The retired puncher revealed he was upset with and disappointed by Jackson’s trainer, Billy Hussein, following the Tasmanian featherweight’s defeat to Carl Frampton on the massive Windsor Park show on Saturday night.
Lee claimed while on Newstalk’s Off The Ball that he had heard the away fighter say he had enough when he returned to the corner after being dropped by a perfectly timed body shot in the eighth – only for his coach to instruct him to ‘go out on your shield’.
As a former fighter, Lee pointed out he knew how much pain a proud battle-keen pugilist would have to be in to make such comments and couldn’t understand why a coach would send a fighter, who suffered two perforated eardrums during the loss, out for more punishment.
Wilcock, who promotes the world-ranked Australian, took huge exception to the comments and claims they are “simply untrue.”
Not only is Limerick’s Lee noted as one of the nicest people in boxing, he is also seen as one of the best pundits in the game due to his brilliant work with Newstalk as well as unbiased, informative, and honest fight calling.
It should be recognised that the fighter, who was ringside providing commentary for BBC radio, had nothing to gain by making such comments and there seems no doubt Lee was commenting on what he believed he heard.
However, an upset Wilcock has branded this assertion “fake news” and demanded an “immediate apology.”
The promoter contacted Irish-Boxing.com wanting to refute the claims.
“These comments are lies and blasphemous,” he said.
“The comments from Andy Lee are upsetting as much as they are confusing.”
“Upsetting because they are simply untrue and confusing because there’s no real motivation for them,” he reasoned before further claiming things didn’t transpire the way Lee suggested on the popular sports programme.
“As Luke’s promoter I was sat front row, right in that very corner. I listen to every word and watch every action in the corner, that’s my job. I can assure you that nothing like that was said,” stressed Wilcock.
A front row vantage point may not always allow one to hear everything communicated in the corner, but Wilcock claims the comments were also refuted when put to the three people who populated the corner between rounds.
“I have spoken to those in the corner – and all three people have confirmed that nothing like that was said.”
“Why something so far-fetched would be said by Andy is puzzling, what has he to gain by sullying the name of Jackson and Billy Hussein? Surely nothing, so he’s purely grandstanding here to get his name in the news again,” the fight boss speculated.
On the live BT Sport feed, the stoppage and its timing was praised by pundits who hadn’t access to what may or may not have been said in the corner.
Wilcock seems to agree and believes the corner did their job perfectly and with the safety of Jackson in mind.
He described how “I don’t think anyone wanted to see the stoppage but it was the correct call at the perfect timing. The job of the trainer and the corner is to serve and protect the fighter and this was done on Saturday night.”
“Luke told me personally in the lead up to the fight that he’d die in the ring if needed. I can assure you, he’d have done this. Personally, as Luke’s promoter and a lover of boxing, the corner stoppage came at the right time.”
The promoter also went on to praise the relationship between the coach, who has also worked with Tony Senior and Tony Bates, and Olympian Jackson.
Wilcock claims the pair have a unique bond and are as close as a trainer and fighter can be.
“The relationship between Billy and Luke has to bee seen to be believed. Billy is more than a trainer to Luke and to all of his boxers. He’s a teacher and mentor, both in and out of the ring. They have a very special relationship that will last way beyond Luke’s time as an active pro.”
“Luke lives in his home town of Hobart. In the lead up to his fights, Luke will spend six to eight weeks in Sydney to spend his time training with Billy Hussein. Billy offers direction to Luke in terms of strength and conditioning when out of camps but they train together twice a day, seven days a week, for the time Luke is in Sydney.”
“That has been the case for all 17 fights since turning professional in 2013. From day one of Luke’s professional career, we’ve had a very close and tight team, that hasn’t changed.”