By Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lee’s October 1 rematch with Brian Vera is not business its personal, according to the Irish fighter.
The Limerick middleweight has put himself into world title contention over the last 12 months and could have secured a shot with one of the champions without having to risk a clash against the only man to defeat him.
However, despite admitting he doesn’t need a fight with Vera to further his career Lee stressed he needs it to put his mind at rest.
The Lou Debilla promoted fighter has been actively pursuing Vera redemption since he lost to the much improved fighter in 2008 and he is delighted with the chance to set the record straight.
“You can imagine how big this fight is to me and what it means to me,” said Lee. “I didn’t need the rematch to further my career, but it’s something I’ve wanted. From the moment I lost to Vera, I’ve wanted to avenge it. It has taken three and a half years to get to this point, but now we are finally almost here.
“Vera’s a tough man, he comes to the ring to fight, and he’s heavy handed. But I’m ready, I feel great. I know it’s an old cliché that everyone says they have had the best training camp, but I really have. I’m in good form, and my work in the gym during this camp has exceeded all of my previous training camps. Everything is all set for me to have a good performance.”
Despite revenge being the sole motivation behind the former Irish Olympian taking the fight, Lee is aware victory would ratify his contender status.
“The fight makes sense, he is on a winning streak coming off his best win against Sergio Mora, and I’m on a streak now as well, so it makes sense not only as a personal matter but as a boxing matter also. The winner of this fight is a legitimate contender for the middleweight title so this is a very big and important fight for us, and for boxing.