Lee open to ‘Irish derbies’

19 March 2009 – By Mark Doyle

Andy Lee has admitted that he is open to the idea of facing either John Duddy or Matthew Macklin in the not too distant future.

The Detroit-based Limerick man is currently in Dublin preparing for Saturdays bout with Alexander Sipos, on the undercard of Bernard Dunnes world title showdown with Ricardo Cordoba.

However, Lee revealed that he would have no problem in squaring up to middleweight rivals Duddy and Macklin.

It would be nice, he said on Steve Bunces Boxing Hour on Setanta Sports News.

The two boys are slightly ahead of me in terms of their respective careers and congratulations to Matthew, he had a great win there against Wayne Elcock last week.

But maybe next year the three of us could get together. Style-wise, I think theyd be great match-ups.

And dont forget we have James Moore, Henry Coyle and Darren Sutherland so the Irish middleweight and super-middleweight scene is really coming alive at the moment.

For many, Lee remains the most talented of the bunch but his reputation was severely dented by last years shock seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Brian Vera.

After needlessly being drawn into a brawl in a bout which he was comfortably winning, Lee is unsurprisingly keen to make amends for that loss.

I think a lot of it was down to complacency on my behalf. Not so much in the gym because I trained hard for the fight but mentally, I maybe was a little bit lax, he confessed.

I went in there thinking that hed only last about five or six rounds and then Id get him out of there because he hadnt really impressed me much. I just thought that he was just a bit of a brawler.

But he was very determined, came in good shape and it was the biggest opportunity of his life. He got plenty of exposure and saw it as a big chance to upset me. And he took his chance.

I take my hat off to him, he won the fight fair and square, but I hope some day to get a rematch to make up for the mistakes I made that night.

For the moment, though, his sole focus is Germanys Sipos, a fighter he knows very well.

Last year I was in Wladimir Klitschkos camp in Austria and we [Lee and Sipos] did quite a few sparring sessions with each other, three or four maybe, he revealed.

He’s a tough guy. Hes got a record of 19 wins and five losses but that kind of belies just how good he is. Hes got a good attitude, hes a real competitor. I know him well and hes coming to win. Its going to be a tough fight.

However, Lee is still a little bemused that he is fighting in Dublin this week, given that he had been originally scheduled to headline an Irish Ropes show in New York against Antwun Echols.

Its great to come home whenever I get the opportunity. But it was something of a surprise because I was meant to fight last Monday in New York. Unfortunately the show got cancelled. That was a big disappointment for me, he admitted.

Most of the things Ive read said it was down to poor ticket sales but Ive read a few things contrary to that. Irish Ropes are going through a lot of things behind the scenes, with court cases and different things with the New York Commission.

A week before the fight, after months of training and with everyone from home spending a lot of money to come over for the fight, they just cancelled the show. It was a massive shock for everyone.

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