21 July 2008 – By Mark Doyle
Emanuel Steward has revealed that his middleweight prospect, Andy Lee, has been the subject of a lucrative offer from Golden Boy Promotions.
Irish middleweight Lee had been tipped to sign with Bob Arums Top Rank earlier this year but his shock seventh-round stoppage at the hands of Brian Vera in March appeared to put paid to that.
However, Steward claims that not only is Arum still interested, Oscar de la Hoya is now intent on adding Lee to his impressive stable of world-class fighters.
Golden Boy have made us an offer with figures that would just blow your mind, the legendary American trainer is quoted as saying by the Irish Daily Mail.
They are very keen they actually made the offer after the defeat to Brian Vera. They could see that even in defeat he was the one who threw the last punch.
It was a very controversial stoppage that night but Andy should never have been in the ring because he had a very bad cold leading up the fight but he was determined to go through with it.
At the moment, Im taking things easy but we have the Golden Boy offer and we also have a very good offer from Bob Arum and these people dont waste their money.
Steward watched Lee bounce back from the first defeat of his professional career by stopping Willie Gibbes in the final seconds of their ten-rounder in Limerick on Saturday night.
It was an impressive display from Lee, even though he sustained two bad cuts in the bout (the result of accidental headbutts), and Steward is now supremely confident that the Irishman will realise his dream of world title glory next year.
As far as Im concerned, Andy Lee will be world middleweight champion in 2009, he declared.
The defeat to Vera felt like a thunderstorm when youre on a trip and you have to pull over for a few hours and then get back on the road.
It was a glitch but its behind him now. We just have to make sure that he gets more experience and gets the right fights before his world title chance.
Lee had been provisionally pencilled in to fight on a bill in Chicago on August 8 but that, according to Steward, is now a non-runner.
I would like to see him back in the ring again as soon as we can and, once the cuts heal up, hell probably be back in Ireland maybe in September or October, he revealed.