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Andy Lee's Homecoming Could Get A Whole Lot Bigger

By Conor O'Leary
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It will be one of the biggest fights in Irish professional boxing when WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee returns to his home town for a defence of his belt against Billy Joe Saunders. The prospect of a home town fight is massive for Lee, and the prospect of putting his world title on the line for the 'first time' is already enticing, but could it become an even bigger occasion for Irish boxing?

Lee has revealed that Katie Taylor is in talks to appear on the undercard to the fight:

I’d like to have Katie Taylor there. I’m very proud of what she’s done and the whole country is too. This is a one-off special fight and it’s in Thomond Park. It’s a one-off event and it would be nice to have Katie as part of it to celebrate her in Ireland.

She’s always fighting abroad and never really seen at home.


As always though, there are obstacles to overcome before such a thing can actually happen. The biggest problem is whether the Taylor the amateur would be eligible to fight in a professional showpiece.

Lee's trainer and promoter Adam Booth, explains that talks are already ongoing about a special dispensation from the amateur boxing associations to allow Taylor to make an appearance, but admits there is a long way to go before anything happens:


I’ve had communication with her dad, with the IABA — the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, and I’ve communication with AIBA — the Amateur International Boxing Association. I’ve had good conversations with them but there are still a few hurdles to cross.

It’s about the amateur and pro thing. We know all the problems that need to be resolved and we’ll see if we can. The talks are not yet positive or negative, we’re just fact-finding at the moment and talks continue.

It would be fantastic to see Taylor join Lee on September the 19th and add to the appeal for tickets, and create the atmosphere that we know Thomond Park can bring.


[Irish Examiner]

Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene Stephen McCarthy/ SPORTSFILE

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