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Lee: Spike v Eubank is Starbucks boxing – Saunders and myself is the real quality fight

December 12th sees two talkers more renowned for using their thumbs to Tweet than for their skill with their fists, settle their differences in the ring, while seven days later two ‘top class’ well rounded skilled operators compete at World level, indicates Andy Lee.

The WBO middleweight champion suggests fellow Munster man Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, and stable mate Chris Eubank Jr, have trashed talked their way into the limelight rather than earned fan adulation with ring performances.

The World champ, who boasts amateur pedigree and is both respected and known globally, admits it’s ‘annoying’ to see the hype around the Cork man and the English fighter’s December 12th bout.

Indeed, the Limerick man and Irish favourite claims fans will see the difference between ‘two guys who can’t really fight’ and two well rounded punchers when he defends his title seven days later against fellow former Olympian Saunders in Manchester.

Speaking at the press conference in Manchester today Lee said:

“It’s systematic of boxing these days. You’ve got two guys who can’t really fight but talk a lot, and tweet a lot, and make big broad statements, and there’s a lot of excitement about that.

“But what they do in the ring won’t be nothing compared to what happens here. It’s annoying. It’s for the general fan who doesn’t know much about boxing, who doesn’t know what they’re looking at when they see two fighters.”

“It’s Starbucks boxing.”

Lee, known as one of boxing’s nicest fighters, has been called out by Spike previously, and both Eubank Jr and the Cork man have called out the Gennady Golovkin – the fighter Lee wants after Saunders.

The Adam Booth-trained puncher claims both have their qualities, but believes his clash with Saunders is the ‘real fight’ in the middleweight division this December.

“Spike O’Sullivan is a hard man and it will be a hard fight, and Chris Eubank will be a hard fight for anyone, I’ve seen him in the gym and I know how good he is – he can fight, he doesn’t stop coming forward and he punches hard and he’s unrelenting.”

“He’s a tough kid and with Adam now he’ll improve all the more. But this is the real fight here, this is the fight where you’re gonna see top class boxing – two former Olympians, we were at the height of our game as amateurs. Billy Joe has won everything: British, European, Commonwealth. And I’ve had a hard career all my life in America, fighting the best and becoming World champion.”

“This is the real fight, this is the great fight. It will be interesting to see how the two fights compare.”

“And you’ll see yourself by Christmas time.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie