Andy Lee has agreed to be part of an IABA ‘Steering Group’ to help oversee the changes the IABA hope to implement as part of their four-year Strategic Plan – ‘Boxing Clever’.
However, the former WBO middleweight champion and Ireland’s only boxing Olympian in 2004 is open to taking a more hands-on role at a coaching level.
Reports earlier in the month suggested High Performance Coach Zaur Antia was keen to get the Limerick man on his coaching team, and speaking to press in the Stadium at the weekend, the pro fighter didn’t close the door on a potential link up.
Lee suggested that any permanent and official role within the IABA coaching set up may be further down the line, but did state that, as like over recent years, he is more than willing to help out, if asked, at present.
“In the future, I would like to be. I would like to help him [Antia] if I could, I think I have a lot to offer, especially now with the amateur boxing becoming more pro styled and with all the experience I have as an amateur and now as a professional obviously,” Lee said when asked about becoming an official member of the High Performance coaching team.
“There’s talk that they might move to five rounds, maybe eight rounds, and have less participants and longer rounds. They want to become more professional, you can see they want to compete with the professional ranks. I think I have a lot to offer them, and I would like to help, but some time in the future when it’s right, maybe not this year, maybe next year, or the years down the line”, he added before stating while as an active fighter he can’t dedicate officially he would be willing to lend a hand when time allowed.
“I would like to help them. I would help them now if I could. I don’t need an official role, I’ll do it in any way I can.”
“I’d be willing to help. I want to help Irish boxing. Even though we lost Michael [Conlan], Katie [Taylor], Paddy [Barnes], maybe more, maybe there are other fighters who are going to turn pro after this, but there’s still a lot of talent here and it’s them that we should be looking at now – giving them the best chance we can.”
The Adam Booth-trained fighter holds a similar view to the Steering Group.
“I’m not committed to anything, but I’ve just told Fergal [Carruth, IABA CEO] that I’ll be here as much as I can and I’ll help him in any way I can. I like Fergal Carruth, I think what he wants is in the sport’s best interests. He’s got its best interests at heart.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show