16 September 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lee begins the first leg of a quick-fire fight double on Friday, but may have a more interesting middleweight Irish double on the horizon.
The Limerick native headlines a Windy City Fight Night facing the rugged Michael The Midnight Stalker Walker (19-4) in Chicago before returning to action in the same city on October 2.
And if the former Olympian emerges, as expected, unscathed from both duals he could be on course for WBA World title fight and, more interestingly for Irish fans, he could face fellow Irish middleweights Matthew Macklin and John Duddy.
Lees trainer Emanuel Steward, who admitted turning down a WBC world title shot in favour of perusing the winner of Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams WBA title fight, claims he has discussed the possibility of Lee and Duddy in Madison Square Garden with Top Ranks Bob Arum.
While Lee told the Mirror he will be keeping a close eye and Macklins European title tilt tomorrow, claiming a fight with the Freddie Roach trained fighter may be on the cards for 2011.
A fight between he and myself may be on the horizon for next year, it will be a great match up when we fight but right now my focus is on Michael Walker and Friday night, said Lee before legendary Kronk trainer Emanuel Steward had his say.
Im keen to keep Andy busy and have planned fights for him in the coming months. Andy is now ranked fifth in the European rankings and ninth in the WBA rankings and in the first half of 2011 Andy will be primed and ready to challenge for a world title. I would love to get Andy versus John Duddy in the Garden on the Cotto v Chavez undercard and I have discussed that with Bob Arum.
However before he can challenge either Irish middleweight, Lee must first overcome Walker this weekend and he is not underestimating his opponent.
“My training has been very good for this fight, I’ve sparred a lot of rounds with top pros like Anthony Dirrell and James Countryman. I expect a hard fight from Walker, although he’s lost his last fight, he is fighting in his home town I that will give him extra incentive to fight harder.”