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A Look Back at Andy Lee’s Four Biggest Fights

Andy Lee is one of the best Irish boxers of all time. He is Ireland’s most recent middleweight world champion, with no Irish 160lbs fighter managing to follow in his footsteps over the last eight years. These days, the former WBO middleweight world champion is a professional boxing coach. In recent years, he has trained a number of high-profile fighters, such as heavyweight Joseph Parker. 

The hard-hitting New Zealander was made an underdog by OddsChecker, which compares boxing odds and free bets, for his September 2022 bout with Britain’s Joe Joyce, a bout in which he ended up suffering a knockout loss. The 31-year-old recently bounced back with a decision victory on the undercard of Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr. last month, and he will be hoping to follow in his coach’s footsteps by returning to world level. 

In honour of Andy Lee’s brilliant career, we take a look at four of his highest-profile fights. 

Vs. Julio César Chávez Jr. (June 2012) 

Lee’s first world title fight came in 2012 when he challenged Julio César Chávez Jr. for the WBC middleweight title. The Mexican champion was undefeated at the time, and he was a heavy favorite to win the fight and go on to box office stardom, just like compatriot Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. However, Lee put up a brave performance and gave Chávez Jr. all he could handle before ultimately losing by unanimous decision.

The highly anticipated matchup took place in June 2012. It ultimately ended in a loss for the Irishman. Despite putting up an admirable fight, Lee faced an almost unscalable hurdle in Chavez’s significant weight advantage, and that began to take its toll throughout the second half of the fight. Lee was stopped on his feet by the referee after taking a barrage of punches while he was on the ropes, with the man in charge bringing an end to the contest to stop Lee from taking punishment. To make matters worse, he was leading on all three cards at the time of the stoppage. 

Vs Matt Korobov (December 2014) 

Lee would have to wait two and a half years for his next title shot and, when it came, he was once again the underdog. He faced off against undefeated Russian Matt Korobov for the WBO middleweight championship. In an epic display of skill and determination, the Irish sensation triumphed with an unforgettable come-from-behind knockout victory. 

The Irish challenger started strongly. However, Korobov began to take control of the fight in the middle rounds. Then, in round six, Lee would wobble his Russian opponent before landing 18 unanswered punches, causing the stoppage from referee Kenny Bayless. 

vs Peter Quillin (April 2015) 

Lee’s first world title defence was supposed to come in April 2015. However, his opponent, the unbeaten Peter Quillin missed weight, meaning that he could not win the championship even with a victory. 

Despite that, the fight went ahead and ended in a controversial draw. Many people in attendance felt that Lee deserved to be declared the winner. He once again entered the bout as an underdog, but he gave the fans another spirited performance against one of the best middleweights in the world at the time. 

vs Billy-Joe Saunders (December 2015) 

Lee’s final world title fight came in 2015 when he lost his WBO middleweight title to Billy-Joe Saunders via a razor-thin majority decision. Saunders had handed Chris Eubank Jr. the first loss of his career just over a year prior and he took an early lead in the fight, using his superior boxing skills to build a huge lead on the scorecards. The champion would then rally late on in an attempt to retain his championship and close the show. While he did make the scoreline look more competitive, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to retain his title. 

Two of the official scorecards at ringside have Saunders a victory by scores of 115–111 and 114–112, with the third scoring the bout a 113-113 draw. 

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: