’s trainer and manager, worked tirelessly to secure home advantage and was confident of getting it for his charge when negotiating with Frank Warren, who promotes Saunders.
“Upton Park was the venue Frank wanted to nominate, I nominated Thomond Park,” said Booth when speaking to the Daily Mirror (Irish Edition).
“We had to negotiate with each other and that is what we did. I never would or have made a fight that I didn't think my man will win. I think Andy will win and I'm confident. I'm excited about the challenge that Billy Joe brings. Billy Joe will be the fourth unbeaten fighter in a row that Andy has fought. Unbeaten fighters are always a special challenge.”
Lee’s hat trick of undefeated opponents were John Jackson (KO 5), Matt Korobov (TKO 6) and Peter Quillin (D 12). The 31-year-old won the vacant WBO belt when beating Korobov, moved to 34-2-1 (24) against Quillin and will hope to retain his title against Saunders (21-0, 11 KOs).
“Billy has been mandatory challenger for quite a while,” stated Booth. “He stepped aside to allow Andy fight Matt Korobov and to fight Peter Quillin and now is his time. We respect that and we respect the special challenge that Billy Joe will bring. A fight for a world title in a football ground is as big as it gets.”
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