While it seems that some fighters at 160 don’t really want the big fights in the division – or at best want to pick and choose them – one cannot say the same for Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux, who clash in a unification Saturday in New York – and now WBO champ “Irish” Andy Lee has added his name to that [short] list of middleweights keen to fight the best and unify titles.
Lee finally has a rescheduled December 19th date with mandatory challenger, Billy Joe Saunders, and says that when he comes through that fight, he will seek out those big unification fights – ostensibly chasing the winners of Golovkin/Lemieux and November’s Cotto/Canelo WBC clash.
“Once I have beaten [Saunders] on December 19 I can move on in my career and unify the titles,” Lee said last night when the news of the date was revealed live on Boxnation.
“My fans have been very patient and I’ll give them what they have been waiting for as a Christmas present, beating Saunders and remaining world champion.
“I’m a proud man and I’m prepared to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to keep my title. Saunders is in for the fight of his life,” he added.
Lee was last out in April, fighting to a draw with former WBO titlist Peter Quillin – one of those accused of ducking the big fights by many fans. Quillin fights WBA (reg) titlist Danny Jacobs in New York in December – another 160 lb fighter ostensibly avoiding the likes of Golovkin, to whom he is mandatory challenger.
The Irishman has spent large portions of his career fighting on the road in America, being a former student of the late Manny Steward before hooking up with current trainer Adam Booth following the passing of the legendary Kronk figurehead, and one can expect him to attempt to come good on his words in the New Year, should he get past Saunders on the 19th.