Andy Lee To Defend WBO Middleweight Title Against Billy Joe Saunders
It’s on. Andy Lee will defend his WBO middleweight title against mandatory challenger Billy Joe Saunders, with a mooted date of September 5th and a venue to be confirmed.
25 year old Saunders (21-0, 11KOs) will fight on the undercard of Frank Buglioni’s WBA World super-middleweight title tilt against champion Fedor Chudinov on July 24th, but the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist told media that he sees next month’s Wembley Arena clash as nothing more than a tune-up for his own shot at world honours in September:
I‘ll be brushing off a few cobwebs before the big one in September against Andy Lee
said Saunders, moments after promoter Frank Warren had all but confirmed the fight for September 5th – with a venue of either Ireland or London yet to be confirmed.
WBO champ Lee has long-dreamt of defending his belt in Ireland – particularly in his native city’s Thomond Park – the 26,000 capacity home of Munster Rugby.
After Andy Lee’s trainer Adam Booth’s announcement last night all but confirming the showdown with Billy Joe, one fight fan pointed to to the champion’s native city as a venue quite well, an opinion echoed by many:
Though Warren and Saunders are understood to be lobbying for London, the fact that the suggested date for the exhilarating WBO title clash falls on the same weekend as the All-Ireland hurling final – combined with Warren’s ‘test the water’ show in Dublin next month – Ireland’s capital city perhaps stands out as the most likely venue.
Whether or not the 3Arena is a big enough venue for a fight of this magnitude, particularly with 83,000 All-Ireland final attendees in town, remains to be seen.
We want your opinion: Should Andy Lee’s WBO Middleweight World title defence against Billy Joe Saunders take place in Ireland?
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