ANDY Lee hit the jackpot in Las Vegas on Saturday becoming the first Irish man to win a World title fight Stateside since 1934.
The WBO middleweight title win ensures Lee’s name will remembered amongst Irish greats for generations to come and should propel the Limerick man to some mega fights.
However, although Lee did all the hard work, he might not be the only Irish fighter to benefit from the sixth round stoppage of Matt Korobov.
If as the 30 year old Adam Booth trained fighter has requested he gets a home defence a number of Irish stars could secure high profile undercard fights.
Indeed, Celtic Warrior Gym boss and Stephen Ormond trainer Pascal Collins claims Lee’s win could open a direct path to a World title fight for the Dublin lightweight.
The WBO European Fighter of the Year is currently ranked #3 with the WBO and is on the verge of challenging for the strap. It was felt he might have to go the eliminator route, but Collins believes it wouldn’t be too hard to set up a clash between ‘The Rock’ and Juan Diaz for the vacant title.
“Andy Lee’s win was brilliant for him and his family, but in terms of Irish boxing it is brilliant too,” Collins told Irish-boxing.com
“If Andy defends his title in Ireland, which is a big possibility it seems, Irish fighters can really benefit. From a Celtic Warrior Gym point of view it could pave the way for a World title shot for Stephen Ormond.
“Stephen had to pull out of his WBO eliminator with Terry Flanagan under doctors orders. He had a virus and the most likely means Paulis Moses and Juan Diaz as one and two will fight for the title, but Stephen is ranked 3 in the WBO and it is possible they could tempt Diaz to come to Ireland and fight Stephen for that belt. Imagine two world title fights on an Irish card.”
Lee’s first defence could possibly be against Billy Joe Saunders meaning Frank Warren, Ormond’s promoter will most likely be involved in the show. It would be in Warren’s interest to secure a big fight for his charge on the card.
“Frank Warren and Lou DiBella will most likely be involved if Andy defends in Ireland, so that fight is possible. (The #2 contender) Moses might need step aside money, but that has been done before. Hopefully that can happen, but if not Stephen is still in a strong position and 2015 will be big a year for him.”