5 April 2010 – By Jonny Stapleton
Andy Lee has labelled the decision to allow Darren Barker and Affif Belghecham contest the middleweight European title vacated by Matthew Macklin as a joke.
Lee, who confirmed he is in talks about appearing on a Brian Peters promoted show in Limerick in May, defeated Belghecham in his last outing and is understandably confused as to how the Frenchman earned a title shot ahead of him.
The stylish pugilist is now hoping to the fight the winner of the April 9 clash later in the year.
Former Olympian, Lee also said he is hoping to sign with big time American promoters Top Rank and believes such a move could pave the way to a World title challenge.
Top Rank boss, Bob Arum expressed an interest in the Limerick man last week and Lee (20-1) told the Irish Mirror he would welcome Arums advances.
I’m currently in talks with Brian Peters about the possibility of me fighting in May, he said.
Nothing has been signed, and no opponent named but we are working on it and hopefully I’ll be out again in Limerick in May.
I heard Darren Barker is fighting Belghecham for the European title, I think it’s a bit of a joke, the guy that I just beat gets to fight for a vacant title. I think Barker will win by an easy points decision. Hopefully I can fight the winner but I’m not sure if Barker would fight me.
I heard Bob Arums comments recently, and I’m encouraged by them. Top Rank are the leading promoters in the world right now and I would love to sign with them. We’ve had talks with Top Rank in the past but a deal never materialised. Hopefully in the future we can work something out. Plus signing with them would give me a direct route to the middleweight title. I would like the chance to fight Pavilk, he is a tough fighter, a big, strong guy for middleweight but I believe he would suit my style. It will be interesting to see how his fight with Sergio Martinez goes, Martinez is a tricky southpaw, not unlike myself, but he may lack the size to beat Pavilk.