‘Culture needs to change in boxing’ – Andy Lee passionately speaks on quitgate

Andy Lee has come out strongly in defence of Daniel Dubois and questioned the macho culture in boxing.

The former middleweight champion of the world was a BT Sports pundit last Saturday night and was questioned with regard to the fall out of the heavyweight fight the week previous.

After taking a knee in the 10th round of his eagerly anticipated clash with Joy Joyce and being counted out, the English heavy’s heart and courage have been questioned.

It has since emerged that the 23-year-old came close to suffering a career threatening injury and his actions may have saved his career.

That hasn’t prevented questions being raised with regard to Dubois and he has been labelled a ‘quitter’ in some quarters.

It’s the ultimate insult in boxing parlance and one Lee doesn’t believe the young prospect deserves. The Limerick man, who although a technically proficient fighter showed real guts and heart in some of his big wins, also argues the quit talk and the taboo around it needs addressing on a wider sale.

Jason Quigley and Paddy Donovan’s coach asked: “Why is this culture in boxing?

“In MMA a fighter taps out every fight they are not called cowards and [people are not saying] they can’t return, they say he was well beaten. It’s like [Dubios] can’t come back to the ring anymore, that culture needs to change in boxing.”

Speaking on Dubois more specifically he labeled the criticism harsh and backed the fighters decision to take a 10 count.

“He didn’t quit he saved his career and it will eat into him more than anybody else.

“I don’t think he will ever do that again. I don’t think he quit, I think the criticism was very harsh. He is only 23-years-old, he was never in the situation before the damage happened early and he was consistently getting hit in the eye. It’s been proven it could have caused serious damage.”

Lee also expressed concern with regard to the fact the doctors and Dubois corner didn’t look to pull him out.

The corner have since said they were giving the heavyweight one more round.

“What upset me the most was he was put in that position. Never once did the doctor step up and inspect his eye, take the decision out of his hands.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com