Andy Lee spoke to the Guardian's Donald McRae ahead of his world title defence against Billy Joe Saunders this weekend, and he has revealed the important role Jay-Z played in his ascent to world champion.
Lee won his world title by defeating Matt Korobov 12 months ago, a fight facilitated by a series of extraordinary events. Korobov was initially intended to be the challenger to Peter Quillin. But a promoter's dispute led to Quillin vacating the belt, thus allowing Lee to fill the void. Allow Lee to explain:
Quillin vacated the title because his promoter Al Haymon was having a dispute with Jay Z. Haymon used to manage Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child and Jay Z paid a million and a half to win the purse bid and prove a point. Quillin vacated because Haymon won’t let him fight on a Jay Z bill. I’m training in Purley not knowing any of this.
“So now it’s going to be a fight between Korobov and Saunders. But Saunders and Frank Warren want him to fight Chris Eubank Jr instead. Adam has a good relationship with Frank and he pushed me into a position so I got Korobov. There was a lot of hard work from Adam – but that beef between Jay Z and Haymon changed my luck.
There you have it. Part of the reason Andy Lee is defending a world title this weekend is the fact Jay Z had a spare $1.5million to prove a point.
Lee was good enough to capitalise on his fortune and stopped Korobov after six rounds. Now he defends his title against Saunders on Saturday and should he win, Lee is targeting a shot at Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden.
You can read the whole interview here.
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