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Thursday 8 December 2016

Andy Lee: I couldn't be more ready to retain my world title

Andy set for his first world title defence in New York

Andy Lee, centre, celebrates after his victory against Matt Korborov.
Andy Lee, centre, celebrates after his victory against Matt Korborov.

When Andy Lee flies to New York tomorrow, waiting for him will be Peter Quillin, aka Kid Chocolate, who vacated the WBO world middleweight title last year when he was due to fight unbeaten Russian Matt Korobov. Lee stepped in, stopped the favourite and lifted the belt.

Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) wants to prove he's top dog in next Saturday's clash in Brooklyn. "Andy Lee is just part of the chapter in the story," he says dismissively.

Relaxed as always, Lee tells me: "I've been flying in the gym and I'm ready to fight. I did fourteen rounds of serious sparring with three different fellas on Wednesday and I couldn't be more ready than I am."

Andy knows what it takes to stay world champion. Working with Adam Booth, Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) is determined to hold onto his belt.

With Booth, he's added a ruthless cunning and savage ferocity to his repertoire. "In my last two fights, against very good guys, I've come from behind to knock them out," he reminds me. "It's a close fight. I've a few things in my favour. This will be my third fight in a year. Whereas it will be his first fight in twelve months. That's a considerable advantage."

Surprisingly, Lee's not afraid to outline his tactics in advance. "Quillin's a guy who fights on confidence and, if I let him go in the fight, he might run away with it," he says. "I have to let him know early on that he's in a fight. It's not like my last fight where I was comfortable boxing within myself for the first few rounds. This time I have to come our firing from the start and impose myself. If I do that I'll be on my way to winning the fight."

p Andy Lee v Peter Quillin is live on BoxNation (Sky437/490HD) on Saturday April 11. Visit boxnation.com

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