British boxing royalty Ricky Hatton and Naseem Hamed both believe the big end of year blockbuster showdown between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday 19th December at the Manchester Arena is too tough to call.
Lee’s WBO World Middleweight title defence against Saunders, his undefeated mandatory challenger, features alongside another big world title fight between WBO World Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Smith making the first defence of his title against Jimmy Kelly, with SIX further big title fights, exclusively live on BoxNation.
Manchester legend Hatton, a four-time and two-weight World Champion, and the British boxings superstar of the noughties who made the Manchester Arena his fortress, said, “For big blockbusters fights at the Manchester Arena, Lee v Saunders is up there with the best. You’ve got the raw, tough, aggression of Lee who’s got the power to turn things around with one punch, matched against the master boxer in Saunders who has the slick and technical ability. This is a real 50/50 fight and for once I’m stumped on picking a winner.”
The decade before The Hitman was ruled by Sheffield showman Naz, a three-time World Featherweight Champion, who lit up the arena with his own brand of fireworks, said, “This is the fight of the year for me because in my eyes you’ve got two guys who are going to have a real fight, not like Floyd Mayweather Jnr. or Manny Pacquiao, they’re not interested in offence, you know these guys aren’t going to run. It’s a 50/50 fight.”
Frank Warren’s end of year title extravaganza ‘X-Mas Cracker’ is headlined by two massive world title showdowns with WBO World Middleweight Champion Andy Lee defending his title against Billy Joe Saunders and WBO World Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Smith making his first title defence against Jimmy Kelly. A staggering SIX further titles are on the line with Mitchell Smith defending his WBO Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title against George Jupp; Paul Butler challenges for the Vacant WBO European Super-Flyweight Championship against Silvio Olteanu; Tommy Langford defends his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship; Commonwealth Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Williams and Kris Carlow clash with the Vacant British title also on the line; Jack Catterall defends his WBO Intercontinental Super-Lightweight Championship, and Adrian Gonzalez defends his WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship. Plus the undercard features Merseyside favourite Derry Mathews and Indian superstar Vijender Singh.
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