News: Andy Lee vs Alex Sipos; Cunningham on Maccarinelli-Afolabi

Andy Lee will face a familiar foe at The O2, Dublin on March 21st when he takes on former European title challenger, Alex Sipos on the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night. Lee was a late addition to an already packed O2 line-up after a scheduled headline appearance at Madison Square Garden fell through last week. Now the Limerick southpaw will look to continue his rise to the top of the middleweight division with a win over Sipos who has a enjoyed successful career both in the amateur and pro ranks courtesy of a World Military Gold medal and a challenge for the European Middleweight title as a pro..

The two men are already familiar with each other having sparred at a Wladimir Klitschko training camp in Austria last year. Lee’s trainer, the legendary Emanuel Steward was very impressed with Sipos during those sessions and even invited the German to train at his famous Kronk Gym in Detroit.

While Sipos never made it Stateside he’s coming to Dublin and planning on making Steward wishing he’d never set eyes on him in the first place.

Promoter Brian Peters believes that Sipos could be a real danger to Lee’s title ambitions. “I saw some of their sparring sessions in Austria and Sipos is a very, very good fighter but having been in there with him Andy knows that better than anyone.

“It’s an interesting matchup becuase Sipos gave a very good account of himself when he challenged for The European title in Finland. A few people at ringside believe he should have got the verdict but it went the hometown fighters way.”

The Munich native has 19 wins and 2 draws from his 26 pro outings and his only stoppage defeat came courtesy of an elbow injury. Peters believes a win over Sipos will allow Lee to leapfrog the European ratings.

“I think Andy proved last time out in Limerick though just how good a fighter he is when he stopped Willie Gibbs,” said Peters in a reference to Lee’s thrilling win over the Philadelphia dangerman last July. “If we get half as good a fight at The O2 next weekend it will lift the roof off the place and really whet the appetite for the main event.”

That main event will create history as for the first time ever a Dubliner challenges for a World title in his native city with Bernard Dunne bidding for Ricardo Cordoba’s WBA World title.

An explosive undercard will feature unbeaten Cavan star Andy Murray challenging Spain’s Daniel Rasilla for the European Union Lightweight title. Jim “The Pink Panther” Rock faces Italy’s Alessio Furlan in what should be a real war at middleweight while prospects Michael Kelly and Anthony Fitzgerald round out the professional side of the bill.

Our amateur stars are in action as well with World and European Champ, Katie Taylor raking on 3 time Pan American champ, Caroline Barry of the USA with Olympic medallist, Paddy Barnes and World Youth champion, Ray Moylette also in action.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night are priced from €50 and are available now from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

'USS' Cunningham Steams In To Support Enzo Maccarinelli

Former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion, Steve 'USS' Cunningham gives his view on this weekend's big battle at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester between Wales' Enzo 'Big Mac' Maccarinelli and American-based Brit Ola 'Kryptonite' Afolabi for the interim WBO Title.

World No. 2 ranked Cruiserweight 'USS' Cunningham, who had offered to step in and face Maccarinelli after Johnathon Banks backed out of their planned date to face Cunningham's former foe and current IBF champion, Tomasz 'Goral' Adamek, relishes the thought of No. 5 World ranked 'Big Mac' being victorious as he said. "Man, I'm disappointed that I didn't get to fight Enzo on the fourteenth. It would have been a great fight. I really want to fight in England, the fans there are awesome, just like the Polish fans, they're so enthusiastic.

That aside, this is going to be a real banger of a fight. Ola (Afolabi) is an underrated talent. I don't think this will be as easy as Enzo thinks. Word is Ola can really battle, he's no walk over. No disrespect to Ola, I'm hoping that Enzo wins though, so he gets a shot at Victor (Emilio Ramirez - Current WBO Champ).

After my fight with Wayne (Braithwaite) I'll get the rematch with Tomasz (Adamek) I still know I am the best Cruiserweight. My motto is "Two Time In '09", I will get my title back, then I'll go to unify the belts. I'll be going after all the champions, I'd like nothing more than the first being against Enzo in England. Shoot, that'll be the fight of the Century."

The contracts for the IBF World Cruiserweight Title eliminator bout between Steve 'USS' Cunningham and Wayne 'Big Truck' Braithwaite have been signed and the fight will take place in St Louis, Missouri sometime in the very near future. The winner earns the right to face current IBF Champion Tomasz 'Goral' Adamek later in 2009.

Article posted on 13.03.2009

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