By Terence Dooley
Frank Warren held a press conference in Manchester earlier today to release further details about his October 10th bill at the city's Arena (formerly the MEN).
Andy Lee’s WBO title defence against Hatfield's Billy Joe Saunders was rescheduled and moved from Ireland to England late last week due to Lee’s viral infection.
The bill has been boosted by local boy Terry Flanagan’s, making the maiden defence of his WBO lightweight title against America's Diego Magdaleno, and a world title shot for Liverpool's Liam “Beefy” Smith, who fights France's Michel Soro for the vacant WBO 154lb belt.
“I'm disappointed but I need to be 100% for a fighter like Billy Joe,” said Lee when discussing the switch of date and venue.
“Andy's flying the flag for Ireland, I'm flying it for England,” added Saunders. “It's a dream come true for me. It will be great to win the world title on home soil. I'm expecting the fight of my life.”
Flanagan revealed that he has seen very little of Magdaleno, so he will leave the tactical preparations to his trainer Steven Maylett.
“From what I've seen of him, he's a good fighter and it's going to be a good fight,” stated Flanagan. “I’ve not seen much of Magdelano, but my coach is looking at him.”
Smith had been pencilled in to defend his British title against Kris Carslaw, but is now concentrating on his first world title shot.
“This is the call every fighter waits for,” said Smith when asked about the fight. “I've sparred Soro before and this is a tough fight.”
Warren told the assembled press that the fans in attendance and watching live on BoxNation will be the real winners come October 10th.
“These are tough fights, but these are great fights for the fans,” he said. “I think it's a golden era for British boxing, Manchester is the fight capital of the UK at the moment.”
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