10 March 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Andy Lee has been added to the undercard for the Bernard Dunnes world title fight against Ricardo Cordoba at The O2 in Dublin on March 21.
Limerick middleweight Lee had originally been scheduled to top the bill at Irish Ropes planned Erin Go Brawl II show at New Yorks Madison Square Garden on March 16.
However, it was announced last Thursday that that card had been scrapped due to poor ticket sales.
That came as a massive blow for Lee, who has been inactive since last July’s sensational tenth-round stoppage win over Willie Gibbs, a bout in which he sustained a horrific cut which required surgery.
When I got news the plug was pulled on my headliner fight at Madison Square Garden on March 16, I was bitterly disappointed, not just for myself but for all the other boxer’s on the card and all the people from home who had spent their money to travel to New York for the fight, he explained.
After weeks of training, preparation and build up, to be told that it was all for nothing was a big let down.
For me personally it was an opportunity to initiate and take forward my plans for 2009. I was physically and mentally prepared for the fight and it would have been the perfect comeback fight after my recent layoff.
However, promoter Brian Peters has now managed to arrange a bout for Lee on an already stellar card at The O2.
As one door closed, another door opened for me within 24 hours, Lee mused.
Brian Peters Promotions stepped in to save the day after an initial phone call from my team. To be fighting on the undercard to Bernard Dunne in his quest to win a World Title in Dublin is a great honour for me.
The Irish are the best sport supporters in the world, the atmosphere will be electrifying and it will be a memorable occasion with it being the first World Title fight in Ireland in 13 years.
He added: My plans for the rest of 2009 is to advance my career with developmental fights taking me to the next level of being in the top 10 of the World Ratings.
Although my career is based in America, I relish the opportunity of fighting at home. But its fight one fight at a time and my focus is now firmly on March 21.
Unsurprisingly, Lees trainer, the legendary Emanuel Steward, is overjoyed that Lee will have an outing this month after all.
The disappointment of the March 16 fight in New York soon evaporated when my good friend Brian Peters came into the picture, the American enthused.
Brian is a very pragmatic guy, always thinking on his feet. To put Andy on the card on this momentous night for Irish boxing was a wonderful gesture.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night are priced from 50 and are available now from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie). Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.