Andy Lee nearing retirement following Danny Jacobs snub

Former world middleweight champion Andy Lee [35(24)-3(2)-1] admits retirement could be close after missing out on a big fight with U.S. star Danny Jacobs.

The New Yorker headlines a big Matchroom USA card at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn on Saturday April 28th, and Limerick’s Lee was in the equation as a possible opponent.

The 33-year-old was extremely keen on this bout, but it will instead be his fellow Irishman Spike O’Sullivan that will be in the opposition corner for the big HBO and Sky Sports fight night.

Cork’s O’Sullivan announced last week that he has accepted an offer from Jacobs’s promoter Eddie Hearn for the fight, leaving Lee in the breach.

The former WBO titleholder has fought just once since losing his belt to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015 – a keep busy win over KeAndrae Leatherwood last March.

The Adam Booth-trained fighter – who has recently been joined by Belfast featherweight Mick Conlan under the London coach – concedes that he is “disappointed.”

“Because if they didn’t come to an agreement I was next in line to get the fight,” he explained while on Newstalk 106FM’s ‘Off The Ball’ recently.

However, he is not surprised, and recalled how “I said – ‘they’re probably just using my name just to come to some agreement with Spike O’Sullivan to force him to accept terms’ – and more or less that’s what happened.”

The Athens Olympian has mooted retirement recently, noting how he wants big fights and if none are forthcoming by the Summer he will step away.

Happy with his achievements in the game, Lee acknowledges that his time is running out and outlined how “I’m not going to make any decision anytime soon – but each fight that passes you by or that I don’t accept, it becomes less likely that I will return because time is going by.”

“When I got the message from Adam that he was talking to Eddie Hearn and there was a chance, I was buzzing again. I don’t get my hopes up too much at this stage, it’s always talking, I’ve been in the game too long.”

Southpaw Lee seemed to indicate that he would have had a better chance than slugger O’Sullivan against two-time world title challenger Jacobs, arguing how “styles make fights.”

Analysing Jacobs v O’Sullivan, he detailed how: “Tough fight, just from the styles. Spike O’Sullivan will be coming forward and being aggressive, but Danny Jacobs kind of has the wrong style for him. But Spike O’Sullivan has a big punch and a puncher’s chance.”

“Good luck to Spike O’Sullivan, I don’t begrudge him the fight, he’s worked hard, he won his last fight which was a good fight in Canada on HBO. He deserves a big fight and I wish him luck.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: