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Thursday 8 December 2016

Andy Lee 'gutted' as fight postponed due to virus

Andy Lee
Andy Lee

ANDY LEE has been left gutted after losing home advantage for his WBO World middleweight title defence because of a virus.

The Limerick southpaw was due to defend his belt at Thomond Park against Billy Joe Saunders on September 19, but trainer Adam Booth, who trains Lee, and Frank Warren, who manages Saunders, confirmed last night that the fight was postponed.

Lee’s co-promoter Lou DiBella confirmed that Booth had been in contact to say that the Limerick man had been suffering from a virus and needed additional time to recover for the fight.

“I got a call from Adam Booth who told me that Andy has been battling a virus on and off for the last couple of weeks, they are moving the fight back to October 10,” DiBella said.

Warren confirmed that he had been in contact with the Lee camp and decided on this course of action.

Warren said: “We simply cannot risk this fight not happening and therefore the decision was made that we should postpone the fight to ensure it does.

“The only viable option available to us was to move the fight to the Manchester Arena on October 10 alongside Terry Flanagan’s defence of his WBO Lightweight title in a show that is shaping up to be one of the best cards in years.

“It’s a shame for Andy Lee that his dream of defending his world title in Limerick cannot be fulfilled now, but this being such a big fight neither boxer can risk going into the ring at anything less than 100%.

On behalf of the Lee camp, Booth said: “Andy and I are gutted that this won’t be taking place in Limerick.

“We decided that the risk was just too great. We now move forward with a new date, a new venue, and like Frank, I have had many great nights at the Manchester Arena and we are looking forward to another.”

Details of the card, which will feature three World Championship bouts, will be revealed on Monday.

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