26 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Anthony Fitzgerald claims he has fought as well as talked himself into a potential bout with Irish middleweight contender Andy Lee and now hopes to earn himself a shot at the winner of the Matthew Macklin and Felix Strums WBA middleweight world title fight.
Lee responded to numerous Fitzgerald calls for an all Irish dust up and paved the way for a clash with the Irish champion of the Year by telling him to get in touch if he wants to get in on over the weekend. The news upset some boxing fans, who believe the reigning EBA champion hasnt earned the right to share a ring with a fighter on the verge of a world title fight.
But Fitzgerald says he has walked the walk as well as talked the talk and believes he has earned him the right to challenge Lee. The Pride points to his stoppage of former Lee foe Affif Belghecham and his newly acquired top 15 world ranking as proof his actions have proved louder than his words and that he is a worthy opponent for the former Olympian.
I was over the moon when I read the piece in the Mirror. They are looking for me to fight Andy now. All the talking must have helped. I dont think they would have been thinking about me before all the talk of me and Andy in the press. But I have also earned the right to fight Andy I have a world ranking and I stopped a fighter he couldnt stop, Fitzgerald told Mirror Sport.
I hope the fight can be made now. I know my promoters are working on it. There is nothing confirmed at the moment, but he wants a big homecoming. I hope its is in Dublin for my fans and I am sure he will want it in Limerick.
The Dolphil promoted fighter, who has improved with every performance over the last two years and yet has become Irish boxing’s panto villain, isnt just content with being on course for the biggest fight of his career he is confident of winning it.
Indeed the inner city Dub risked further ridicule by claiming he would like the all Irish fight to be a form of eliminator for the winner of the world renowned Macklin and Strum’s clash.
I am confident I can cause an upset. I know I am underdog, but I have beaten the odds before. I caused an upset against Belghecham. A lot of people thought I couldnt beat him and I stopped him. Andy and Darren Barker couldnt manage that. I would be confident of causing an upset again.
I wouldnt look beyond Andy Lee because he is a talented fighter, but if the fight does come off I would love if it was made an eliminator for the winner of Matthew Macklin and Felix Strum. That would be ideal. Me and Andy get on grand. There is no bad blood there and there never will be.