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Wildly Conflicting Reports About Number Of Tickets Sold For Andy Lee's Thomond Bout

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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When Frank Warren's voice clicked on the line on Off The Ball last night, Irish boxing fans must have known what was coming. Reports from the Irish Sun earlier in the day were confirmed. Andy Lee's dream of a Thomond Park title defence was not going to happen, not his time anyway.

Warren explained that Lee is suffering from a virus and that the fight would have to be put back to make up for the loss in training time. The problem with that is that a standalone Limerick show would then conflict with other cards scheduled for around that time.

The solution was to include Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders on an already scheduled October 10th card at the Manchester Arena which also features WBO lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan. It was an incredibly disappointing announcement for Lee's fans. However, the reports from earlier in the day had meant that it was not entirely unexpected.


What was fresh news was the reason behind the change of venue. The explanation that had been suggested was that ticket sales for the 33,000 seater stadium had been well short of expectations. However, when pressed on the issue last night, Warren was adamant that tickets were selling well for the bout.

After stating that anyone who has already bought tickets for the fight could either transfer them to the Manchester date or get a full refund, Warren claimed that over 12,000 tickets had already been sold for the September 19th date. With slightly more than a month to go, that figure is neither ideal nor is it catastrophic.

However, Warren's figure is significantly more than what has been reported elsewhere. The Irish Sun have stated that sources suggested closer to 7,000 tickets had been sold. While even further down the line, the Star are quoting a figure of just 3,000 tickets.

Regardless of what the true figure is, many fans have been quick to point at the less than comprehensive promotion of the fight as proof of suggestions that the Warren/Saunders camp were never committed to taking the title fight to Lee's hometown.


Whether that is true is unlikely to ever really be addressed. What we do know is that Lee is defending his WBO middleweight crown on October 10th and Irish fans will still be eager to give him just as much support as they would have before.



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