19 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish super-middleweight champion Anthony Fitzgerald wants to fill the March 12 void left by John Duddys retirement and challenge compatriot Andy Lee.
The Dubliner, who defends the domestic strap against Lee Murtagh in City West at the end of the month, wants to ensure Lees St Patrick week fight scheduled for the under-card of Sergio Martinez /Sergiy Dzinziruk world title bout remains an all Irish affair.
The Dolphil promoted fighter had previously called out Derry native Duddy but now wants to replace him as the Limerick southpaws opponent on the HBO broadcast show.
The Pride is also confident he could pull of an upset.
I would love to step up to the mark and take that fight, Fitzgerald said. “I believe I could beat Andy Lee. I also believe I am entitled to get the chance to step up. I am number one in Ireland as it is.
It was a bit of a shock to hear about John retiring. I am a bit disappointed I wont get the chance to fight him. I think that would have made a cracking fight but these things happen in boxing, he added before coach Phil Sutcliffe commented.
We always said we were getting Anthony ready for Lee and Duddy, I would have preferred Duddy myself, it would have made a cracking fight. I would gladly take on Lee and I would be very confident of Fitzy beating him. Whether he takes the fight is another thing. I think he’ll see Fitzy as a little too dangerous
Despite Fitzgeralds claims however, it seems like Lee will be pitted against either Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6) or unbeaten Craig McEwan (19-0).
Lou Dibella, who is promoting the Foxwoods Casino show, has already suggested both fighters and victory over either could give Lee the Stateside recognition he craves.