6 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lees chances of challenging Sergio Martinez for the WBC World title this Spring hinge on WBA strap holder Serhiy Dzinziruks pay demands.
German based Ukrainian, Dzinziruk has been offered a chance to take on the man every middleweight bar Lee wants to avoid.
However the unbeaten Dzinziruks $750,000 minimum purse requests looks set to price him out of a unification title bout, paving the way for the former Irish amateur stand out to step in.
Martinezs promoter Lou DiBella has booked the WaMu Theatre in Madison Square Garden for an eagerly awaited March 12 Martinez defence, but has yet to confirm an opponent.
DiBella was keen to pit the Limerick southpaw against WBC ring king on St Patricks weekend, but TV company HBO wanted a bigger name for the pay per view broadcast forcing the American promoter to divert his attention toward Dzinziruk.
As a result the Ukrainian is in Martinez pole position but his wage requests ensure Lee, who has also been linked to John Duddy and Matthew Macklin recently, is still in the race to challenge for the WBA world title.
Talks regarding what would be the first of an amazing three Irish world title challenges in one week have resumed. And the fact Dzinziruk is demanding more than 35 year old Martinez for a unification clash should benefit the Emmanuel Steward trained Irish fighter and could prompt HBO to disregard the fact he is yet to be a household name Stateside.
Martinezs manager Sampson Lewkowicz revealed, I think Dzinzruk’s demands are absurd. For three fights, Martinez had to take the short end of the stick, against Kelly Pavlik and twice against Paul Williams. He did it because he wanted the glory. If Dzinziruk is a real champion, he will forget about the contract and accept the fight for the glory.”