By Jonny Stapleton
Anthony Fitzgerald wants to provide the opposition if Andy Lee does come back to fight in Ireland on December 17.
The Pride believes an all Irish clash between the Limerick southpaw and the Dubliner is a
fight to salivate the pallets of Irish fight fans, but remains adamant he wants the fight to progress his career and not just to please fans.
Having won Irish Champion of the Year for 2010, claiming the EBA middleweight title by inflicting the first ever stoppage defeat on former Darren Baker and Andy Lee foe Affif Belghecham and securing a spot in the WBA top 10 Fitzgerald looked set for a sensational 2011.
However, it has been more bust than boom for the inner city Dub since his biggest career win in March as the fall of the economy and promotion company Dolphil has hampered his progress.
Fitzgerald has been actively seeking fights, but the well of potential bouts has dried up.
With Lee, who looked quality in avenging his sole career loss in Atlantic City last weekend, suggesting he wants to fight in Ireland on December 17 a potential route back into the lime light has presented itself to the Phil Sutcliffe trained fighter.
Now all the 26 year old wants for Christmas is an Andy Lee under ring lights.
“We are looking at a number of options, but it just isn’t happening at present for some reason or another. Typical boxing! We have had talks with a few people and are hoping to get on to a few shows before the year is out, but the fight I want now is Andy Lee. Andy, who I respect greatly and was impressed with over the weekend, says he wants to come back to Ireland to fight and he knows all Irish fight fans want to see him and me in the ring. If it does get made it will be me fighting for world honours next year as I am confident if I perform I can beat him,” Fitzgerald told www.irish-boxing.com.
The Irish super middleweight champion got some stick for calling out the Kronk fighter last year as some suggested he was jumping above his level.
The Camden Street Gym owner, however, suggests his world ranking alone makes him a worthy challenger and hit back at those who criticised his pursuit of Lee.
The 26 year old believes he should be commended for aiming to fight at the highest level rather than berated for it.
Indeed Lee offered to fight ‘Fitzy’ in the summer, but promoters Dolphil couldn’t afford to put on the show after the body blow Guillermo Rigondeaux landed to the body of Willie Casey didn’t just hurt Big Bang, but also winded his promotional company.
Fitzgerald is hopeful that it will prove a winter of content rather than discontent and that the fight can be made this time round.
“I think in the summer it just wasn’t finically viable. No one had TV or the means to put the show on. Andy is looking to come home here now. I am not sure if Lou DiBella will promote here, but whoever is running the show knows Andy and I is the best possible fight,” Fitzgerald added.
“I honestly believe I could beat Andy. People say I shouldn’t be looking to fight him, but I am in boxing to fight the best and test myself at the highest level. Also I stopped a fighter Andy didn’t. I am world number 10 and I am better than some of the fighters he fought in Limerick of late, especially Thiam. We all know Spike wouldn’t be let fight Andy if i was to duck challenges like that i would get stick. I am in this game to fight.”
Fitzgerald it seems doesn’t only have eyes for fellow Irish middleweight Lee.
The controversial 12-2 star like the Emanuel Steward trained fighter would love a tilt and WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.
However unlike Lee Fitzgerald believes he could have a chance of fighting the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez.
The middleweight believes Chavez’s avoidance of the big names might lead him into Fitzgerald’s sights and the Dubliner is confident he shoot the Freddie Roach trained star down.
“They say Chavez is afraid of the big names. That could work in my favour he could make the mistake of thinking I might be a soft touch. I would love if he did. If I got Chavez I would stop him. I would also like a shot at Vera. I am open to all challenges.”