Who’s next for Andy Lee?

Andy Lee [35(24)-3(2)-1] will return to the ring before the end of the year and the Limerick middleweight is planning a big fight.

The Castleconnell southpaw has fought just once since losing his WBO title to Billy Joe Saunders, outpointing KeAndrae Leatherwood on the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Weekend.

Lee took time out following this win for the birth of his first child, and is now ready to return for one last hurrah.

While Leatherwood was more of a comeback bout, although Lee was also operating as a potential stand-in for either of the two main eventers, the big punching Irishman is planning a big fight next.

Speaking to Newstalk 106FM’s ‘Off The Ball’ over the weekend, Lee revealed that he has been in early talks with a number of fighters.

The 33 year old outlined how “I’ve had a few calls and I’m just waiting to see, probably towards the end of the year, maybe November,”

“It would be a significant fight now and there’s been mention of Danny Jacobs and Peter Quillin, two fights I would love to have.”

“So it’s either of those, a similar fighter, or nothing.”

“I’m still a big name in the Middleweight division. I’ll get back in the gym in September, that was always the plan, and hopefully fight in late November,” added Lee, who is ranked 11th with the WBC (champion Gennady Golovkin)

Also over the weekend, Jacobs [32(29)-2(1)] revealed that he is to make his return on October 14th in New York. While this does not line up exactly with Lee’s roadmap, there has been a noticeable amount of online chatter in the past day regarding a match up between the pair.

Jacobs told ES News that “we got a date coming back, October 14th at the Barclays Center. We don’t have the opponent yet though, but we’re working on that. We should have something.”

“October 14th is going to be a really great opportunity for us. We’re moving in the right direction. We have a whole bunch of opponents that we’re choosing from.”.

Now training with Virgil Hunter, Quillin [32(23)-1(1)-1] has confirmed that he is to move up super middleweight. While this wouldn’t rule out a rematch with Lee, the Irish boxer seems keen to stay at 160lbs in the belief that the major belts may soon become vacant should Golovkin defeat Canelo Alvarez next month.

In terms of the rest of the middleweight division, the only real big names that are currently free would look to be big-punching Canadian David Lemieux [33(31)-2(1)] or Jermall Charlo [26(20)-0] who recently moved up from light middleweight and scored a stoppage victory at the weekend over an injured Jorge Sebastian Heiland.

At present, from the outside, it would seem as though a fight with Jacobs (WBC #4, WBA #5, IBF #5, WBO #6) would seem the most likely.

Lee is trained by Adam Booth and is a stablemate of Ryan Burnett. With his fellow Irishman defending his IBF bantamweight title in Belfast on October 21st, the idea of a concurrent camp for a Jacobs fight seems to make sense.

The American, dubbed ‘The Miracle Man’ following his recovery from cancer, was narrowly outpointed by Golovkin in March, but saw his stock rise massively following the fight, with some believing that he had gotten the better of the Kazakh.

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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