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Andy Lee's Thomond Park Title Fight Is Reportedly In Jeopardy

Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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Update:

18:30

Reports suggest that Andy Lee's scheduled WBO World middleweight title defence against undefeated Brit Billy Joe Saunders is set top be postponed until October, and moved away from Thomond Park.

Kevin Byrne from the Irish Sun suggests that the bout will indeed be pulled from the home of Munster Rugby, the reasons for which are expected to be revealed in the coming days.

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It doesn't seem as though the champion himself has picked up a knock, with Byrne saying:

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A representative from Lee’s camp indicated that the fighter trained today and continues to sharpen up at his training camp in Surrey and that it remained business as usual in their set-up.

So while the bill is now expected to be pulled from Thomond, his mandatory title defence will still take place at some stage in 2015.

In purely speculative terms, there is perhaps a chance that mandatory challenger Saunders has picked up a niggle ahead of the Showdown Supposed To Be At Thomond and, given the obviously busy Munster Rugby schedule, the Limerick stadium simply could not be re-booked at a later date.

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The entire postponement and silence might seem shrouded in mystery, but Kevin Byrne is usually spot on when it comes to all things Irish boxing, so this news comes as a huge body blow to fans of Irish sport.

Neither Adam Booth nor Frank Warren could be reached for further comment earlier today.

Lee vs Saunders was set to be Ireland's first stadium fight since Steve Collins triumphed over Chris Eubank in their rematch at Páirc uí Chaoimh back in 1995, and only the second since Muhammad Ali defeated Al 'Blue' Lewis at Croke Park in 1972.

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