Andy Lee’s WBO middleweight title defence against Billy Joe Saunders will no longer take place on September 19th in Limerick’s Thomond Park.
The fight, which would have been the biggest to take place in Ireland in two decades, has been pushed back to October 10th. Unfortunately for Irish boxing fans, and for Andy Lee, the venue has also changed.
According to boxingscene.com, promoter Frank Warren confirmed that Lee had been battling through a virus in recent days. While the Irishman’s trainer, Adam Booth, assured Warren his charge would still be ready come fight time, it was decided that to forge ahead would have been too great a risk. “Common sense had to prevail”, said Warren.
The veteran British promoter also announced the the venue would have to be changed. “With October being such a busy month in the boxing calendar and every Saturday having a show, we could not afford to leave it to November and risk going outdoors”, explained Warren. Thus, the fight will be moved to the Manchester Arena, an indoor venue.“It’s a shame for Andy Lee that his dream of defending his world title in Limerick cannot be fulfilled now”, he added.
Adam Booth, not only Lee’s trainer but also the co-promoter of the event, spoke on behalf of the defending titlist’s camp. “Obviously Andy and I are gutted”, said the engaging corner man, but he agreed with Warren that a postponement was the best option.
According to boxingscene.com, tickets for the Thomond event can be returned for a full refund.
The rescheduled contest will now take place alongside Terry Flanagan’s first defence of his WBO lightweight belt, against an opponent yet to be confirmed.